Mesa is located in a community property state, which means everything a couple acquires during their marriage belongs to both spouses, regardless of whether an asset is titled in the name of the two parties or just one of them. Everything they earn, invest, and purchase during the course of their marriage belongs to the two of them as the “community.”
In the event of a divorce, that property is divided equally amongst the two spouses, unless a judge finds that a different arrangement is more appropriate. A lawyer from our firm could improve your understanding of Mesa property division laws and explain how they might affect your case.
Arizona Revised Statute §25-211 states that all assets acquired during a couple’s marriage is considered community property belonging to both spouses. The number one consideration judges must make when dividing property is when an asset was acquired. If the property was acquired by a spouse before they got married, then it would remain under their sole and separate ownership, which is different than community property.
The next question the courts must answer is whether any assets obtained during the marriage were acquired via inheritance or a gift, bequest or will, where somebody leaves them money or property. This kind of property is excluded from the community property.
Mesa asset distribution laws also mandate local judges to determine how a couple’s property was purchased. Sometimes, there are exemptions to the community property law.
For example, if someone bought a piece of property before they were married and their spouse helps them pay the mortgage on the property after their marriage, that could be known as transmutation. This means that the property that was separately owned may become community property if the other spouse helps pay for it during the marriage, or the community could have a lien on a portion of the separate property.
Determining an Asset’s Value
The process of determining the value of an asset depends on the property. If parties to a divorce cannot agree on the value of an asset, both spouses may testify about what they believe the value is during court proceedings. They can also get an appraisal of their real estate and present that as evidence in court.
When it comes to the value of, for example, a military pension, a 401K, or an IRA account, it is usually easy for the parties to agree on the worth based on statements. Otherwise, the courts may require the parties to present an expert valuation of the asset in order to make a definitive assessment or order the couple to divide the retirement asset via a QRDO. This process varies depending on the type of property.
Ask an Attorney about Mesa Property Division Laws
There are many detailed considerations that a family law judge must make when distributing a couple’s marital assets. For this reason, it is best to enlist the services of a local attorney before entering litigation with your spouse.
The process of asset distribution can be complex and challenging, especially without legal counsel. You should consider reaching out to one of our steadfast attorneys today to learn more about how Mesa property division laws can impact your case.