Unlike most other community property states, in Washington there is no presumption that community property will be divided equally. Instead, Washington law says that on divorce or separation a court is to divide property in a just and equitable manner. A just an equitable manner may be 50-50 but it may be very different from 50-50. Not only that, but separate property can also be divided in Washington state. There is no easy formula for property division, as the individual circumstances of separating and divorcing couples differs. In reality, most people do not have a judge decide what is a just and equitable manner to divide their property and debts. Instead, they make their own choices and allocate their property and debts between them by agreement. Your approach and agreement may be very different from what a hypothetical court might do, as your values, priorities, and preferences will likely differ from those of any particular judge. Plus, you know much more about your individual circumstances than a judge could ever know. Instead of turning over to a judge the important financial decisions about your future life, when you make an agreement you get to make those decisions yourselves. That’s a big benefit of selecting a process such as mediation or collaborative divorce to help you to work towards reaching an agreement together.