When the legal state of marriage is ended by divorce, legal commitments by the couple – property, debts and more – must be resolved. While laws vary by state, the divorce process generally involves distinguishing ‘community property’ that was jointly owned by the couple from ‘non-community property’ owned by just one person. Property may mean real property, like a house, but also business, financial and other assets. Couples may divide their property and debts themselves; if they are unable to, the court presiding over the divorce may use state laws for the division. While children are not ‘property’, divorce proceedings require addressing custody, visitation and financial support if there are children. If the couple owned a house, neither has an automatic right to evict the other until ownership of that is decided as well. Asset division can be complicated and emotional, and legal advice is frequently required.
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