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The RCW Project 2004
An Analysis of the Benefits and Burdens of Marriage
Contained in the Revised Code of Washington

by Jamie D. Pedersen, Preston Gates and Ellis LLP
for the Legal Marriage Alliance of Washington


Executive Summary
The RCW Project is an attempt to identify those Washington statutes that grant rights or impose obligations dependent upon marital status. The original analysis, performed in 1997, included 360 such statutes. Since then, some have been repealed and many more have been added. Better software and improved search techniques have also uncovered a number of statutes that were omitted from the original analysis. The RCW Project 2004 found 423 such statutes, all of which are listed and briefly described in the attached table. The purpose of this summary is to describe some of the salient points identified in the study. Both the table and the summary should be used as they were intended: as a brief and simplified index to an enormous body of law. Because the statutes will continue to change, because many statutes have interpretive glosses imposed by regulators and the courts (which glosses are outside of the scope of the present phase of this study), and because the author has no special expertise in most of the diverse fields of law surveyed, this table should not be relied on by anyone seeking legal advice with regard to the topics covered. Such advice should come from lawyers engaged for that purpose and should involve review of the actual, current text of the statutes involved.

It should come as no surprise that the legislature has chosen to grant a number of very important benefits to married persons. Among these are: (1) the right to bring a wrongful death action (RCW 4.20); (2) a grant of spousal privilege (the right and duty not to testify against a spouse in most legal proceedings) (RCW 5.60.060); (3) inheritance rights, whether under the laws of intestacy (when someone dies without a will) (RCW 11.04), or overriding certain elections by those who have made wills (RCW 11.28); (4) the right to dissolution of the relationship and distribution of assets administered by a specialized court system (RCW 26.09); (5) community property (RCW 26.16); (6) protections for those who receive insurance benefits through their spouse (RCW 48.44); (7) rights on the death of a spouse, including the right to control autopsies and organ donations and the right to be buried next to one’s spouse (RCW 68.32); and (8) certain state tax benefits, such as a sales tax exemption for transfers made from one spouse to another in connection with a dissolution (RCW 82.45).

Other benefits, while not as important to the public at large, may be critical for certain classes of people. For example, spouses of public employees, including teachers, state patrol, police, firefighters, judges, and other civil servants have important pension benefits. Certain business licenses, including insurance agent licenses (RCW 48.17), liquor licenses (RCW 66.24), and various fishing licenses (including those for whiting, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers) (RCW 77.65-77.70), and gas station franchises (RCW 19.120) pass automatically and without charge to the surviving spouses of licensees or franchisees. The spouses of indigent veterans are entitled to various forms of public assistance (RCW 73.04). The spouses of graduate students at public universities are entitled to have their health insurance benefits paid (RCW 28B.10).

What is often overlooked is the degree to which marriage also imposes significant burdens on one or both of the parties. There are at least three ways that this happens. First and foremost, many statutes fix rights between the married persons in a way that by definition benefits one spouse and burdens the other. The laws governing community property are one obvious example of this phenomenon: each spouse is given certain rights to property that would otherwise belong solely to the other, and the net result of this reallocation helps one spouse at the expense of the other when the community property becomes separate, either on dissolution or death. Other examples include the numerous decisions that one spouse cannot make without the consent of the other, such as elections of the form in which one will receive pension benefits.

A second set of burdens resembles the “marriage penalty” that is often discussed in connection with the federal income tax. On any number of statutes in which the income of those covered is important, there are different scales for married people and single people, and the scales for married people are not the same as the sum of those for two single people. These include rules governing garnishment (RCW 6.15), eligibility for a subsidy in the state Basic Health Plan (RCW 70.47), and eligibility for senior citizen campsite rental discounts (RCW 79A.05). In addition, a surprisingly large number of statutes impose a “remarriage penalty”: rights held by a surviving spouse based on one marriage may be lost if the surviving spouse chooses to remarry. These include pension benefits for surviving spouses of many public employees (RCW 2.10, 2.12, 41.18, 41.20, 41.24, 41.32, and 41.44) and the right to special license plates for the spouses of Pearl Harbor survivors (RCW 46.16.305) and free license plates for the surviving spouses of prisoners of war (RCW 73.04).

A third category of burdens on married persons involves attempts by the legislature to protect the public from fraud or nepotism. Among such statutes are those requiring that public members of various professional licensing boards not be married to members of the regulated profession (e.g. RCW 18.118.020), forbidding spouses of lottery employees or officials from participating in the state lottery (RCW 67.70.180), and requiring professional fundraisers to make a disclosure if he or she is married to an officer of an entity that will receive 10 percent or more of the fundraising proceeds (RCW 19.09.097).

It should not be forgotten that many other benefits and burdens are tied to federal law (over 1100, according to a recent GAO study) and as such are outside of the scope of this study. These include immigration and tax laws, social security and veterans’ benefits, civil and military service benefits, bankruptcy protections, and various employment benefits.

An Analysis of the Benefits and Burdens of Marriage
Contained in the Revised Code of Washington - as of 2004
Statute Area of Law Summary Benefit/
Burden
Financial
Effect
Comments
RCW 2.10.140 Public Employees (Judges) surviving spouse of judge with accumulated service receive pension benefits if married two years before death Benefit state $  
RCW 2.10.144 Public Employees (Judges) surviving spouse of judge who dies before retirement paid accumulated contributions as default recipient (overrides election before marriage) Benefit state $  
RCW 2.10.146 Public Employees (Judges) spouses must consent to judge’s election of form of pension benefits Benefit/ Burden state $  
RCW 2.10.165 Public Employees (Judges) surviving spouses of pre-1988 retirees eligible for refunds of some retirement contributions Benefit state $  
RCW 2.12.030 Public Employees (Judges) surviving spouse married to judge for three years or before retirement receives pension if spouse remains unmarried Benefit/ Burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 2.12.048 Public Employees (Judges) surviving spouses of pre-1988 retirees eligible for refunds of some retirement contributions Benefit state $  
RCW 2.14.110 Public Employees (Judges) surviving spouse is default recipient of contributions to retirement system Benefit state $  
RCW 4.08.030 Right of Action either husband or wife may sue for community, except that spouse with personal injuries or who performed services is a necessary party Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 4.08.040 Right of Action spouse has a right to join in all actions affecting spouse or self Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 4.20.020 Torts/Death spouse is a beneficiary of a wrongful death action Benefit $ (not state) key benefit
RCW 4.20.046 Right of Action/Death all actions survive to personal representatives, but certain damages recoverable only by surviving spouse/children Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 4.20.060 Torts/Death personal injury actions do not abate on death where spouse survives Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 4.24.130 Prisoners prisoners have a right to a change of name on dissolution Benefit no $  
RCW 5.60.060 Evidence spousal privilege: one spouse cannot be examined against other without consent, and neither can be examined with regard to communications during marriage (even after) without consent Benefit no $ key benefit
RCW 6.13.020 Creditors Rights husband and wife may not claim same premises to increase value of homestead exemption above that available to community Burden $ (not state)  
RCW 6.13.060 Community Property married person cannot convey or encumber homestead without consent of spouse Benefit/ Burden no $  
RCW 6.13.080 Creditors Rights homestead exemption not available in certain situations Benefit/ Burden no $  
