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Tucson Lawyer Experienced in Asset Division During Divorce

Southern Arizona attorney understand the community property process

In Arizona as elsewhere, couples going through divorce must go through division of their jointly owned property or arrange for other methods of distribution. Arizona is a community property state, which means all assets acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage are deemed equally owned by each. Upon divorce, this property is divided equally, which sometimes requires selling off large assets or transferring ownership to one spouse in return for cash. At Pahl & Associates in Tucson, we are experienced in everything related to Arizona property division, including identification of property that should be exempt from the process.

Distinguishing community property from separate property

In Arizona, all assets acquired during a marriage are presumed community property. Even assets owned separately prior to marriage can be converted to community ownership by commingling them. For example, a home owned by one spouse can be treated as marital property, in whole or in part, if the other spouse pays the mortgage, taxes and other expenses. Interest or dividends on separately owned assets are considered community property if received during the marriage.

However, certain assets acquired during a marriage are exempt from property division during divorce:

  • Gifts received by one spouse from a third party
  • Inheritances received by one spouse
  • Items that both spouses have agreed, in writing, belong to only one of them
  • Assets acquired after filing for divorce but while the divorce is pending

Property includes not only assets but debts incurred by the spouses during the marriage. The separate or community nature of debts is determined in the same way as assets.

Attorney experienced in valuing and dividing community property

Assets and debts subject to division must be assigned monetary values. Unless the spouses can come to agreement, appraisals may need to be conducted by financial experts or others with particular knowledge. This is often the case with valuable jewelry, artwork and antiques.

Community property is generally divided 50/50 but exceptions may be granted in the interests of fairness. Where one spouse has allegedly wasted assets through gambling, drug use or an extramarital affair, the other spouse can seek to have that taken into account in asset division. Similarly, a spouse who has caused the couple to incur large debts may be required to assume those obligations.

Where large assets like the family home are concerned, it sometimes makes sense for one spouse to buy out the other, such as when a soft housing market would result in a low profit or a loss if a sale were to be forced.

Contact an experienced Tucson divorce lawyer to discuss your community property issues

Identifying, valuing and dividing community property during divorce can be complicated, but the Tucson law firm of Pahl & Associates can help you achieve a fair disposition of assets and debts. Talk to an Arizona family lawyer by calling 520-628-1111 or contact us online to arrange a consultation. Se habla español.