When it comes to property division, each state decides exactly how it will do it. Some states use the concept of community property while others use equitable division. In which state you live will dictate how the court divides assets.
There are similarities and differences between the two methods. Business Insider explains that Rhode Island is an equitable division state, but it still helps to understand the concept of community property. There is always a possibility that you could move to a state that practices community property. Plus, understand this concept will help you to understand equitable division better.
The community property method creates an equal division of assets. You and your spouse will each get half of the property you obtained during the marriage. The courts will focus on equal distribution without much concern for the fairness of division. If you happen to move to a community property state and divorce there, your property may not all fall under community property, but some of it will, so the court will probably use mainly community property rules when dividing your property.
In Rhode Island, the courts will divide assets in a fair way. This may not be equal. The court’s concern is that the division is fair based on factors pertaining to you and your marriage.
In any state, you have the option to reach an agreement about property division before the court steps in. If you can do this, you will generally come out better since you get to advocate for yourself. However, if the court makes decisions, it will use the method of community property or equitable division.