RCW 6.13.210 Community Property on incompetency or disability of one spouse, other must seek a court order allowing sale or conveyance Benefit/ Burden no $  
RCW 6.15.010 Creditors Rights property exempt from execution or garnishment: amounts same for individual or married couple Burden $ (not state) marriage penalty
RCW 6.15.025 Creditors Rights pension or retirement plan benefits exempt from execution for judgment for out-of state income tax Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 6.15.040 Creditors Rights Spouse property exempt from execution, attachment, garnishment from judgment against other spouse Benefit $  
RCW 6.15.050 Creditors Rights personal property exemption in bankruptcy limited if spouse has previously declared bankruptcy Burden $ (not state)  
RCW 6.27.140 Creditors Rights higher exemption from garnishment if supporting new spouse Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 6.27.150 Creditors Rights higher exemption from garnishment if supporting a new spouse Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 7.36.020 Guardianship/ Right of Action spouse has right to writ of habeas corpus to enforce rights of or protect disabled or incompetent spouse Benefit no $  
RCW 7.68.070 Torts/ Criminal Law married victims allowed higher victim benefits than unmarried Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 7.68.075 Torts/ Criminal Law victim benefits based on marital status at time of crime Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 7.69.030 Criminal Law/ Victims’ Rights survivors (including spouses) have right to: statement of rights, information on disposition of case; protection from harm; secure waiting areas; etc. Benefit no $  
RCW 7.70.065 Health Care spouse can give informed consent for health care decisions of incompetent spouse Benefit $ (not state) can grant by private contract
RCW 9.46.231 Criminal Law/ Seizure gambling property may be seized, but not community property interest of non-participating spouse Benefit no $  
RCW 9.58.090 Criminal Law threat to libel or blackmail to prevent publication is a misdemeanor, including about one’s spouse Benefit no $  
RCW 9.68.070 Criminal Law Defense if minor was accompanied by parent or parent’s spouse Benefit No $  
RCW 9.68.080 Criminal Law Unlawful to misrepresent yourself as spouse of parent of minor Burden No $  
RCW 9.94A.612 Criminal Law next of kin of victim, including spouse, notified on release of violent inmates and sex offenders Benefit No $  
RCW 9A.16.060 Criminal Law Duress defense not established by showing married person acted on command of spouse Burden No $  
RCW 9A.40.030
-
RCW 9A.40.070
Criminal Law if actor is relative of abductee, kidnapping (class B felony) becomes custodial interference (gross misdemeanor) Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.050 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Rape 2 of resident of state institution Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.060 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Rape 3 (no consent needed for sexual intercourse between married persons) Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.073 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Child Rape 1 Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.076 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Child Rape 2 Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.079 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Child Rape 3 Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.083 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Child Molestation 1 Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.086 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Child Molestation 2 Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.089 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Child Molestation 3 Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.093 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Sexual Misconduct with a Minor 1 Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.096 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Sexual Misconduct with a Minor 2 Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.44.100 Criminal Law marriage is a defense to Indecent Liberties Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.64.010 Criminal Law Bigamy – guilty of bigamy for multiple marriages Burden No $  
RCW 9A.76.070 Criminal Law rendering criminal assistance 1 is a gross misdemeanor if by relative (incl. by marriage), otherwise class C felony Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.76.080 Criminal Law rendering criminal assistance 2 is a misdemeanor if by relative (incl. by marriage), otherwise a gross misdemeanor Benefit no $  
RCW 9A.83.030 Criminal Law/Seizure community property interest in property of non-participating spouse cannot be forfeited Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 10.77.205 Criminal Law notice of release of violent or sex offenders found not guilty by reason of insanity sent to spouse of victim Benefit no $  
RCW 10.101.020 Civil Rights/Right to Counsel determination of indigency for purposes of eligibility for state-appointed counsel does not depend on resources of friends or relatives except spouse Burden state $ marriage penalty
RCW 11.02.005 Probate heirs are persons, including surviving spouse, who are entitled to inherit under laws of intestate succession Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.02.070 Probate/Community Property on death, spouse gets ½ of community property; the other half is subject to testamentary disposition Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.02.100 Corporations/Community Property Shares of a married person may be transferred without signature of spouse. Burden $  
RCW 11.02.120 Corporations/Community Property transfer agent may transfer shares at request of surviving spouse Benefit no $  
RCW 11.04.095 Probate can avoid escheat if issue by former spouse and no heirs of surviving later-deceased spouse Benefit state $  
RCW 11.04.015 Probate if decedent dies intestate, surviving spouse entitled to 50-100% of estate Benefit $ (not state) Key Benefit
RCW 11.04.290 Real Property/ Probate title to real property passes immediately on death of husband or wife Benefit no $  
RCW 11.07.010 Family Law/ Probate dissolution of marriage revokes designation of former spouse under life insurance, pension, and other non-probate assets, unless expressly provided otherwise or required by law Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.10.010 Probate Spouses shares of property abate equally Benefit $  
RCW 11.12.051 Probate/ Family Law gifts by will to spouse revoked on dissolution, revived by remarriage Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.12.095 Probate if spouse is not named in will made before marriage, omitted spouse receives intestate distribution (unless will clearly provides otherwise) Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.12.180 Probate Rule in Shelly’s case abolished: surviving spouse considered an heir even if remarried Benefit no $  
RCW 11.28.030 Probate surviving spouse entitled to letters testamentary to administer community property Benefit no $ key benefit
RCW 11.28.120 Probate default administration of estate (if intestate, or no personal representative) first to surviving spouse Benefit no $  
RCW 11.28.131 Probate surviving spouse must be notified before anyone else may be given letters testamentary Benefit no $  
RCW11.28.185 Probate persons other than surviving spouse who inherits entire estate must post bond before serving as personal representative Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.54.010 Probate Surviving spouse may petition court for award of property of decedent. benefit $  
RCW 11.54.020 Probate Award amount depends on dividing between spouse and children. Burden $  
RCW 11.54.030 Probate No award to spouse who killed decedent. Burden $  
RCW 11.54.050 Probate Award to surviving spouse is discretionary burden $  
RCW 11.54.070 Probate Property awarded immune from debts of decedent and surviving spouse benefit $  
RCW 11.62.030 Probate surviving spouse entitled to deposits up to $1000 by deceased spouse with any credit union benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.66.010 Probate social security benefits paid to surviving spouse up to $1000 per month free and clear from estate benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.68.011 Probate Spouse is intestate decedent’s personal representative benefit $  
RCW 11.76.080 Probate need to appoint guardian for minor child interested in estate waived if surviving spouse is the parent benefit no $  
RCW 11.80.010 Probate if absentee owner of property, court may have hearing and appoint trustee, preferring spouse above all others benefit no $  
RCW 11.80.050 Probate absentee-owned property may be sold for allowance/ maintenance of spouse benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.80.130 Probate spouse of absentee may, on petition to court, sell property up to $5000 benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.88.010 Guardianship venue for appointment of guardians lies in county of residence of spouse benefit no $ Effective until Jan. 1, 2006
