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Don’t ride into the sunset without your share of the assets

When your marriage has reached the end of the road in Arizona, your journey isn’t over. You might be heading in a different direction, and you might be travelling alone, but you’re still moving. What you bring with you on this new adventure will depend largely on how your divorce plays out.

Everyone has assets, not just the wealthy

Even a couple living modestly may be surprised to discover just how much they have accumulated during their time together. When a marriage ends, it becomes necessary to divide the property between the former spouses. The assets you and your spouse have to split may include:

  • Your home
  • Your car
  • Furniture and household items
  • Bank accounts
  • Credit cards

Just the contents of your home alone may keep you very busy when determining and tallying the marital property.

What’s mine and what’s his/hers?

The State of Arizona is a community property state. What this means, is everything a couple accumulates during a marriage is considered as equally owned. This even includes wages earned by either or both parties.

Since everything is equally owned, the judge will split the value of the assets equally between the former couple. The wording here is important; the value is shared equally, meaning while one person may get more actual items, the value of each share will be as near to equal as possible.

There are some assets excluded from community property, however. These items are:

  • Assets owned individually prior to marriage
  • Assets acquired individually after the notice of separation is given
  • Inheritances received by one party during the marriage
  • Gifts intended for one party received during the marriage
  • Anything both spouses agree in writing is separate property

Protecting your rights and your property in court

There is more to the division of property in Arizona than what you’ve read here. For example, proving the status of an asset may not always be straightforward. Assets can be confused or comingled over the years, and establishing their provenance may make a big difference to the final settlement.

If a divorce has to happen, it is generally best to enter into the process with professional guidance and representation. A lawyer who has assisted numerous clients over the years through their divorces has the knowledge and experience to stand up for your rights during property division, so that you achieve the best outcome possible for your financial future.

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