Divorce property laws in Arizona
Written by Craig Cherney

Divorce property laws in Arizona

According to Arizona divorce property laws, property acquired during marriage is community property (with a few exceptions). This means income, assets, and debts acquired during the marriage are owned equally by both spouses. This includes pension plans, retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, personal property, vehicles, jewelry and more.

If left up to the divorce court, a judge is tasked with dividing the community assets without regard to many details of your marriage. Collaborative divorce allows both parties to work together to come to a mutually acceptable outcome outside of court. Your divorce professionals will guide you through the process of asset and property division while working to avoid the tension and stress of a traditional courtroom divorce.

Arizona Divorce Property Laws: What is Marital Property?

As a community property state, Arizona courts will generally divide a divorcing couple’s marital property 50/50. Certain gifts and inheritance acquired during the marriage may be treated as separate property. Likewise, other assets acquired before the marriage (and kept separate from marital property) are examples of separate property.

Marital debt is also usually divided 50/50. Debt acquired during the marriage is considered marital debt. It doesn’t matter if the credit card purchase was for her golf clubs or to support his photography hobby. In some cases, it doesn’t even matter if you are aware of the debt. In a community property state, both partners are usually responsible for the obligations incurred.

With Arizona divorce property laws, it doesn’t matter who worked 9-5 for 30 years and who stayed home to raise the family. In a traditional divorce, you and your spouse will likely share community property with a 50-50 split. Collaborative divorce, on the other hand, gives you flexibility if both of you believe a different outcome is more appropriate.

Marital Property Value

Divorcing couples may hit a wall when determining the value of their assets. If they are unable to agree on an asset’s worth, they may have to incur the cost of an appraisal or other type of property evaluation. The court may not be interested in determining the value of certain assets; a judge may order the parties to just sell the asset and split the proceeds. However, collaborative divorce gives couples the option to work together. This type of divorce allows you to utilize a group of professionals, including attorneys, communication coaches and neutral financial professionals.

Managing Your Divorce

You work hard to create the lifestyle your family enjoys. No one but you and your partner can fully comprehend the value of time or the emotional attachments to marital property. Do you want to allow a court to determine your divorce outcome?

Collaborative divorce can meet the requirements of Arizona divorce property laws while customizing your agreement. You can work together to determine your marital property division. Factors that contribute to marital assets and debts can influence your decisions. Rather than dividing each asset 50/50, you might choose to offset one asset against another or to equalize in a different way. Most importantly, you both decide what’s appropriate.

This family-centric process can promote your respect for each other and strengthen family bonds. Remember, divorce is a lifestyle adjustment. Your desire for your children to feel secure and loved doesn’t change. Improving communication skills can help this transition flow smoothly.

Collaborative Divorce in Arizona

Arizona collaborative divorce attorneys can guide you through the divorce process. In a traditional, litigious divorce, you communicate only through your attorneys. Collaborative divorce encourages you to talk with each other. Communication coaches can provide tools to help structure your conversations in a positive, respectful way. This can benefit you during and after your divorce.

Collaborative divorce uses state-specific divorce property laws as a guide. However, you can adjust the final marital property division to meet your family’s needs. In a collaborative divorce, you make the decisions that are mutually agreeable. To learn more, contact Best Legal Choices today.