RCW 11.88.040 Guardianship spouse entitled to notice of guardianship proceeding benefit no $  
RCW 11.88.090 Guardianship spouse (and persons with a significant, continuing interest in welfare of person) entitled to copy of report of guardian ad litem benefit no $ partners could have benefit by court ruling
RCW 11.88.125 Guardianship spouse entitled to notice of designation of standby guardian or limited guardian benefit no $  
RCW 11.94.010 Health Care/ Guardianship Physicians and employees of health care providers cannot act as attorneys in fact for a patient of the health care provider unless the patient is a spouse benefit no $  
RCW 11.94.080 Probate Spouse power of attorney dissolves with dissolution of marriage burden No $  
RCW 11.94.140 Probate Spouse entitled to notice of hearing benefit No $  
RCW 11.95.120 Trusts other code sections do not limit or restrict the distribution of trust income that qualifies for the marital deduction benefit $ (not state) tied to federal law
RCW 11.96A.120 Trusts Living person represents virtually surviving spouse benefit No $  
RCW 11.98.230 Trusts other code sections do not limit or restrict distribution of income that could qualify under marital deduction benefit $ (not state) tied to federal law
RCW 11.100.025 Trusts certain trusts to provide annual income to spouse give power to spouse to require that unproductive trust assets be made productive benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 11.104A.220 Trusts Marital deduction for all or part of trust must provide spouse with sufficient income benefit $  
RCW 11.108.025 Trusts fiduciary has power to make elections to qualify trust property for marital deduction benefit $ (not state) tied to federal
RCW 11.108.040 Trusts courts shall interpret instruments pre-1981 to take advantage of federal marital deduction change in 1981 benefit $ (not state) tied to federal
RCW 11.108.050 Trusts if intention of grantor is to make marital deduction apply, then conditions imposed on trust to make it apply benefit $ (not state) tied to federal
RCW 11.108.060 Trusts if marital deduction gift, then survivorship requirement limited to 6 months benefit $ (not state) tied to federal
RCW 13.34.110 Family Law/ Custody all adults related by marriage to child entitled to notice of custody hearing benefit no $  
RCW 13.40.215 Criminal Law/ Juveniles next of kin (including spouse) of victim entitled to notice of release of offender benefit no $  
RCW 13.40.220 Criminal Law/ Juveniles parent freed from obligation to pay costs of support, treatment, and confinement of juvenile offender where spouse was victim of offense benefit state $  
RCW 18.35.150 Licensed Professions public members of Board of Hearing and Speech cannot have been married to members of certain occupations burden no $  
RCW 18.96.040 Licensed Professions public members of Landscape Architecture licensing board cannot have a spouse who makes livelihood from landscape architecture burden no $  
RCW 18.118.020 Licensed Professions definition of “public member” excludes form professional boards those with spouses in the profession burden no $  
RCW 18.120.020 Licensed Professions definition of “public member” of boards of health professions cannot be spouse of member of health profession being regulated burden no $  
RCW 19.09.097 Licensed Professions/ Charitable Organizations disclosure required if professional fundraiser related by marriage to officer of entities to which 10% or more of proceeds will be paid burden no $  
RCW 19.16.250 Licensed Professionals collection agencies presumed to be engaged in forbidden harassment if they contact debtor or spouse three or more times in one week at his or her place of residence benefit no $  
RCW 19.40.041 Creditors’ Rights transfers by debtors to insiders, as defined by RCW 19.40.011 (including spouses) may be presumed fraudulent burden $ (not state)  
RCW 19.40.051 Creditors’ Rights transfers by insolvent debtors to insiders for antecedent debts are fraudulent burden $ (not state)  
RCW 19.72.030 Suretyship surety must have separate property for bond, unless spouse joins burden no $  
RCW 19.98.120 Franchises/ Dealership supplier must honor a succession agreement entered into by a dealer even if it designates someone other than the surviving spouse benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 19.120.040 Franchises/ Dealerships gas station franchises pass automatically to surviving spouse or other permitted designee benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 19.205.030 Structured Settlement Payments welfare of spouse must be taken into account in approving transfer of payment rights benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 19.205.050 Structured Settlement Payments spouse entitled to notice and opportunity to object before any transfer of payment rights benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 21.20.310 Securities exemption from registration for securities of nonprofit distributed only to members and relatives benefit no $  
RCW 23B.08.700 Corporations required disclosure of director conflicts includes conflicts of spouse (or individual having the same home) burden no $ may apply without marriage
RCW 23B.19.020 Corporations may have beneficial ownership through spouse burden no $  
RCW 26.09.015 Family Law parties may use mediator for dissolution proceedings benefit state $  
RCW 26.09.030 Family Law courts authorized to grant dissolution of marriage, decree of legal separation in lieu of dissolution, or dismiss a dissolution petition benefit no $  
RCW 26.09.040 Family Law courts have authority to declare a marriage invalid and to provide for maintenance, a parenting plan, and a division of property benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 26.09.050 Family Law courts directed to grant relief including disposition of property, name changes, and the issuing of restraining orders benefit no $  
RCW 26.09.060 Family Law temporary maintenance and restraining orders available during dissolution proceedings benefit no $  
RCW 26.09.070 Family Law parties to marriage may make separation contracts, and courts must honor unless unfair or a child support concern benefit no $  
RCW 26.09.080 Family Law court makes a just and equitable distribution of property on dissolution; factors considered benefit/ burden $ (not state) key benefit
RCW 26.09.090 Family Law court may grant maintenance to either spouse; factors considered benefit/ burden $ (not state) key benefit
RCW 26.09.100 Family Law court in dissolution proceeding must enter child support order benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.09.105 Family Law court in dissolution proceeding may order one or both parents to provide health care insurance to children burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.09.110 Family Law court may appoint attorney to represent children in dissolution (parents or county pay) benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 26.09.120 Family Law court in dissolution proceeding must order maintenance payments to be made to the entitled person or to the court clerk as trustee benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.09.138 Family Law if maintenance obligation is paid late, can get a mandatory assignment of public retirement benefits burden/ benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 26.09.140 Family Law court may order one party in a dissolution proceeding to pay attorneys fees to the other party benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.09.150 Family Law procedure for and finality of dissolution decree; right to change of name benefit no $  
RCW 26.09.170 Family Law maintenance payments to former spouse terminate upon spouse’s death or remarriage benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.09.181 Family Law establishes procedure for submitting a parenting plan in a dissolution proceeding benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.09.184 Family Law permanent parenting plan approved during dissolution proceeding must contain dispute resolution procedure, allocate decision making authority and establish residential provisions for child benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.09.187 Family Law establishes the criteria for drafting a permanent parenting plan during dissolution proceeding benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.09.191 Family Law court in dissolution proceeding must limit rights of a parent who has abused or abandoned the child or who has a history of domestic violence benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.09.194 Family Law procedure for entry of temporary parenting plan benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.09.197 Family Law establishes criteria for court to evaluate a temporary parenting plan in a dissolution proceeding benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.09.255 Family Law a relative who has visitation rights, including a souse, may bring civil action against any other relative who takes, entices or conceals a child benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.09.290 Family Law court may order a decree of divorce nunc pro tunc benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.12.172 Family Law battered spouses have the right to alternative voluntary parenting seminar benefit no $  
