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How Do Arizona Courts Divide Property And Debts In A Divorce?

In Arizona, when a couple divorces, the courts will divide property and debts between them. There are many factors that go into determining how this is done. One of the most important considerations is who filed for divorce first. The person who files for divorce first often has to pay out more in assets and debt because they initiated the split.

When Arizona courts divide all property and debts in a divorce. This includes both real estate, such as the marital home, as well as personal property, including cars and investments. Financial decisions are made by each party independently of the other spouse’s input or approval. The court also decides how to divide retirement accounts based on several factors including the age of one spouse at the time of separation and the length of the marriage. The court will order a division that is just and proper. This hopefully makes things easier for both parties in a way that they will:

  • Know what they’re entitled to
  • Decisions are made by the court so you don’t have to make them on your own
  • Leave any legal and financial worries up to the professionals
  • Become a divorced, yet financially independent individual
  • Receive fairness in how marital property and debts are divided between spouses

About The Assets

Every marriage is different and there are many factors that contribute to the value of a couple’s property. In Arizona, all assets accumulated during the relationship will be presumed communal or marital property unless otherwise stated in an agreement between both partners prior to moving forward with divorce proceedings. This can include properties such as businesses that one partner may have solely owned before meeting their spouse but they contributed work or cash throughout the course of their marriage, making it difficult for either party involved to identify what belongs exclusively to them.

  • Go through an objective evaluation process that will help determine each party’s rightful share of assets
  • Help couples start a dialogue about their marital assets in order to avoid costly lawsuits down the road

Under Arizona law, most assets acquired during a marriage will be recognized as joint community property; however, a couple may expressly designate assets as separate property by a written agreement.

Arizona law also provides that a married person who owns or has an interest in a business during the marriage is presumed to hold his or her community share of the ownership and profits from the enterprise as a joint tenancy with right of survivorship, which means it will be considered owned equally between both spouses upon death. 

The only way to avoid this presumption would be for one spouse to purchase out their partner’s rights prior to filing a petition for divorce; but if not, then upon dissolution of marriage all interests in the business are deemed jointly held community property and subject to equal division when awarding property and debts. Understanding these will help you:

  • Protect your business from future litigation
  • Inform yourself about Arizona’s laws and save time on potential legal proceedings
  • Preserve your business while protecting your spouse
  • Get peace of mind and protect yourself from potential loss

About The Debts

You’re not responsible for your spouse’s debt. If you have any debt before marriage, it stays separate from the union and is never shared with anyone else.

The Arizona Court is strict on the divorce process and has a set protocol for when it begins. Once the petition is served to both parties, then all debts incurred after that date will not count toward community property rules. Find an experienced lawyer who can help you how to:

  • Ensure your spouse’s debt will not be shared with you 
  • The divorce process is straightforward and the court follows regulations for debts incurred post-petition
  • Arizona Court upholds community property rules and ensures spouses are responsible only for their own debts

If you have questions about your case or want to learn more about how it works, contact an experienced lawyer at our office today!

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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