Community Property Laws

One of the most difficult aspects of going through a divorce is deciding how to split up the property and in some cases the debts you have acquired as a couple while you were married.  This can often be a very emotional and stressful matter to address.  When determining how to make these difficult decisions, it is important to know and understand your rights, and hiring the right family law and divorce attorney can make all the difference.

Arizona is a community property state.  This simply means that all property or debts that you and your spouse acquire during the term of the marriage will be considered community property and each spouse has a one-half interest in any property acquired during the marriage.  Likewise, each spouse has a one-half responsibility for any debt accumulated during the marriage.  This includes an interest in any real property, personal property (home furnishings, tools, etc.), money, bank accounts, stock, retirement accounts, pensions, etc.

Some property may be considered the sole and separate property of one spouse.  A spouse is not entitled to a one-half interest in any property that is the sole and separate property of the other spouse.  Property that may be considered sole and separate property may include property that one spouse owned prior to the marriage.  It may also include property given as a gift or property that is inherited at any time, including during the marriage.  A party claiming that some specific property is his or her separate property must provide proof that the property was something he or she owned prior to the marriage, was acquired by gift or was th property that was received through and inheritance.
A number of issues can arise when dividing property during a divorce.  These issues can include the co-mingling of separate property with community property, hiding assets, or even disagreements over the value of property.  Property and debts should be divided in such a way that each party receives and equitable distribution of the property.  The issues described above often require a trial judge to sift through evidence relating to property and to divide the property in the most equitable way possible.  This does not always mean that both parties will receive exactly 50% of the community property.

The legal team at the Law Offices of Kevin Jensen understands the complex issues related to the division of property and debts at the time of divorce.  Although it is always preferable for the parties to try to come to an agreement as to how their property and debts should be divided, sometimes it is necessary to litigate, especially when a party might be hiding assets or to determine whether the property should be considered community property or separate property. At The Law Offices of Kevin Jensen will protect your property division rights through passionate and compassionate legal service.

With offices in Mesa, Chandler, and Gilbert we are ready to help.

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