If you are getting divorced in Arizona, you’ve probably run into a lot of questions about how property will be divided between you and your spouse. As Phoenix family law attorneys, we understand this concern and wanted to explain a little bit more about this confusing and important facet of divorce.
How Arizona Does It: Community Property
In community property states like Arizona, any property and debt acquired during the marriage is divided between the spouses, and separate property acquired before the marriage generally remains separate. However, there are some exceptions to this, such as inheritances received during the marriage or assets that have become commingled to the point that ownership cannot be determined. If you have questions about what may or may not be considered separate property in your Arizona divorce, talk to a Phoenix divorce lawyer who can address those specific concerns with you.
How Most Other States Do It: Equitable Distribution
Equitable distribution states will divide both marital and separate assets between both spouses. The term “equitable distribution” can be misleading for some, as it is rarely a clean 50/50 split between spouses. Instead, equitable distribution states attempt to split property and debt between both spouses fairly. However, many different factors are used to determine what is “fair” in a divorce. These factors vary by state and might include fault or infidelity, the value of a spouse’s separate assets, or his or her contribution to the marriage.
Whether you live in an equitable distribution state or a community property state like Arizona, it’s important to remember that you can take control of your divorce and attempt to reach a settlement with your spouse before you take it to court. If you’d like to talk about your divorce options, give an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer a call at 1-888-929-5292. We’d be happy to discuss your concerns and options in a completely free, no-obligation consultation.
For more information, please also see our helpful book Arizona Family Law – How to Handle Tough Issues in Tough Times, which is available to you completely FREE upon request.