Washington Law Review




Washington case law has made some inroads into the insulation of community assets, based on policy considerations favoring alimony. In Fisch v. Marler, the husband's remarriage did not prevent his first wife from garnishing his salary to satisfy alimony obligations. In Stafford v. Stafford, however, the policy considerations were not sufficiently strong to allow the first wife to attach community real property acquired during the second marriage of the husband. Federal tax law has also diluted the immunity." The most recent and significant abrogation, however, is statutory. During the 1969 Extraordinary Session, the Washington Legislature rendered the community less inviolate by making the "earnings and accumulations" of each spouse liable for his antenuptial debts, provided the creditor secures judgment within three years of the marriage. The statute adds "[f]or the purpose of this section neither the husband nor the wife shall be construed to have any interest in the earnings of the other."' The statute allows antenuptial creditors access to what would otherwise be insulated community assets. This note addresses questions raised by the new statutory language—the meaning of "debts" and "accumulations", the impact of the statute if the marriage preceded the effective date of the statute (August 11, 1969) by less than three years, and the effects on the husband's role as community manager.

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