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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 9907
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I'm legally married since 2003.I have been seperated since

Customer Question

I'm legally married since 2003.I have been seperated since 2008. (Not legally ). We have lived separate, and I have custody of my 14 year old son.
I have not divorced due to husband's ongoing medical issues. As well my son has reached the age that he now understands why the seperation took place. My question is this. I recently was told by husband that he is receiving a settlement of some kind,to the tune of $165000.00.
I want to know what I can do to get half of that, since we are legally married. I'm hopefully not sounding greedy, but he has not supported his son in the past. Since a year agohe's been ordered to pay $50.00 per month in child support .
I m an injured worker, since 2006. My concern is that after I settle my case in approximately four to five years, (we will be divorced by then), will he be entitled to any of it. I ask because I know if I fight for what is legally half mine now..he will try to go after anything he can. Thanks
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Hello! I will be reviewing your question and posting a response momentarily; if you have any follow up questions please respond here. Thanks!

Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your patience;

so the court will look to characterize the property; all relevant statutes are below.

Per code 26.16.010, property acquired during the marriage is marital; the marriage does not end until there is a decree to that effect. If the parties choose to make post separation property separate property, they can have a written agreement to that effect.

The court will divide the community property between the spouses, and then will typically award the separate property (gifts, inheritances, and the pain and suffering portion of a personal injury settlement/judgment) to the spouse that it belongs to. However, under its powers of equity, the court can award one spouse's separate property to the other, and they will look at several factors when considering this, such as the nature/extent of both the community and separate property, the duration of the marriage and the economic situation of the respective parties.

If a settlement is determined after a divorce decree is determined, it typically goes to the plaintiff in that case (ie the injured spouse). It is possible for a judge to award the non injured spouse a certain percentage of future settlements, but that is highly unusual and would be most common if the community paid for the injured spouse's expenses long term, and the court is doing it to essentially reimburse the community.

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Information provided is for educational purposes only. Consultation with a personal attorney is always recommended so your particular facts may be considered. Thank you and take care.

RCW 26.16.010

Separate property of spouse.

Property and pecuniary rights owned by a spouse before marriage and that acquired by him or her afterwards by gift, bequest, devise, descent, or inheritance, with the rents, issues and profits thereof, shall not be subject to the debts or contracts of his or her spouse, and he or she may manage, lease, sell, convey, encumber or devise by will such property without his or her spouse joining in such management, alienation or encumbrance, as fully, and to the same extent or in the same manner as though he or she were unmarried.

RCW 26.16.030

Community property defined—Management and control.

Property not acquired or owned, as prescribed in RCW 26.16.010 and 26.16.020, acquired after marriage or after registration of a state registered domestic partnership by either domestic partner or either husband or wife or both, is community property. Either spouse or either domestic partner, acting alone, may manage and control community property, with a like power of disposition as the acting spouse or domestic partner has over his or her separate property, except:

(1) Neither person shall devise or bequeath by will more than one-half of the community property.

(2) Neither person shall give community property without the express or implied consent of the other.

(3) Neither person shall sell, convey, or encumber the community real property without the other spouse or other domestic partner joining in the execution of the deed or other instrument by which the real estate is sold, conveyed, or encumbered, and such deed or other instrument must be acknowledged by both spouses or both domestic partners.

(4) Neither person shall purchase or contract to purchase community real property without the other spouse or other domestic partner joining in the transaction of purchase or in the execution of the contract to purchase.

(5) Neither person shall create a security interest other than a purchase money security interest as defined in *RCW 62A.9-107 in, or sell, community household goods, furnishings, or appliances, or a community mobile home unless the other spouse or other domestic partner joins in executing the security agreement or bill of sale, if any.

(6) Neither person shall acquire, purchase, sell, convey, or encumber the assets, including real estate, or the good will of a business where both spouses or both domestic partners participate in its management without the consent of the other: PROVIDED, That where only one spouse or one domestic partner participates in such management the participating spouse or participating domestic partner may, in the ordinary course of such business, acquire, purchase, sell, convey or encumber the assets, including real estate, or the good will of the business without the consent of the nonparticipating spouse or nonparticipating domestic partner.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks. My next question is..I'm only charged one time foe this service, correct?
Expert:  LegalGems replied 10 months ago.

Yes, that is correct; I don't have access to your account (I am an individual contributor) so any other account questions would need to be directed to customer service as I don't have that information.