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Susan L. Caulkins

Susan Caulkins’s Answers

6 total

  • My wife purchased our home before we married. I began paying half the mortgage 3 1/2 years ago. Is it community property?

    Our marriage is looking like it is going downhill fast. I am afraid that all the mortgage payments I contributed to may not count for anything if the home is community property. In Washington state, am I entitled to any part of the equity earned ...

    Susan’s Answer

    You may be entitled to recovery of a part of the equity in the home, but that is not necessarily the case. If the house was purchased by your wife prior to marriage, and the underlying loan was in her name, the house remained her separate property. At most, your marital community became entitled potentially to a right of reimbursement via equitable lien (under the fairness test for the division of property) from the proceeds of sale. However, that right of reimbursement would not arise to the extent you received a corresponding benefit from the use of the property, namely if you were living in the home.

    This is the case of Marriage of Miracle, 101 Wn.2d 137. If the monthly mortgage corresponded to the reasonable rental value of the home, then you may not have a right of reimbursement. If, however, the monthly mortgage was more than the reasonable rental value, the marital community may have a right of reimbursement weighed by the difference between the monthly mortgage and the reasonable rental value. Basically, then, if the two of you were living in the house, a right of reimbursement is not a sure thing and will be balanced.

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  • How do I fill out an Ex Parte restraining order to keep my husband from moving assets before the divorce?

    Is there someone in Pacific County, Washington that can help me to acquire the forms and fill them out correctly? I can't afford to hire a lawyer, and spouse is refusing to help me pay for the divorce, so I am going to have to do it myself and wa...

    Susan’s Answer

    The forms are available on line at no cost through the Office of Administrator of Courts. The Motion/Declaration for Ex Parte Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause, and of the actual Ex Parte Restraining Order and Order to Show Cause are found at http://www.courts.wa.gov/forms/. Then go to the section "Ending the Marriage - Temporary Restraining Order", and you will then find form WPF DR 04.0150 which is the Motion and WPF DR 04.170 which is the Order itself. The Pacific County Bar Association (Michael Scott Turner is President, I think) at 360.875.9990 may have information about pro bono legal services that may be available to you in Pacific County.

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  • How do I get my ex-husband to vacate the family residence awarded to me in final divorce order?

    Final decree filed on 2/4/2010, with CR 2(A) agreement entered into on 11/18/2009, indicating that wife receives family dwelling (quit claim deed signed by husband at purchase of house in 1/2004). CR 2(A) stated that husband would move out on or ...

    Susan’s Answer

    Your best option it to comply with the eviction procedures of the Residential Landlord-Tenant Act (RCW ch. 59.18 and RCW 59.12), and issue the Notice to Vacate, as it is quick and cost-effective. The requirements of the Landlord-Tenant Act must be followed to the letter, so care needs to be taken in issuing an serving all notices and pleadings. Alternatively, depending upon the precise language in your Decree, you could ask the Court for relief through a contempt proceeding if the requirement that he vacate is commanded in the Decree, but it is questionable as to whether the Court would have jurisdiction in a contempt proceeding to direct the issuance of a Writ of Restitution by the County Clerk to the Sheriff.

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  • In wa state if both parties want a divorce how quick can they get a divorce?

    been married wife kicked him out and they have a five year old daughter man wants to know how quick they can divorce if he goes along with it from date MOnday FEb 8, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Susan’s Answer

    By law, RCW 26.09.030, 90 days must elapse from the date of filing the petition by the wife under these facts and service upon or acceptance of service by the other party (husband here) before a fully agreed divorce can become final, assuming that the paperwork is then in proper form and the parties have complied with all applicable procedures (many counties in Washington, for instance, require each parent to complete a mandatory parenting seminar in all cases in which children are involved and a final parenting plan will be entered.)

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  • When is martial property stated at date of separation or date of divorce in Wa State.

    The value of assets from the date of separation or date of divorce

    Susan’s Answer

    Under RCW 26.16.140, earnings and accumulations of spouses living separate and apart are the separate property of each as of the date of separation. The defunct date, typically the date of separation is the determining date for placing the label on property (or debts for that matter) as either community or separate. Once the Court puts a label on the particular property, however, as either community or separate, the Court has the discretion to do whatever it deems appropriate under RCW 26.09.080 to achieve a "just and equitable" division". While the Court will typically preserve the separate asset for the party holding that asset, and focus its division on the marital (community) assets, in fairly extraordinary circumstances (long-term relationships, disparate earning capacities, substantial separate holdings of one spouse and minimal community assets, etc.) the Court may invade separate property.

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  • Debts and Liabilities whats what in the court of law?

    Ok so I just recived a notice that my soon to be ex husband filed a petition to get our debts and liabilites reviewed at a later time but this is a bit confusing to me as I have already given him most of the property that was obtained within and ...

    Susan’s Answer

    Under RCW 26.09.080, the Court is responsible for dividing your assets and debts (both community and separate) in a "just and equitable" manner upon evaluation of several factors balancing your comparative circumstances. It is not uncommon to state in the Petition for Dissolution/Legal Separation that the Court should determine the division of assets and/or liabilities at a later date, namely a trial. It is important for you to participate in the process, even if you ultimately reach a written agreement with your husband on the division of all of your assets and debts. If you have been served with a Summons, you have 20 days in which to file your Notice of Appearance with the Court (and give a copy to your husband or his lawyer) and then to file a formal written Response to the Petition. Even if the 20 days has passed, you can (and should ASAP) file the Notice of Appearance if an Order of Default has not been entered (if an Order of Default has been entered, you will need to ask the Court to set it aside). By a Notice of Appearance and the filing of a Response, you are entitled to participate in the proceedings, and, preferably with the assistance of a lawyer who is familar with the process, tell the Court what you believe is a fair division and to present the Court with evidence to support your position under the statutory factors of RCW 26.09.080. The key is not to delay, and obtain counsel to represent you in navigating the procedures.

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