RCW 26.12.190 Family Law family court may use any of a variety of services in an attempt to preserve a marriage benefit $  
RCW 26.12.220 Family Law counties may pay for family court services with increase in marriage license fee benefit no $  
RCW 26.16.010 Community Property husband’s pre-marriage, gift, and inheritance property not subject to debts and contracts of wife benefit/ burden $ (not state) gender specific
RCW 26.16.020 Community Property wife’s pre-marriage, gift, and inheritance property not subject to debts and contracts of husband benefit/ burden $ (not state) gender specific
RCW 26.16.030 Community Property definition of and restrictions on disposition of community property benefit/ burden $ (not state) Key Benefit
RCW 26.16.050 Community Property spouse may turn community property into separate property of the other spouse by giving it as a gift benefit $ (not state) gender specific
RCW 26.16.090 Community Property spouse may execute a letter of attorney giving the other spouse or a third person power to dispose of community property benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.16.100 Community Property may record instrument with auditor asserting community interest in real property where record title is in name of spouse benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.16.120 Community Property spouses may enter into an agreement concerning the disposition of community property benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.16.140 Community Property money and accumulations earned by spouses living apart are separate property benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.16.190 Community Property no recovery against the separate property of the other spouse except in cases where there would be joint responsibility if the marriage did not exist benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 26.16.200 Community Property Neither spouse is liable for the prenuptial or separate debts of the other benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 26.16.205 Community Property obligation to support stepchildren during marriage ceases on dissolution benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.16.220 Community Property quasi-community property is property that would have been community if decedent had been domiciled in Washington benefit no $  
RCW 26.16.230 Community Property one half of quasi-community property of decedent belongs to surviving spouse benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 26.16.240 Community Property certain lifetime transfers of quasi-community property interests may be undone benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 26.16.250 Community Property characterization of property as quasi-community only important for determining disposition at time of death, and may be waived by agreement benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.18.030 Family Law remedies cumulative to ensure support for dependent children benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 26.19.071 Family Law income to be considered in determining child support obligations does not include income from spouse benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.19.075 Family Law income of new spouse may be considered in deviating from child support agreement where remarried spouse is asking for deviation benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.20.035 Family Law/ Criminal Law gross misdemeanor not to provide support to spouse if able benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 26.20.071 Family Law/ Evidence exception to spousal privilege in nonsupport/desertion actions benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.20.080 Family Law proof of nonsupport is prima facie evidence of willfulness benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.26.116 Family Law presumption of paternity of the father if the birth is during the marriage, within 300 days of the end of the marriage, or if parents believed they were married benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.26.710 Family Law husband is considered the father of a child from artificial insemination if consent filed benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.26.715 Family Law husband and wife must sign consent to assisted reproduction by a married woman; failure of husband to sign consent does not preclude a finding that he is the father benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.26.720 Family Law husbands of wives who give birth by assisted reproduction have only limited rights to challenge paternity benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.26.725 Family Law following dissolution, the donor spouse in assisted reproduction is not the parent unless a consent is signed benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 26.26.730 Family Law following death, the donor spouse in assisted reproduction is not the parent unless a consent is signed      
RCW 26.28.020 Family Law minors married to persons of full age are themselves deemed to be of full age benefit no $  
RCW 26.33.100 Family Law may seek termination of parent-child relationship to adopt child of spouse benefit no $  
RCW 26.33.150 Family Law adoption petitions by married persons must be joined by spouse burden no $  
RCW 26.33.220 Family Law certain post-adoption reports not required if adoptee is spouse’s child benefit no $  
RCW 26.50.010 Family Law definition of family or household members includes spouses benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 28B.10.400 Public Employees surviving spouse must consent for any other person to be pension beneficiary in higher education system benefit state $  
RCW 28B.10.401 Public Employees higher education employees eligible to elect annuities for spouse benefit state $  
RCW 28B.10.431 Public Employees annuities/pensions increased for higher education employees benefit state $  
RCW 28B.10.567 Public Employees death benefits to higher education police officers killed in the line of duty benefit state $  
RCW 28B.10.660 Public Employees/ Higher Education graduate students may have health insurance benefits of spouses paid benefit state $  
RCW 28B.15.012 Higher Education spouses of active duty military stationed in Washington considered residents benefit state $ subject to federal military law
RCW 28B.15.014 Higher Education spouse of faculty exempt from nonresident tuition differential benefit state $  
RCW 28B.50.259 Higher Education spouses of dislocated forest products workers eligible for tuition and fee waivers benefit state $  
RCW 30.22.190 Financial Institutions can pay out deposits to surviving spouse if recorded community property agreement or if deposits less than $2500 benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 31.12.365 Loan Agencies directors and members of Credit Union councils may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred by themselves and their spouses benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 35.21.015 Cities and Towns committees setting city officials’ salaries may not include spouses of any city officials burden no $  
RCW 35.54.100 Taxes surviving spouse allowed to continue deferral of LID fees benefit state $  
RCW 36.17.024 Counties committees setting county officials’ salaries may not include spouses of any county officials burden no $  
RCW 38.52.300 Torts surviving spouse has right of action for death of emergency worker spouse benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 41.04.020 Public Employees payroll deductions authorized for IRAs selected by spouse benefit state $  
RCW 41.04.580 Public Employees permissive redress by municipalities to surviving spouse of employees terminated in connection with the Japanese internment benefit state $  
RCW 41.05.065 Public Employees long-term care insurance available for parents of spouses benefit state $  
RCW 41.05.080 Public Employees surviving spouses of emergency service personnel killed in the line of duty may participate in state insurance plans and contracts. benefit state $  
RCW 41.05.085 Public Employees potential subsidy for insurance benefits for spouses of retired or disabled state employees eligible for Medicare. benefit state $  
RCW 41.05.090 Public Employees spouses of covered employees have right to transfer to individual coverage with no waiting period benefit no $  
RCW 41.06.150 Public Employees preferences in reemployment for surviving spouses of veterans benefit no $  
RCW 41.16.140 Public Employees (Firemen) right to payout of contribution and interest minus payments on death of firefighter spouse benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 41.16.160 Public Employees (Firemen) payout to spouse of greater of contribution or $1000 on death of firefighter not in line of duty benefit state $  
