The divorce process can understandably be difficult emotionally and financially. During divorce, you and your spouse must essentially untangle your lives, which can be a stressful and confusing process.
One of the most contentious areas of divorce is the division of assets. Understanding property division law in Arizona may help you to navigate this often-complicated aspect of dissolving a marriage.
Community property in Arizona
The state of Arizona is a community property state. This means all property that you and your spouse own falls under the category of either separate property or community property. You and your spouse will keep your own separate property, whereas you must divide your community property evenly.
This is opposite of what takes place in an equitable distribution state. In these states, a judge will determine what is fair, or equitable, instead of just dividing a couple's property in half. For example: 66 percent of a couple's assets might end up going to the spouse who earns the most, whereas the other party receives just 33 percent of their shared assets.
What all is included as property?
When it comes to dividing property in Arizona, this refers to dividing both assets and debt. Assets may include real estate, cars, money in the bank and retirement funds, for example.
It is worth noting is that when property division takes place, this does not mean literally splitting property physically. Instead, the process involves adding up your marital estate's total value and then determining the proper percentage of it that each party will receive.
What are your options during property division?
If you and your future ex-spouse can find common ground, you may be able to resolve your property division issues through informal negotiations rather than having to go to divorce trial. Informal negotiation offers several benefits, such as being faster and less acrimonious than going to trial. As a result, it can also be less expensive than traditional divorce litigation.
However, if you and your future ex cannot make a decision regarding the division of assets in an amicable way, you will have to go to court. There, a judge will ultimately decide what happens to your property, which can create a potential outcome that may not be exactly what you would have preferred. Still, there are professional resources available to you who can help you to fight aggressively for your fair share of assets so that you will be in the best financial position possible following your divorce.