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5 Factors Affecting the “Just and Right” Distribution

November 21, 2011

A court’s guiding principle in dividing community property in a divorce is based upon the “just and right” standard. Although each spouse has an equal interest in community property, the division won’t necessarily be fifty-fifty. Here is a list of 5 factors that can affect the court’s award of community property.

1. Who has the children? Do the children have particular or expensive needs that would justify awarding one spouse more property due to the increased need at home?

2. Education and Employability? Will one spouse have to start over because he put the other through graduate school while neglecting his own career?

3. Separate Property? If one spouse inherited enough for a lifetime, a court could award the other spouse a disproportionate share of the community.

4. Fraud. If a spouse lent money to his girlfriend during the marriage, an argument could be made that he is entitled to less because of the fraud.

5. Age. Is one spouse going to live a lot longer? Maybe Ashton Kutcher could make the argument that he will live longer and need more assets.

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