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Seattle Scott
Seattle Scott, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 961
Experience:  I have 25 years experience as a Washington State Family Law Attorney.
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We own a house together both names on the deed I have a

Customer Question

we own a house together both names on the deed I have a 401K, he is on labor and Industries and gets security benefits for the last 5 yrs. we have been together for 18+. How is the property divided? he says he gets house and I can keep the 401k? is that right?
, i have a 401k he is on l & L and get social security benefits, we are going different ways and do we split ever thing?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Hello: This is PhillipsEsq. I am a licensed Attorney and I will be assisting you today.
I am sorry, but I am having trouble understanding your question.
You need to lay the foundation for your question.
Are you going through divorce?
What State do you reside in?
Kindly use proper sentences and punctuation marks.
Thank you for your cooperation,
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
We are not married, We live in Washington state. Yes you could say we are going thru a divorce. He says that because I have a 401k he gets half. But what he really wants is the house. The deed is in both of our names,and worth about $280 thous, He says I can have one but not the other, I just want to know what my rights might be?
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 2 years ago.
Thank you for the information:
We are not married, We live in Washington state. Yes you could say we are going thru a divorce. He says that because I have a 401k he gets half. But what he really wants is the house. The deed is in both of our names,and worth about $280 thous, He says I can have one but not the other, I just want to know what my rights might be?
Response: If you are not married, the ONLY thing that would be divided would be property that both of you own together: the house. Unless the deed provides for a different percentage, each owner has 50% interest in the property. You cannot divide 401k because you are not married and going through divorce. You have no rights to his property and he has no rights to yours.
Expert:  Seattle Scott replied 2 years ago.

Washington State recognizes a CIR ( committed intimate relationship) and the courts have the power to divide all assets acquired during the relationship. In a CIR the court has no power to award attorney fees nor alimony. The fact that the 401K is in your name alone does not protect it from claims by your partner. To the extent the 401K was started before the relationship, you would keep the pre-relationship value ( plus its growth). The 401K is tax deferred, so you should deduct 10 -15% of its value ( for the income taxes) when measuring it against the house value, since the house can usually be sold and capital gains tax avoided. After valuation, the assets/debts are divided in an equitable / fair split. Current incomes do not matter when determining the asset split details.

Here is what the initial court papers look like http://www.washingtonlawhelp.org/files/C9D2EA3F-0350-D9AF-ACAE-BF37E9BC9FFA/attachments/3922BA34-A607-0141-DD46-0DA1A1E7BC31/3920en_filing-to-divide-property-and-debts-unmarried-couple.pdf