RCW 41.18.040 Public Employees (Firemen) widow or widower has right to receive pension of retired firefighter, but remarriage terminates right benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.18.045 Public Employees (Firemen) surviving spouse of firefighter gets pension of firefighter who was eligible to retire, but had not yet retired; but remarriage terminates right benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.18.100 Public Employees (Firemen) surviving spouse has right to receive pension of firefighter, but remarriage terminates right benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.18.130 Public Employees (Firemen) fireman and spouse can elect to get vested benefits after 20 years of service benefit state $  
RCW 41.20.080 Public Employees (Police) police spouses entitled to pension on death in line of duty, but right terminates on remarriage benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.20.085 Public Employees (Police) right to receive police pension of surviving spouse, but terminates on remarriage benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.20.090 Public Employees (Police) right of surviving spouse of police officer to lump sum payment of $1000 benefit state $  
RCW 41.20.150 Public Employees (Police) police can opt to retire as vested at 20 years; spouse gets same benefits benefit state $  
RCW 41.20.180 Public Employees (Police) pensions and benefits under 41.20 not subject to any attachment except upon dissolution benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 41.24.150 Public Employees (Firefighters) disabled firefighter with spouse entitled to extra disability payments benefit state $  
RCW 41.24.160 Public Employees (Volunteer Firefighters) death benefit paid to surviving spouse of firefighter who dies in the line of duty; but right terminates on remarriage benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.24.172 Public Employees (Volunteer Firefighters) pension options depend on nature of payment to surviving spouse benefit state $  
RCW 41.24.180 Public Employees (Volunteer Firefighters) upon death of unvested volunteer firefighter, contributions to pension fund returned in lump sum to surviving spouse benefit state $  
RCW 41.24.240 Public Employees (Volunteer Firefighters) pensions and benefits under 41.24 not subject to any attachment except upon dissolution benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 41.24.245 Public Employees (Volunteer Firefighters) assignment of payments to spouse under court order on dissolution is not subject to challenge benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 41.26.048 Public Employees (Police & Firefighters) when no designated beneficiary, spouse is default recipient of $150K death benefit for death of firefighter in line of duty benefit state $ can accomplish by private action
RCW 41.26.090 Public Employees (Police & Firefighters) fire and police pension contributions paid to surviving spouse on death benefit state $  
RCW 41.26.160 Public Employees (Police & Firefighters) surviving spouse of fire or police with over 20 years who has either been married for one year or more or whose spouse died in the line of duty entitled to pension benefit state $  
RCW 41.26.161 Public Employees (Police & Firefighters) in event of nonduty death of member in active service, or vested with 20+ service credit years, or on disability leave or retired, surviving spouse is entitled to receive a monthly allowance of 50% of final average salary, or, amount of retirement allowance; not eligible if not lawfully married to member for one year prior to retirement or separation from service benefit state $  
RCW 41.26.162 Public Employees (Police & Firefighters) ex-spouses may qualify as surviving spouses for fire/police benefits if marriage of sufficient duration or court order benefit state $  
RCW 41.26.164 Public Employees (Police & Firefighters) actuarially reduced benefits provided for spouses ineligible for survivor benefits benefit state $  
RCW 41.26.460 Public Employees (Police & Firefighters) retirement allowance to surviving spouse, and spouse must consent to election of pension system benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 41.26.470 Public Employees (Police & Firefighters) surviving spouse is default recipient of police/fire disability allowance benefit state $ can accomplish by private action
RCW 41.26.510 Public Employees (Police & Firefighters) surviving spouse of fire or police who die entitled to benefits benefit state $  
RCW 41.28.170 Public Employees (Cities) city employee pension elections depend on payment to surviving spouse benefit state $  
RCW 41.28.205 Public Employees/ Family Law (Cities) any benefits in RCW 41 may be subject to dissolution order benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 41.28.207 Public Employees (Cities) board can pay pension to spouse or ex-spouse under court order benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 41.32.053 Public Employees (Cities) surviving spouses of teachers are default recipients of death benefit of $150K when death is result of injuries sustained in course of employment benefit state $  
RCW 41.32.520 Public Employees (Teachers) surviving spouses of teachers entitled to retirement benefits, but terminate on remarriage benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.32.530 Public Employees (Teachers) teachers must have consent of spouse to make pension elections burden/ benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 41.32.785 Public Employees (Teachers) teachers must have spousal consent for pension election if married benefit state $  
RCW 41.32.790 Public Employees (Teachers) surviving spouse is default recipient of earned disability allowance benefits benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 41.32.805 Public Employees (Teachers) surviving spouse is default recipient of pension contributions benefit state $  
RCW 41.32.851 Public Employees (Teachers) spouse must consent to pension election of employee benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 41.32.895 Public Employees (Teachers) surviving spouse eligible for retirement allowance if member dies before retired benefit state $  
RCW 41.34.070 Public Employees surviving spouse is default recipient of distribution of balance in pension fund benefit state $  
RCW 41.35.115 Public Employees (Washington School Employees) surviving spouses of Washington School Employee members are default recipients of death benefit of $150K when death is result of injuries sustained in course of employment benefit state $  
RCW 41.35.220 Public Employees (Washington School Employees) spouses of retired WSE members are default recipients of retirement allowance if member dies before total of retirement allowance paid equals total amount of accumulated contributions benefit state $  
RCW 41.35.440 Public Employees (Washington School Employees) spouse of disabled employee is default recipient of disability allowance if member dies before total of retirement allowance paid equals total amount of accumulated contributions benefit state $  
RCW 41.35.460 Public Employees (Washington School Employees) surviving spouse is recipient of amount of accumulated contributions in retirement system when member with more than 10 years of service dies benefit state $  
RCW 41.35.710 Public Employees (Washington School Employees) surviving spouse receives a retirement allowance if member dies prior to retirement benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.023 Public Employees persons employed by an institution of higher learning or community college, if employment is an incident to the education or training of a spouse, are not eligible to participate in Retirement program burden no $  
RCW 41.40.0931 Public Employees surviving spouse of deceased fire fighter or law enforcement officer is default recipient of $150K death benefit benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.0932 Public Employees surviving spouse is default recipient of $150K death benefit if member of Public Employees Retirement System died as a result of injuries sustained in the course of employment benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.185 Public Employees surviving spouses of deceased legislators entitled to minimum pension benefits benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.188 Public Employees surviving spouse is default recipient and must consent to pension option benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 41.40.190 Public Employees surviving spouses of elected state officials entitled to minimum pension benefits benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.220 Public Employees surviving spouse is default recipient of balance of disability pension benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.235 Public Employees surviving spouse is default recipient of accumulated contributions to pension fund benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.250 Public Employees surviving spouse is default recipient of accumulated contributions to disability pension benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.270 Public Employees surviving spouse is default beneficiary of excess accumulated contributions benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.660 Public Employees must have written consent of spouse for election of pension options benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 41.40.670 Public Employees surviving spouse is default recipient of accumulated but unpaid earned disability allowance benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.700 Public Employees surviving spouse is default recipient of accumulated contributions benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.835 Public Employees surviving spouse is recipient of actuarially reduced retirement allowance upon death of member of Washington Public Employees’ Retirement System benefit state $  
