When a family goes through a divorce, it is up to the individuals involved to decided how to divide their property and assets. Failing to do amongst themselves, the courts will then be involved.
Arizona has community property laws providing that assets and debts a couple acquires during marriage belong equally to both spouses. Unlike some community property states, Arizona does not require the division of marital property in divorce to be exactly equal, but it must be fair and will usually be approximately equal. Arizona is one of the nine community property states in the United States.
Some couples are able to agree on how to divide all of their property and debts. Couples who can’t manage this will end up going to court to ask for a decision from an arbitrator or a judge.
Whether you handle your own property division or a court handles it for you, there are three crucial steps to the process:
- determine whether the property (or debt) is marital or separate
- agree on a value for marital property, and
- decide how to divide the property
When the decision falls to the court, marital misconduct is not considered in the ruling, as Arizona is a no-fault state.
Property earned prior to the marriage or gifted or inherited by one spouse is separate property and remains solely the property of that person.
While, with certain qualifications, Arizona considers separate property acquired outside the state to be community property. That means the property that would have been community property had it been acquired in Arizona.
Certain community debts may be assigned to one spouse, but the court order binds the spouses only. This assignment does not necessarily relieve either of them of their obligation for community debts. Community debts are matters of contract between both spouses and their creditors.
Learn More About Property Division
The professionals at Kent Lee Law represent individuals throughout Glendale and the surrounding communities of Maricopa County, Peoria, Arrowhead, El Mirage Glendale, Avondale, Buckeye, Surprise, Sun City, Sun City Grand, & Sun City West.
If you need legal representation for a property division case, Kent Lee Law can help. Please feel free to call (623) 889-7760.