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Divorce And Property Distribution

Divorce And Property Distribution

What happens to your stuff when you are divorced?

Equitable Distribution

Fair distribution is considered an equitable (but not always the same) distribution of all property and marital assets. Usually, couples with higher income will receive a larger share of the distribution based on the assumption that they contribute more financially to the union.

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Community Property

Property is categorized in one of two ways: community property or separate property. Separate property consists of property and assets acquired before marriage and inheritance, personal injury awards and worker compensation, even if it is received during the marriage.

Community property is any property and assets obtained during the marriage (with some exceptions mentioned above) and divided equally between the two parties. Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Puerto Rico are community-owned states.


Debt is treated the same as property. However, it is not uncommon for courts to order higher-income couples to pay certain debts which theoretically are the responsibility of lower-income couples.

For example, the court can order that couples with lower incomes can live in a marriage house; higher-income couples must continue to pay the mortgage.

Fault or no-fault

In some states, a divorce that is not wrong is permitted and the distribution of property is not affected by the individual actions of the parties. However, many countries also allow "the wrong divorce" where both parties are allowed to provide evidence that would place "mistakes" on the other pair.

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