Is Arizona a Community Property State?
Many years ago in the United States, only men could own property. It was the same almost anywhere you would go. Women were considered her husband’s (or father’s) property. Their services could be exchanged for money. They could be forced to marry somebody they didn’t love because their parents made her. Had Arizona divorce attorneys operated two hundred years ago, they wouldn’t have to worry about handling many divorce cases. Divorce just wasn’t something a respectable woman did. All of that changed with time. One of the remnants of this line of thinking is what lawyer refer to as “community property.” One of the times the issue of community property comes into effect is when someone files for divorce. Here, we’ll discuss how community property works. We’ll also explain what assets are included and which ones are not. In the meantime, if you have questions about your own divorce, call and talk to one of our Arizona divorce attorneys.
What Exactly is a Community Property State?
Community property is simply property owned by one spouse that becomes joint property once they marry. Community property usually includes things like your home, cars, and any rental property or timeshare. And it is not just your assets that become joint property. Your debts do as well. For example, imagine that you are getting married and already own a home, a boat and two vehicles. Your spouse owns a car. When you get married, none of these assets become part of community property. However, if you buy a boat or jet ski an hour after your wedding ceremony, it will be considered community property and your spouse will own it 50-50. The key here is timing. Anything that was underway by the time your divorce claim was filed cannot be subjected to community property.
There are Exceptions to What Constitutes Property the
As with most laws, there are a few exceptions to the community property rules. For example, anything that you received as a gift during the marriage. In addition, anything you receive as a birthday gift would not be part of community property.
How Does this Impact Your Divorce Case?
More than anything else, the fact that Arizona is a community property state will significantly impact your case. In most states, the court will look at the marital assets and do their best to divide the assets. They also take into account whether the assets are jointly owned. If they are, they’ll likely be split in half. The judge could stand outside your storage shed and wait for every item if he wanted to. What typically happens is that the two Arizona divorce attorneys work out an agreement that both parties can live with.
Let Your Arizona Divorce Attorney Help Protect Your Assets
Divorce can be complicated, especially in Arizona. As mentioned above, Arizona is one of just 9 states that still abide by the community property doctrine. Most people think they understand how it works but they are often mistaken. The best way to know for sure what’s going on with your case is to call and talk to an experienced Arizona divorce attorney. Your lawyer can review any information you’ve provided. They’ll also need to ask you a few questions about your case. Once they get a chance to dig into your file, they’ll give you a idea of what your property settlement agreement may be worth. They’ll also let you know what your odds are of being granted a divorce. All you have to do is call our office to get the ball rolling.