How is property divided?

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How is property divided?

Post  Admin on Mon Sep 21, 2009 3:28 pm

In addition to ending the marriage, the court also has the authority to divide certain property and debts of the spouses. Arizona is a community property state, which means that any property acquired during the marriage is treated as being owned by both you and your spouse. The Arizona divorce courts attempt to distribute such community or marital property equitably unless one of the parties can show "excessive or abnormal expenditures. An equitable distribution is a fair, but not necessarily equal, distribution.

Marital misconduct is not considered in the division. The court may consider excessive or abnormal expenditures of community property, and any destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community property in making the division. The court may place a lien upon a spouse's separate property in order to secure payment of child support or spousal support.
Arizona law provides that property owned before marriage can remain the "separate property" of that spouse. Also items that a spouse receives by gift or inheritance during the marriage are also the separate property of the spouse. Separate property is retained by the owner of the property.

Property that is considered “separate property:

· For example, assets you had before you married may be considered non-marital or “separate property” if you kept that property separated from property acquired during the marriage.

· The income produced by a separate property investment may also be non-marital property, as long as it hasn't been commingled mixed together with marital property.

· Property you inherit from your family during your marriage will generally be considered your own separate property if it was willed exclusively to you and you did not commingle it with marital property during the marriage
You and your spouse may have a written agreement, which is called a "separation agreement," that indicates how matters should be handled if the marriage ends. The separation agreement is a contract listing and describing the spouses decisions about ownership of real estate, dividing property, financial support and, if children are involved, even issues of custody and parenting time. In a divorce case, the court must accept the separation agreement (except for matters about custody, parenting time and support of children) unless it is unfair.

It is important to collect all the information you can about all your property, including when you purchased it, approximately how much it is worth, and details such as account numbers, serial numbers and so forth.


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