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What do the Arizona community property laws mean in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Feb 9, 2022 | Divorce

Every state in the country has laws about the big decisions in a divorce. These include laws that apply to custody matters and the division of marital property, for example. Anyone can file an uncontested divorce if the spouses are able to agree on the major issues involved.. If they don’t, they might need to go to court and have a judge make these decisions, including how they will split their property.

For the most part, married couples share their earnings and assets. After you get married, your income in your property will become marital property. In Arizona, the courts will treat whatever you acquire during your marriage as community property. What will that mean for the division of your assets?

Marital vs. separate property

Arizona is one of a minority of states that apply the community property principal to assets and debts shared by a married couple. It doesn’t matter who made a purchase, earned the income or opened a credit card account. What matters is when those actions took place.

Property inherited or owned before marriage is separate property, but almost everything else is marital property. There is a presumption that community property rules will mean a 50-50 split of their assets. Debts are also subject to an even split, except in cases with provable financial misconduct.

A family law judge can divide individual assets or accounts or split your property based on the overall value. Learning more about how community property division works can help you prepare to split your assets with your spouse in your pending divorce.