November 2019 Bar Bulletin
By Peder Punsalan-Teigen
Incident to almost every divorce is the division of personal and real property. Dividing property (especially tangible personal property) is often an extremely personal, and potentially contentious, exercise. A contested property division may result in bad faith noncooperation between the parties.
This article examines whether, in light of the 1980 case of In re Young,1 contempt is available to coerce compliance when one party willfully refuses to cooperate with a property division order.
Washington constitutional and statutory law provide two key principles that control property division enforcement. First, the constitution provides that no person can be imprisoned for nonpayment of a debt.2...