Yuma, AZ – Arizona’s divorce laws include community property provisions, which creates some crucial issues during divorces in the state. In many divorce cases, property division can be the most time consuming and frustrating aspect of a separation. However, community property laws can make this phase of the divorce even more challenging, as spouses essentially have to find a way to equally divide or share almost everything they own.
The definition of community property in Arizona
The term community property means that anything that was purchased or obtained during the marriage is considered to be owned equally, regardless of which spouse specifically bought it or has the legal title. This can make dividing assets after a separation slightly more complex, as spouses will generally have to find a way to share everything down the middle. There are generally only exceptions for certain types of gifts or items that were inherited from family members.
Types of items that are community property
There are a few common things that are almost always considered community property during a divorce case. These include cars and vehicles, credit card debt, student loan debts, real property and homes, bank accounts, investment accounts, and even retirement accounts.
Dividing community property during a divorce case
Family courts are given general guidance that community property should be divided fairly and equitably. This phrase is somewhat vague, but the judge assigned to the case usually tries to get as close to an equal or fifty percent division as possible. In cases where a piece of property such as a car or house cannot be divided between the two, the court will order the couple to sell it and divide the profits. The property must receive an appraisal or similar evaluation to determine a fair market value.
Settlements and minimizing court involvement
One way that this process can be bypassed is for the spouses to come up with their own marital settlement agreement. This is ideal because it means less time and money in court, and generally also includes less conflict between the spouses. The couple can draft a contract that dictates exactly who gets ownership or certain property and assets. The court assigned to the case will review the document and sign off on it without requiring any further dispute or issues related to those items listed in the agreement. Legal help should be obtained when making these agreements, as they also must address complex issues such as taxation and indemnity.
Family lawyers in Arizona
Schneider and Onofry is a firm that handles various problems for families in Yuma, Arizona. Divorces, child custody hearings, support payments for spouses and children, and various other family law issues can require the assistance of a licensed attorney.
Firm contact info:
207 W. 2nd St., Yuma AZ 85364