Property in a Washington divorce is generally characterized as of the date was acquired, but the date of acquisition alone does not determine its character. The court must consider whether the property was acquired by community or separate funds. Additionally, spouses may agree to convert property that otherwise would have been separate property. A husband recently challenged a trial court’s characterization of certain assets and expenditures.
The appeals court’s unpublished opinion states the parties got married in 2004 in Arizona. Several years later, they signed a family trust agreement stating any property put in the trust would be community property. They bought a home in Washington in the name of the trust and moved into it in 2009. They subsequently rented that home out when they purchased another home, using funds from the trust for the down payment. The husband placed $820,000 he received from an arbitration related to his shares in his former employer in the trust’s bank account. The parties funded a new business from the trust. The business was successful, but closed in 2020 when its supplier went out of business.
The wife and child moved out in 2017 and the husband filed for divorce.