Getting a divorce is difficult for all parties involved, emotionally as well as financially. It can be tough to navigate the changes in your life, so it makes sense to try to make any part of it easier that you can. Splitting assets during divorce can be a source of friction and frustration for many Arizona couples, but you can make this process easier on all involved by following these guidelines.
Clearly Document All Community Property
Arizona is a community property state, which means that in a divorce, all shared assets must be divided 50/50. In practice this might not always work out precisely equally, but the courts typically try to divide property fairly between both parties. For this to happen, however, you will need to provide documentation for any community property in the marriage. If you’re making an argument that something is community property that might be contested, it’s important to clearly document what the property is and why you believe it should be considered community property. For instance, if your spouse inherited money that was added to the marital accounts, or property that was maintained or improved using marital funds, the court may consider those assets to be community property.
Provide Documentation of Any Separate Property
Arizona is very clear that any property owned by either property prior to the marriage remains separate in the event of a divorce. In addition, inherited or gifted assets during the marriage are also considered separate property, although the court may rule them to be community property if they were in effect added to the marital estate. If you anticipate the assets to be contested as separate property, you’ll want to ensure you have thorough documentation of why you still believe them to be separate.
Don’t Forget About Debts
Many couples make the mistake of focusing only on splitting assets during divorce, forgetting that the division of debts can be equally as important, especially if a couple has a lot of debt. While splitting your debts, be sure to take into consideration what debt was acquired prior to the marriage, as that will be considered separate debt. In the case where the same accounts were used during the marriage as before, the court will try to determine a fair division of the difference in debt acquired over the course of the marriage.
Hire an Attorney
Divorce can be complicated, and if one or both parties are running high emotions, that can make it all the more so. If you have a lot of community property and debt to divide, and if you think it’ll be complicated or that bickering is going to make it more complicated, it’ll be better for everyone involved if you hire an attorney to represent your interests. Attorneys can negotiate the division without the emotional baggage and ensure everything gets split up fairly, streamlining the process and sometimes even making court unnecessary.
Find an Experienced Divorce Attorney
Splitting assets during divorce can be complicated, but with the right attorney you can make it as easy as possible for everyone involved. Since Arizona is a community property state, there are fairly straightforward guidelines as to how the community property and debt is to be split. An experienced law firm such as the Simon Law Group can help you avoid common pitfalls, negotiate for you without the emotional involvement, and put the final nails in your divorce’s coffin so that you can move on with your life. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us today.