In A Divorce In Arizona, Is A Wife Entitled To Half Of Everything?

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In A Divorce In Arizona, Is A Wife Entitled To Half Of Everything?

In the event of a divorce in Arizona, is a wife entitled to half of everything? The short answer is no. The long answer requires a more nuanced examination into how property division works during an Arizona divorce. Generally speaking, the marital assets are split 50/50 and each spouse keeps their own personal property. There are exceptions such as when one spouse was gifted or inherited some item or if there was an unequal distribution from one partner’s stock options, 401K contributions, and other retirement accounts- but these things should be discussed with your divorce attorney to avoid any confusion later on down the line. Divorce can be complicated so it’s best not to go into it alone!


Arizona community property states are among the few that practice a 50-50 divorce system, which is not much of an exaggeration. The court’s objective is to distribute each couple’s assets equally at the end of their marriage and keep them from getting too unequal in value.


Community Properties in Arizona


In Arizona, a divorced spouse can only split communal property. All assets and obligations acquired by the couple during their marriage are considered community property. These include all income earned or received before separation as well as any debts incurred throughout this time period such they must be divided equally between both spouses upon divorce!


All properties that were owned at one point in time but have since been sold to either of the spouses is not counted among shared possessions unless it was purchased with funds provided exclusively by one of the spouses post-separation.


Other examples of community properties include: 


  • all forms of income
  • homes 
  • real estate
  • investments
  • pensions
  • cars and recreation vehicles
  • jewelry
  • furniture
  • appliances
  • household items

Are There Cases Where 50-50 Division Did Not Happen?


In the case of a divorce, it is not always possible for assets and debts to be distributed fairly and equitably. In rare instances, when giving one spouse more would serve as an equitable measure in light of their wrongdoing during the marriage or because they are a victim themselves such as if there was domestic violence, then this could occur. 


These suits often arise from situations where one party has been found guilty by court order with respect to unjust enrichment; hostile takeovers that have caused property damage or loss within community resources; misconducts such as squandering funds on purpose without regard for consequences both financial and emotional; concealment actions against another person’s interest which were discovered after being married long enough allowing some degree of bonding between spouses who before may never have come to know one another.


These are just a few of the examples where Arizona courts may be able to do something different than 50-50 division, but you should consult with an Arizona divorce lawyer before moving forward.

Separate Property


Couples often come to agreements about the division of their property, but it is not always easy. For example, certain assets may be exempt from a 50-50 split depending on how they were obtained or what was agreed upon before marriage by both parties.


Some couples might have had inherited items that are considered distinct property and would therefore remain with whoever received them prior to marriage; these cannot be included as part of any settlement agreement if one spouse wants out early.


Examples of separate properties are: 


  • any asset wholly held by either spouse prior to the marriage
  • any asset received as an inheritance or gift by either spouse prior to, during, or after the marriage
  • any asset covered by a legal prenuptial or postnuptial agreement

Are You Looking for a Family Law Attorney Skilled in the Distribution of Property and Division of Debt in a Divorce?

The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes, and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. In Arizona, married couples are required to divide property upon divorce. All property acquired during the marriage will be divided equally between both parties; it is known as community property in this state and applies to all types of possessions (both tangible and intangible), real estate, income, or debts that exist at the time of divorce. This can make dividing marital assets a daunting task if not done correctly from day one because there are certain rules which must be adhered to! During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer any and all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!

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