There Are a Few Things You Need to Know About Property Settlement After DivorceWhen you decide to divorce, your property will need to be divided between you and your spouse. Property isn’t limited to the house you own; other assets, such as bank accounts, retirement savings and even home furnishings, must be included in the property settlement.
You need to keep the following in mind regarding property settlements:
- Arizona is a community property state. What does this mean exactly? According to Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-211, any property that is acquired by either spouse during marriage is considered community property of both spouses. There are some exceptions though. If the property was “acquired by gift, demise or descent,” it is considered separate property and would belong to the spouse to which the property was given. There are some other exceptions, which should be discussed with an experienced lawyer.
- Marital misconduct isn’t a factor the court considers when dividing property. If you feel like your spouse owes you something or should be punished for marital misconduct, the court will not consider that as a factor when dividing the property. However, the court might look at “excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of” community property.
- Debts must be divided too. When you divorce, your debts will also need to be divided between you and your spouse. It doesn’t matter if your husband or wife incurred the debts, because they are still considered community debts.
You can learn more about property settlement and divorce in our book, Arizona Family Law: How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times. We are currently offering this informative guide for FREE, so be sure to get a copy.