RCW 41.40.845 Public Employees spouse must consent to retirement election; spouse may be designated as a survivor beneficiary if marriage took place post-retirement; dissolution agreement made before retirement can apply to division of retirement benefits between the spouses benefit state $  
RCW 41.44.170 Public Employees surviving spouse is pension beneficiary, but loses right if remarries benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.44.190 Public Employees surviving spouse receives pension benefits, but loses them on remarriage benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.44.210 Public Employees pension for surviving spouse of one who dies in line of duty; terminates on remarriage benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 41.44.220 Public Employees surviving spouse may elect cash refund of accumulated, unpaid contributions benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 41.44.240 Public Employees only attachment of state pension benefits is for child support and dissolution/maintenance benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 41.50.530 Public Employees spousal maintenance through mandatory benefits assignment order may be obtained by filing or motion for such benefits benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 41.50.540 Public Employees establishes consequences for past due deliveries of spousal maintenance including a mandatory assignment order benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 41.50.550 Public Employees ex-spouse entitled to maintenance can request to be notified if the ex-spouse member of retirement program seeks a withdrawal of accumulated contributions benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 41.50.560 Public Employees ex-spouse can request mandatory benefits assignment order if retirement program ex-spouse is more than 15 days past due in amount exceeding $100 benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 41.50.650 Public Employees spouses/ ex-spouses have right to direct payments of mandatory benefits benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 41.50.700 Public Employees Department of Retirement Systems is obligated to provide direct payments to nonmember ex-spouse for the lifetime of the member’s surviving spouse benefit state $  
RCW 41.54.034 Public Employees surviving spouses of members of dual systems entitled to combine contributions to determine payments benefit state $  
RCW 41.68.020 Public Employees spouses of state employees terminated because of EO 9066 entitled to reparations benefit state $  
RCW 42.17.180 Elections/ Public Officials employers of registered lobbyists must report gifts to immediate family (incl. spouses) of public officials burden no $  
RCW 42.17.241 Elections/ Voting gifts to spouse deemed gifts to official for purposes of reporting requirements burden no $  
RCW 42.23.030 Public Officials spouses of school district officials and hospital district commissioners prohibited from some contracts with school district unless certain conditions apply burden no $  
RCW 42.52.040 Public Officials state officers and employees may not help others in transactions with state, but may help spouse and children benefit no $  
RCW 43.03.305 Public Officials members of state commission on salaries for elected officials cannot be spouse of official, employee, or lobbyist burden no $  
RCW 43.20B.120 Death if department of social and health services gives funeral assistance, six-year lien against assets left to surviving spouse benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 43.20B.330 Public Assistance spouse of person committed to mental hospital is liable to reimburse state for costs burden state $  
RCW 43.20B.430 Public Assistance if able, residents of residential rehabilitation centers must pay for care; notice and finding of responsibility to spouse burden state $  
RCW 43.43.270 Public Employees state patrol retirement: surviving spouse entitled to benefits, and if multiple patrol spouses, get highest of salaries benefit state $  
RCW 43.43.271 Public Employees surviving spouse default recipient of retirement allowance upon death of state patrol member; spouse must consent to election benefit state $  
RCW 43.43.278 Public Employees state patrol department of retirement systems to adopt rules to allow a member to select an actuarially equivalent retirement option to pay surviving spouse a reduced retirement allowance benefit state $  
RCW 43.43.280 Public Employees pension contributions by state patrol go to designee only if no surviving spouse benefit state $  
RCW 43.43.285 Public Employees if state patrol officer dies in line of duty, $150K death benefit paid to designee or surviving spouse benefit state $ can achieve by private action
RCW 43.43.310 Public Employees if state patrol officer with less than 10 years of service dies, accumulated contributions to retirement system are, by default, paid to surviving spouse; if member eligible for retirement, or, member with more than 10 years of service dies, surviving spouse may elect an actuarially reduced retirement allowance, or, accumulated contributions benefit state $  
RCW 43.185A.010 Public Assistance first time home buyer is an individual or spouse who has not owned a home during the previous three years burden state $  
RCW 46.16.305 Motor Vehicles special license plates for surviving spouses of Pearl Harbor survivors; lose on remarriage benefit/ burden no $ remarriage penalty
RCW 46.20.027 Motor Vehicles driver's licenses issued to spouses of service members remain valid and in force while service member serves unless revoked for cause benefit no $  
RCW 46.29.080 Motor vehicles car owner protected from security requirements if vehicle operated without permission, but permission deemed granted if spouse Burden no $  
RCW 46.55.120 Motor vehicles when spouse of operator of impounded vehicle is subject to economic or personal hardship, spouse is entitled to redeem vehicles or other items of personal property, taking into account public safety factors including operator’s criminal history and driving record Benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 46.70.090 Motor vehicles spouses of car dealers have right to use dealer plates Benefit state $  
RCW 46.96.220 Motor vehicles motor vehicle manufacturer or distributor with franchise agreement loses right of first refusal for proposed sale or transfer of motor vehicle dealership, when sale is to spouse Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 48.17.510 Insurance spouse may receive insurance agent’s or broker’s temporary license on death or sickness of licensed spouse Benefit no $  
RCW 48.18.020 Insurance minors over 15 have power to make insurance contracts for self or spouse Benefit no $  
RCW 48.18.060 Insurance spouse has right to insure life or disability of spouse without consent Benefit no $  
RCW 48.18.375 Insurance may assign rights under group insurance policy to spouse Benefit no $  
RCW 48.18.440 Insurance life insurance policy made payable to spouse of insured inures to the separate use and benefit of such spouse, except that beneficial interest of a spouse in a policy upon life of a child of the spouses is deemed a community interest Benefit no $  
RCW 48.20.490 Insurance spouse has right to continue disability insurance coverage after termination of marriage without physical, etc. Benefit no $  
RCW 48.21.260 Insurance spouses have same conversion rights for group disability policies as members Benefit no $  
RCW 48.21A.030 Insurance extended health insurance available to seniors and spouses Benefit no $  
RCW 48.22.005 Insurance “named insured” means individual named in declarations of policy and includes spouse if resident of same household benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 48.22.030 Insurance spouse has right to reject underinsured motorists’ coverage Benefit no $  
RCW 48.23.320 Insurance life insurer may pay proceeds to surviving spouse Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 48.24.010 Insurance spouse has right to take out life insurance coverage on other spouse Benefit no $  
RCW 48.24.030 Insurance spouses of state employee insureds have right to coverage and conversion Benefit no $  
RCW 48.25.160 Insurance if beneficiary does not surrender policy, company may pay to relatives by marriage Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 48.41.090 Insurance member’s proportion of pool for health insurance determined by multiplying total cost of pool operation by member’s total number of resident insured persons (including spouse and dependents) divided by number of resident insured persons covered under all state health plans by all pool members Burden $ (not state)  
