In any divorce situation, one of the most major and complex elements to be dealt with would of course be the impeding division of the marital assets. In many respects, marriage is not only a union of two people who profess love for one another, but also a merger of two economic entities as well. Anything and everything of actual economic value obtained over the course of a marriage, regardless of which spouse actually paid for it, is considered to be what is known as "marital property". Obviously, with a dissolution of a marriage comes the end of this economic union requiring adequate arrangements.
Community Property vs. Equitable Distribution
There are two types of states with respect to division of property, "community property" and "equitable distribution". For the most part, in a community property state the marital property is simply divided in two. In a equitable distribution state, the court arrives at what it views as a fair and equitable split irrespective of any actual 50/50 split. However, in each state, it is the specifics of each particular case which the court will follow in determining the actual division; these specifics are known as "relevant factors". There exists no set scale for determining the individual weight each relevant factor carries, so each state leaves these determinations to be made by the court on a case by case basis.