A prenuptial agreement is a contract entered into between prospective spouses in anticipation and consideration of marriage.  Parties often enter into prenuptial agreements to protect themselves and the other spouse in case a divorce occurs.  These agreements are common and valid if certain requirements are met.

Washington is a community property state and those laws apply to divorces in this State.  Community property is property which is equally owned in undivided one-half interests by a husband and wife by reason of their martial status.  Community property normally includes assets acquired during marriage unless the evidence establishes they are separate property.  It also includes assets which the spouses agree to be community property or those that are converted into community property through commingling.

Separate property consists of assets a spouse owned before marriage, assets received by a spouse after marriage through inheritance or assets which the spouses agree to be separate.

If the marriage or partnership is dissolved by a court, all property, community and separate, is subject to a “just and equitable” division, and the separate property of one party may be awarded to the other party.  This is always a risk if the court makes property division decision.

Couples often wish to avoid any doubt as to whether property is community or separate in nature, or how property will be divided when the relationship ends.   Prenuptial Agreements can help couples accomplish these goals.

There are requirements that need to be complied for prenuptial agreements to be valid.  If you have any questions about prenuptial agreements, contact Jeff Burleson for a free ½ hour consultation.  Jeff also drafts and prepares prenuptial agreements on a flat fee basis so you always know the cost.  There are no surprises.  Jeff is a skilled divorce and family attorney serving Kitsap county and all surrounding communities.

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