Division of property is usually at the center of most divorce proceedings. As the couple goes separate ways, the property they acquired over the marriage has to be divided. However, the laws that apply to property division are not similar across the country, and it depends on the jurisdiction in question. Below is how it plays out in Arizona.
Arizona is a community property state. It means that all property and assets gained by the couple throughout their marriage belong equally to both spouses and are up for division upon divorce. However, Arizona law does not require the division of such property to be exactly equal, but it should be fair.
Not all property is up for division
Each spouse gets to keep their separate property following a divorce. Such property includes:
- Any property either spouse owned before the marriage
- Inherited property that wasn’t commingled with marital assets
- Property acquired as a gift to one spouse before, during, or after the marriage
- Any asset or property covered by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
Importantly, should a spouse mix their separate property with community property, it loses its status as separate property. It is then regarded as community property and may be up for division in the event of a divorce.
Spouses are free to reach their own divorce agreements in Arizona
Spouses can agree on how to divide their property without involving a judge. The court will recognize such agreements as long as they are fair to both spouses. In such a scenario, the couple can either agree between themselves or engage a mediator to help them through it all. Either way, it is a less costly and smoother affair compared to litigation.
Given that a lot may be at stake financially, it is advisable to make informed decisions when navigating the whole process. Being informed of your rights and what the law says will ensure that your interests are protected.