How does a court divide property and debts?

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In Washington, in a divorce action the court has authority over both separate and community property. The court is required to determine what is separate property, what is community property, and then divide the property and debts justly and equitably. The division is not necessarily an equal division. The court uses a series of factors under Washington law, such as how long the couple were married, the nature and extent of community and separate property. If there are minor children, the economic circumstances of each party at the time the division is made, and other factors.

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