RCW 48.44.370 Insurance conversion policy offered to spouses, whether or not member terminated for misconduct Benefit no $  
RCW 48.44.400 Insurance health care services agreements must provide right to continuing coverage on termination of marriage Benefit no $  
RCW 48.46.450 Insurance HMOs must offer conversion policies to spouses of terminated members without physical exams Benefit no $  
RCW 48.46.480 Insurance health care services agreements must include provisions to assure that spouse can continue insurance if member terminated Benefit no $  
RCW 48.66.045 Insurance issuers of Medicare supplemental insurance policies shall set rates to be equal for all policyholders except that premiums may vary based on spousal discounts and other factors Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 49.12.270 Labor Regulations employee entitled to sick leave may use sick leave to care for spouse with serious or emergency health condition benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 49.48.100 Employment assignment of future wages is not valid without written consent of spouse Benefit/ Burden $ (not state)  
RCW 49.48.120 Employment employers must pay unpaid wages to surviving spouses on death benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 49.78.080 Employment/ Insurance employers must allow employees on leave to continue insurance, including spouse coverage, at own expense benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 50.04.180 Employment employment does not include services performed for spouse Benefit/ Burden no $  
RCW 50.20.050 Public Assistance unemployment insurance available to those who leave work voluntarily because spouse’s employment requires relocations Benefit state $  
RCW 50.40.020 Unemployment Compensation benefits received by any individual not commingled with other funds of recipient are exempt from remedy for collection of debts unless debt was incurred for necessaries furnished the individual or his spouse during time of unemployment benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 50.44.040 Employment spouses of students need not pay for/ have unemployment insurance if employed by school and consent Benefit/ Burden state $  
RCW 51.08.020 Employment workers comp. beneficiaries include spouses, but not if abandoned Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 51.12.020 Employment officers of non-public company exempt from workers comp. coverage if all related by marriage Benefit state $  
RCW 51.12.080 Employment common carriers liable to surviving spouse in death of railroad workers Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 51.32.010 Employment if worker killed in course of employment, compensation to spouse Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 51.32.050 Employment where injured worker dies entitled to up to 60% of wages for life or until remarriage (resurrected if remarriage terminates) Benefit/ Burden $ (not state) remarriage penalty
RCW 51.32.060 Employment 5% greater disability payments if married at time of injury leading to permanent total disability Benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 51.32.067 Employment spouse must consent to election of option that excludes from benefits paid to injured workers benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 51.32.072 Employment workers’ compensation available to spouses of pre-1971 disabled, unless remarried benefit/ burden $ (not state) remarriage penalty
RCW 51.32.135 Employment spouse must consent to conversion of pension benefits to lump sum benefit/ burden $ (not state)  
RCW 59.18.220 Real Property spouse of a member of the armed forces may terminate a tenancy for a specified time if the tenant’s spouse receives reassignment or deployment orders benefit no $  
RCW 59.20.060 Real Property mobile home space tenancy cannot contain waiver of homestead rights, which may be waived after default in rent, signed by both spouses benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 59.20.090 Real Property spouse of a member of the armed forces may terminate a rental agreement with less than 30 days notice if the tenant’s spouse receives reassignment or deployment orders benefit no $  
RCW 59.22.080 Real Property must pay fee for mobile home title transfers, but not for addition or deletion of spouses benefit state $  
RCW 60.04.211 Community Property claim of lien is notice to husband and wife and valid against community interest of both burden $ (not state)  
RCW 64.06.010
-
RCW 64.06.020
Real Property disclosure requirements as to residential real property do not apply to gifts between spouses or transfers in connection with dissolution benefit no $  
RCW 64.28.040 Real Property/ Community Property joint tenancy of husband and wife, when severed, is presumed to be community property benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 65.12.020 Real Property application for registration of land titles must include name and age of spouse benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 65.12.200 Real Property decrees of land registration shall state whether owner is married, name of spouse benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 65.12.255 Real Property certificate of land registration contains marital status and name of spouse benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 66.24.025 Alcoholic Beverages liquor license may be transferred without charge to surviving spouse of deceased licensee benefit no $  
RCW 67.70.180 Public Employees spouses of lottery commission members, directors, or employees cannot buy lottery tickets burden no $  
RCW 68.32.020 Death spouse has vested right in internment of own remains next to those of spouse benefit no $ Key benefit
RCW 68.32.030 Death only final divorce decree can terminate vested right of interment benefit no $  
RCW 68.32.040 Death/ Probate burial plot descends to surviving spouse on death of owner benefit no $  
RCW 68.32.110 Death spouse has first priority on space in family plot benefit no $  
RCW 68.32.120 Death if parents and children of plot owner survive, spouses of children and heirs get right of interment benefit no $  
RCW 68.32.130 Death spouse may waive right of interment in favor of any other relative or spouse of relative benefit no $  
RCW 68.36.020 Death cannot place five-year notice of unoccupied cemetery space if member of record owner’s family (including spouse) has been buried there within twenty years benefit no $  
RCW 68.44.030 Death spouses of cemetery officer, trustee, or director may not borrow funds from endowment care burden no $  
RCW 68.50.100 Death dissection only allowed in limited circumstances, as when authorized by spouse benefit no $  
RCW 68.50.101 Death surviving spouse has first priority to authorize or refuse autopsy benefit no $ cannot get right by contract
RCW 68.50.105 Death only family members (including surviving spouse, have right to review autopsy benefit no $ cannot get right by contract
RCW 68.50.200 Death surviving spouse has first priority to authorize or block removal of remains from cemetery benefit no $ cannot get right by contract
RCW 68.50.160 Death surviving spouse has first right to control disposition of remains benefit no $ cannot get right by contract
RCW 68.50.550 Death spouse has third priority (after guardian and holder of durable health care power) to make anatomical gifts benefit no $ can get by private action
RCW 69.50.505 Criminal Law; Community Property community property interest in real property cannot be seized if spouse did not participate in violation giving right to seizure benefit no $  
RCW 70.24.210 Education sex education materials must emphasize the importance of abstinence outside of lawful marriage benefit no $  
RCW 70.47.020 Health Care eligibility for subsidy in state basic health plan determined by sum of income of person and spouse, if any benefit/ burden state $ marriage penalty
RCW 70.47.060 Health Care business owners may apply for basic health plan coverage for spouses and employees benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 70.58.080 Vital Statistics birth certificate includes name of father if married to mother benefit no $  
RCW 70.122.030 Health Care witnesses to health care powers may not be related by blood or marriage burden no $  
RCW 70.123.020 Public Assistance/ Domestic Violence definition of cohabitant includes only married persons and those living with someone of the opposite sex; only married persons or those in opposite sex relationships eligible to live in publicly supported shelters benefit no $ blatant sexual orientation discrimination
RCW 70.129.140 Public Assistance residents of adult family homes have right to share double room with spouse if both are in the same facility benefit no $  
RCW 70.190.065 Public Assistance community public health and safety network members cannot authorize expenditures if spouse has a fiduciary interest burden no $  
RCW 71.05.100 Mental Health spouse of committed person responsible for treatment costs burden state $  
RCW 71.05.220 Mental Health inventory of personal property of committed person available for inspection by spouse benefit no $  
RCW 71.05.400 Mental Health spouse has first priority for notice and information about committed person benefit no $  
