Dividing Marital Property In Two

The Meaning Of 'Community' And 'Property'

Arizona is one of a handful of community property states. What exactly are community assets?

The law states that, without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement declaring otherwise, any asset or debt you or your spouse incurs during the time you are married is a community asset or debt. The only exceptions are gifts and inheritances. Exceptions are also made for funds set aside for a non-community purpose. Arizona statutes say that assets will be divided without regard to marital misconduct — thus, a spouse's bad behavior is rarely considered by the court in dividing assets and debts.

If either of you purchased an asset with money earned during the time you were married, that asset is considered jointly owned.

If a financial account contains money earned during the time you were married, it is considered joint property. You both own it — even if the account is in one name only, it is considered joint property.

Even if one person set the money aside from his or her earnings, it is still joint property.

This can be a complex area of the law, especially when sole and separate assets are mixed with community assets.

This entire topic is complex, and the divisions are decided on a case-by-case basis. It is usually best to engage a lawyer to help you, especially where retirement accounts, 401k accounts and IRAs are concerned.

How I Can Help

My goal is to protect your interests throughout this critical division process. The idea is to launch your new life with the resources you will need to succeed.

The first step is the identification of assets. This goes way beyond the house and bank accounts: It involves everything of value obtained in the course of the marriage. It involves assessing assets that once were nonmarital but have since been commingled. It requires that all assets be put on the table. Hiding valuable assets like investments, offshore accounts or getaway homes is the best way to lose them.

Dividing Marital Property For Phoenix Clients

I am adept at every property division issue, including:

  • Commingled assets and transmutation
  • Appreciation of separate property
  • Divorce involving substantial assets
  • Complex property distribution
  • Dividing the marital home
  • Dividing retirement accounts
  • Dividing real estate
  • Dividing trusts
  • Dividing marital debt
  • Dividing life insurance money
  • Inheritances and gifts
  • Stocks and bonds
  • Vehicles
  • Collectibles
  • Other investments

I am adept at most property division tasks. In the event you need professional experts to assess a critical asset, I can draw on a team of respected forensic accountants, financial analysts, business valuation specialists and others.

My job in this process is to represent your interests at every step of asset identification and division. To discuss your property division issues, call me at my Peoria office at 623-239-0015 or email me your questions.

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