How Are Assets Divided In Arizona Divorce?

Deciding how to divide assets with your spouse is a central issue in any divorce. At the office of Steven C. Weinstein, Attorney at Law, we will take the time to thoroughly understand your goals, frustrations and concerns. Once that has been established, we will guide you through each step of the process. We have designed our approach to relieve as much anxiety as possible, and have decades of experience serving clients in Tucson and throughout Arizona. We look forward to putting that experience to work for you.

The Role Of The Courtroom

A common misconception is that divorce requires courtroom proceedings. In fact, if a divorcing couple can agree on the terms of their divorce with assistance from their lawyers, then the parties need not ever appear before a judge. This is often the most efficient, cost-effective way to divide shared assets and settle other matters.

However, if you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement, then the court will divide your assets for you. Arizona is a so-called "community property" state, which means that each spouse owns an equal share of all marital property. When possible, these assets will be divided as closely to equal as possible.

What Is Community Property or Community Debt?

This, of course, is an important question. In general, almost everything acquired during the course of a marriage counts as community property or debt, regardless of which spouse's name is on the title. This includes:

  • Income earned by either spouse during the marriage
  • Debts incurred by either spouse during the marriage (with exceptions)
  • Property purchased during the marriage with communal income

The only exceptions to community property are:

  • Property or assets owned prior to the marriage
  • Inheritances
  • Gifts given to one spouse during the marriage
  • Assets given a special designation in a prenuptial agreement

Asset Status Can Change

An important thing to keep in mind is that asset status can change. If one spouse owned a house before the marriage, but then put it in both spouses' names afterward, a court would consider that to be community property. Commingling can also result in separate property turning into community property.

Get Peace Of Mind With Experienced Counsel

Divorce and property division are complex subjects, especially in high-asset divorce. Please contact us with any questions you have, either through our online form or by phone at our office: 520-815-0091.

Our office is located in Tucson, but we serve clients throughout the state.