RCW 71.05.425 Mental Health/ Criminal Law next of kin (may be a spouse) of victim of sex or violent crime entitled to notice of release or discharge of offender benefit no $  
RCW 71.09.080 Mental Health spouse considered “responsible relative” of committed person and given access to inventory of personal goods benefit no $  
RCW 71.09.140 Mental Health/ Criminal Law spouse of victim entitled to notice of escape or release of offender (automatic, but others may get on request) benefit no $ can get by private action
RCW 71.09.210 Mental Health committed people may be granted escorted leave for illness/ funeral of spouse benefit no $  
RCW 71A.20.100 Mental Health spouse has priority as guardian for resident of habilitation center benefit no $  
RCW 72.01.280 Public Employees officers of mental institutions furnished with room and board for selves and spouses benefit state $  
RCW 72.01.370 Corrections/ Prisons inmates may have escorted leaves for illness/ funeral of spouse benefit no $  
RCW 72.23.120 Mental Health spouse liable for payments for voluntary hospitalization burden no $  
RCW 72.36.030 Veterans/ Public Assistance spouses of veterans eligible to live in veterans homes if married three years and over 50; lose right on remarriage benefit; burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 72.36.040 Veterans/ Public Assistance spouses of veterans, if indigent, eligible to live in colony of state soldiers’ home; lose right on remarriage benefit; burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 72.36.050 Veterans/ Public Assistance members of soldiers’ colony, including spouses, entitled to medical assistance, food, and clothing benefit state $  
RCW 72.36.070 Veterans/ Public Assistance special home for state war veterans and spouses benefit state $  
RCW 72.36.110 Veterans/ Death spouses of veterans may be buried in veterans’ cemeteries benefit no $  
RCW 72.64.040 Prisons/ Corrections spouse may be paid earnings of prisoner benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 72.66.026 Prisons/ Corrections furloughed prisoners do not need written permission of spouse to drive spouse’s car benefit/ burden no $  
RCW 73.04.010 Veterans no fees may be charged of spouses of veterans for certificates needed for pensions, etc. benefit state $  
RCW 73.04.115 Veterans/ Motor Vehicles surviving spouses of prisoners of war get free license plates; lose right if remarry benefit/ burden state $ remarriage penalty
RCW 73.04.120 Veterans/ Vital Statistics free certificates from clerks for surviving spouses of veterans when needed for US veterans claims benefit state $  
RCW 73.08.070 Veterans/ Death/ Public Assistance counties must provide up to $300 for burial of indigent spouses of veterans benefit state $  
RCW 73.08.080 Veterans/ Public Assistance property taxes authorized for creation of fund to protect indigent veterans and spouses benefit state $  
RCW 73.16.010 Public Employees/ Veterans spouses of deceased or disabled veterans granted preference in public employment benefit no $  
RCW 74.04.005 Public Assistance home is not considered a resource for purposes of public general assistance eligibility if lived in by spouse benefit state $  
RCW 74.08A.110 Public Assistance in determining eligibility benefits, the income and resources of an alien’s spouse is includable burden state $  
RCW 74.09.545 Public Assistance if community income of a nonapplicant spouse exceeds that of the applicant, eligibility for medical assistance benefit state $  
RCW 74.09.575 Public Assistance policy to allow maximum resources to community spouse of institutionalized person burden state $  
RCW 74.09.595 Public Assistance due process for spouses of institutionalized persons on resource valuation benefit no $  
RCW 74.13.103 Adoption for purposes of adoption fees, husband and wife treated as single prospective adoption parent benefit state $  
RCW 74.15.030 Adoption secretary has power to investigate relatives by marriage of prospective parents burden no $  
RCW 74.20.230 Adoption/ Child Support spouse responsible for child support of jointly adopted children burden/ benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 74.20.240 Adoption/ Child Support court has power to compel child support by spouse for adopted children receiving public assistance burden/ benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 74.20.250 Adoption/ Child Support petition for child support from spouse may be made without filing fee benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 74.20A.055 Adoption/ Child Support one married to parent is a responsible parent for purposes of support obligation burden/ benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 74.34.210 Torts right of action for surviving spouse on death of vulnerable person who is spouse benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 74.42.070 Health Care/ Public Assistance married residents have right to privacy during visits and right to share room if both spouses are residents benefit no $  
RCW 77.12.047 Fishing spouses of private tideland owners not subject to regulation on taking of shellfish on private tidelands benefit no $  
RCW 77.15.570 Fishing spouses of treaty Indian fishermen may assist in exercising treaty rights benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 77.65.020 Fishing commercial fishing licenses transferable to surviving spouse for no fee benefit state $  
RCW 77.65.030 Fishing surviving spouse of a commercial license holder must be given an additional 180 days to renew license or permit benefit no $  
RCW 77.70.140 Fishing may transfer whiting-Puget Sound fishery license to spouse by gift, bequest, etc. benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 77.70.150 Fishing sea urchin dive fishery licenses: only 45 total, transferable between spouses benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 77.70.190 Fishing sea cucumber fishing licenses transferable between spouses benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 79A.05.065 Parks and Recreation senior citizens entitled to discount on campsite rentals only if income, with spouse, is below limit burden state $  
RCW 80.28.080 Utilities no reduced rates may be generally available, but may offer reduced rates to spouses of veterans benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 81.28.080 Common Carriers may offer reduced rates to spouses of veterans (if deceased, then prior to remarriage) benefit $ (not state) remarriage penalty
RCW 81.80.270 Common Carriers permits transferable when partnerships change because of death and transfer to surviving spouse benefit $ (not state)  
RCW 81.80.272 Common Carriers surviving spouses entitled to temporary permits without compliance with prior application requirements benefit no $  
RCW 82.45.010 Taxes assignment of property from one spouse to another in connection with a dissolution is not a sale for tax purposes benefit state $ key benefit
RCW 83.110.050 Taxes exemption from estate taxes in accordance with federal law benefit state $ tied to federal law
RCW 84.34.020 Property Taxes classification of land as farm and agricultural land may shift on transfer (become subject to stricter test), but not if transfer is to surviving spouse benefit state $  
RCW 84.36.041 Property Taxes nonprofit homes for aging exempt from property taxes if tests are met, including numbers of eligible residents, determined by taking into account incomes of spouses benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 84.36.381 Property Taxes exemptions for residences available if spouse is in hospital, both are poor benefit/ burden state $  
RCW 84.36.383 Property Taxes combined disposable income includes that of spouse burden state $  
RCW 84.38.030 Property Taxes surviving spouse maybe eligible for property tax deferral if over 57 benefit state $  
RCW 84.38.070 Property Taxes deferral not available where claimant does not live on property by Dec. 15 of claim year, unless claimant dies and surviving spouse also eligible benefit state $  
RCW 84.38.130 Property Taxes deferred property taxes payable on death, but may be further deferred by surviving spouse benefit state $  
RCW 84.38.150 Property Taxes surviving spouse may elect to continue deferral or property taxes on residence as long as qualifications met benefit state $  
RCW 85.38.105 Voting Rights spouse automatically entitled to vote in special district elections with respect to community property benefit no $  
RCW 87.03.045 Voting Rights both husband and wife entitled to vote in district if property is community, even if they do not meet requirements (over 10 acres) for having 2 votes benefit no $  
RCW 89.12.100 Irrigation and Reclamation amount of land that state can sell in particular district limited by family unit (incl. spouses) burden $ (not state)  
RCW 91.08.030 Water Rights married persons must join in petitions regarding proposed waterways benefit/ burden no $  


© 2004, Jamie D. Pedersen
The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance of
Josh Gaul, Sara Lingafelter, Aaron Ostrovsky, and
Alex Wagner in updating the RCW Project for 2004.

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