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When dividing marital property and debts in most state jurisdictions the court applies the doctrine of equitable distribution. Property and debts are not divided equally – “fifty-fifty – but rather based on fairness, which is determined by the financial situation of each spouse, including earning capacity. The system is intentionally flexible it can also be subjective. In a minority of states the community property doctrine is applied, and all property acquired by each spouse during the marriage is divided in half, with property owned prior to the marriage goes to the original holder.
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