Like many people I watched the new Netflix/Tyler Perry movie A Fall from Grace. There was a lot of legal issues raised, several pertaining to family law. So how would those issues play out here in Washington State. Let’s find out shall we?
SPOILERS, if you have not seen the movie yet I suggest you stop reading and come back to this blog after you have.
- Let’s talk about the house. Grace had stated that the house had been hers and paid off for years. At one point her husband claims that now that they were married it was their house and he claim to it. Ummm, more than likely that would not be the case. That house was acquired and paid for in full before she ever married him. There is a strong argument that the house would be her separate property. Also him forging her signature is a crime, that does not change just because they are married.
- At some point after it is revealed that he stole her money and broken into her accounts, again a crime, he says that because of the state the live in he is entitled to that money as her husband. I believe the movie took place in Virginia. Virginia is not a community property state. Washington is a community property state; meaning that property acquired during marriage is considered community. Grace’s assets were acquired before marriage.
- It bugged me to no end to see him smugly sitting in her house after what he had done. So would he be able to do that? If you are at the point Grace was at divorce seems not only likely but necessary. If she had filed for divorce she could have gotten a temporary order or a restraining order getting him out of the house. With the evidence she had that shouldn’t be too hard.
While this was a fictional movie, it does raise some real life issues. If you are facing a divorce or another type of family law issue Sassy Litigations can help.