Mesa Dividing Property Attorney
When you or your spouse file a petition for a dissolution of marriage in Arizona, otherwise known as a divorce, there will be a handful of issues that you two will have to face. One such issue is that of how property will be divided. This issue can be extremely contentious, and when couples are not able to come to an agreement about dividing property in a Mesa divorce on their own, a court will make a determination for them.
If you are going through a divorce and want to ensure that your rights to your property are preserved, you should work with our experienced Mesa dividing property attorney at the Modern Law, PLLC. We have the experience and knowledge of property division laws that you can count on.
Laws for Dividing Property During a Divorce in Arizona
The first thing that you need to know about dividing property in a divorce is that Arizona is a community property state. That means that all property that is acquired during the course of the marriage, regardless of who acquires it, is considered community property. There are some exceptions to this: property that is acquired via gift or inheritance is considered separate property.
Arizona’s community property laws not only hold that all assets acquired during the course of the marriage are jointly owned, but also that upon dissolution of marriage, assets are to be split equally (50/50). Separate property is not subject to such division.
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What About My House?
While money in bank accounts may be easy to split equally, other assets, such as a home, car, or business, are much harder to divide without liquidating assets entirely. In the case of a home, business, car, or other valuable physical object that one party wishes to keep, it is standard for the other party to “buy out” their half. For example, if your home is valued at $300,000 and you wish to live in it, you may have to pay your spouse $150,000 in order to keep it, thereby purchasing your spouse’s half of the property. This is just a rough example, and is merely used to illustrate how keeping property may work in a divorce.
Will Fault in the Divorce, Such as Adultery, Affect Property Division?
Because Arizona is a no-fault state when it comes to divorce, whether or not one of the parties in the marriage did something to lead to its dissolution, such as have an affair, will not affect a property division settlement. However, if one party squandered or wasted money through economic misconduct, this will be considered. For example, if one party, knowing that divorce was imminent because divorce papers had already been filed, took out a huge loan to purchase themselves an expensive item, blew money gambling, or spent hundreds or thousands of dollars on a gift for a separate lover, this will be considered. Typically, in cases such as this, the court will find that the other spouse should not be liable for the other’s misuse of marital funds.
While financial ties between the two parties are severed after divorce is filed, any debt that you or your spouse incur prior to filing for divorce is jointly shared, just like your assets. This means that if your spouse has huge amounts of debt, you will likely be liable for that debt assuming that extenuating circumstances do not apply.
Do I Need an Attorney When Filing for Divorce in Mesa?
One mistake that many people who are filing for divorce in Mesa make is thinking that they can handle the divorce on their own without a legal aid. Even if you and your spouse are on amicable terms and are in agreement about how to settle a divorce, having an experienced attorney on your side is always within your best interest. At the very least, an attorney can review all documents related to your divorce and a settlement before it is finalized to ensure that everything is sound.
However, in most cases, a divorce is not amicable, and parties are not in agreement about how to divide property. This is when working with an experienced lawyer is particularly important, as your attorney can inform you of the law, help you to find and work with financial professionals, represent you in negotiations, and represent you during a divorce trial if necessary.
At the Modern Law, PLLC, our Mesa dividing property attorneys are here for you. If you are going through a divorce, call our law firm for a consultation about how we can protect your future. Reach us today by phone, or use our online form to write us a message now. You can also text us anytime!