Asset and Debt Division

Protecting Your Most Precious Assets

It’s the question on most divorcing couples’ minds: Who will get the house?

For many divorces—especially high-net-worth splits—dividing property takes a great amount of time. Spouses must make an inventory of all separate and marital property and try to come up with a property division arrangement outside of court. Separate property is anything obtained by either spouse prior to the marriage; marital or separate property is (almost) everything obtained by either spouse during the marriage.

There are, however, exceptions on both sides. Some property obtained by spouses during the marriage may be regarded as separate property. This is usually the case with inheritances and gifts. Conversely, separate property may become marital property if it becomes commingled. For example, a bank account opened by one spouse prior to the marriage could become marital property if marital income is deposited into the account.

Arizona Is a Community Property State

Nine states follow the community property rule related to asset and debt division, and Arizona is one of them. In community property states, both spouses are presumed to have an equal share of marital property and debts. Therefore, marital property and debts are often divided equally between spouses—or close to equal. The same goes for marital debts.

Again, there are exceptions to the rule. A valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement might stipulate where certain assets will go in a divorce or legal separation.

The Three Stages of Property Division

There are, essentially, three steps to dividing property for an Arizona divorce:

  • Identifying assets. Generally, spouses must make an inventory of all assets—separate and marital. 
  • Valuing assets. After identifying and classifying assets, the spouses must agree on a valuation for all marital assets. 
  • Dividing marital property. Again, spouses may come to an agreement on dividing marital property without the help of a judge. In most cases, this is preferable to having a judge decide it for you. 

Contact Us For Professional and Caring Representation

Property division can be a long and difficult process. You might also be worried about having to part with some of your precious heirlooms. One benefit of hiring an attorney for your divorce is having sound legal arguments for keeping important assets; this includes arguing for classification of certain assets as marital property and others as separate property. 

Whatever your goals are, we want to help you meet them. Get in touch with our team today to schedule your initial consultation.