Community Property Agreement Rcw

If you are married or in a domestic partnership in the state of Washington, you may want to consider entering into a community property agreement (CPA) to define how assets and debts will be handled in the event of a divorce or death. RCW 26.16.120 outlines the requirements and provisions for creating a valid CPA.

A CPA is a legal agreement between spouses or partners that outlines how their assets and debts will be divided in the event of a separation, divorce, or death. It allows couples to customize their property rights and avoid the default rules of Washington`s community property laws.

To be valid, a CPA must be in writing and signed by both parties. It must also include a clear description of all the property that the spouses or partners want to classify as separate or community property. In addition, the CPA must be notarized and recorded in the county where the couple lives.

One of the main benefits of a CPA is that it allows couples to maintain separate property during the marriage or partnership. Separate property is any property that a spouse or partner owned before the marriage or partnership, acquired by gift or inheritance, or bought with separate funds. Without a CPA, all property acquired during the marriage or partnership automatically becomes community property, meaning it is owned equally by both parties.

Another benefit of a CPA is that it can facilitate a more straightforward division of property in the event of a divorce or death. By defining which assets and debts are separate or community property, a CPA can prevent disputes over property rights and simplify the property division process.

It is important to note that a CPA cannot be used to avoid creditors or defraud anyone. Any property acquired during the marriage or partnership is subject to community property laws, and a CPA cannot be used to shield assets from creditors or hide them from others.

Overall, a community property agreement can be a useful tool for couples who want to customize their property rights and simplify the property division process. If you are considering a CPA, it is important to consult with a qualified attorney to ensure that your agreement is valid and enforceable under Washington state law.