Post-Divorce Property Division: What to Expect in a Community Property State

Arizona is one of only nine community property states. In a community property jurisdiction, most property acquired during the marriage, excluding separate property, is owned jointly by both parties in the marriage and divided evenly upon divorce, annulment, or death. Under community property laws, all property is automatically presumed to be joint community property absent specific evidence proving otherwise. If property is deemed separate property, then the owner of said property will retain sole possession over it. However, if the property is categorized as community property, then it is divided among both parties equally. Some common examples of separate and community property are as follows:

Separate Property

  • Gifts and Inheritances
  • Personal Injury Awards
  • Separately owned property purchased during the marriage with funds separate from that of the community
  • Personal property owned prior to the marriage such as homes, land, vehicles, and personal possessions
  • Businesses and/or investments owned prior to the marriage
  • Property that the parties agree in writing is separate

Community Property

  • All property accumulated during the life of the marriage
  • All wages earned during the life of the marriage including paychecks, retirement and savings accounts
  • Any debts accumulated during the marriage such as car loans, home mortgages, and credit card debt
  • Separate property that has become so mixed with community property that it can't be identified
  • Stock options

If you are currently or anticipate going through a divorce in Arizona, you will more than likely be faced with property division issues. In order to ensure you receive the most equitable result possible, you are strongly encouraged to seek the assistance of a qualified family law attorney. With over 30 years of combined experience, the attorneys at Lasiter & Jackson will aggressively represent your interests in any divorce proceeding.

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