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LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 10284
Experience:  Experienced Family Law Attorney
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I live in WA state and have been married 8.5 years. My

Customer Question

Hi. I live in WA state and have been married 8.5 years. My husband and I are considering divorce. We had some assets (him more in 401k) before our marriage but amassed roughly 700k while married. I know in WA we split 50/50 the assets after marriage. My question is about the 401k prior to the marriage which have gone up and down and up again in value since 2008. In 2013, I had to medically retire for ms and lupus so I am on a fixed retirement income with only cola increases and I want to protect myself. Having some of the larger 401k would help but I don't know if I can? Lisa
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 8 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 8 months ago.

The portion of the 401k that was attributable to premarital earnings, and the interest on those funds, is considered separate property and will retain their separate property ownership.

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.

However, such separate property can be considered when the court is determining spousal support; generally if a spouse cannot work due to health reasons, the other spouse will be ordered to pay either periodic or lump sum alimony in order to ensure that the party is able to live at the standard of living achieved during marriage.

This allows the court to take into consideration premarital property for purposes of spousal support.

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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.

Expert:  LegalGems replied 8 months ago.

Hello again; just checking in to see how things worked out;
if you have further questions please don't hesitate to reach out to me here on Just Answer.