Tempe Property And Debt Division Lawyer

Arizona is a community property state. This means that a marriage makes two people one legal "community." So property that the couple acquires during marriage is "community property." And debt that the couple acquires during the marriage also becomes "community debt."

Contact me, an Arizona property division attorney, to arrange a consultation to discuss how to reach an equitable divorce settlement that protects your rights.

Tempe, Arizona, Attorney Advising On Division Of Assets And Asset Protection

Community property generally is everything that spouses own together. It includes everything you bought or got while you were married — including debt — that is not a gift or inheritance.

Community property also includes all the earnings that either spouse (or both of you) earned during the marriage and everything bought with those earnings.

You may have more community property than you realize. Community property includes all financial obligations (debts) accumulated during your marriage. This is true even if the debt was incurred by only one of you, or even if a credit card was in the name of one spouse only.

Community property and community debts are usually divided equally. In Arizona, each spouse owns one-half of the community property. And, each spouse or partner is responsible for one-half of the debt.

Quasi-Community Property

Quasi-community property is any type of property that was acquired by either one or both spouses when living in another state that, had it been acquired while living in Arizona, it would have been considered community property. In other words, if you or your spouse were living outside of Arizona during your marriage, and you had any earnings, bought any real estate, or acquired any other type of property that in Arizona would be community property, that property is called quasi-community property. And, in a divorce or legal separation in Arizona, it will be treated as community property.

Separate Property

Separate property is anything you have that you owned before you were married. Inheritances and gifts to one spouse, even during the marriage, are also separate property. Rents, profits, or other money you earn from your separate property is also separate property. And property you buy with separate property is also separate property.

If you have separate property, it belongs only to you, as long as it was kept separately. Debts can be separate property too, such as credit cards you might get after the date of service.

Mixed Community And Separate Property — Commingling

Sometimes things are part separate property and part community property. This is called "commingling" because the separate property and community property have become mixed together. When property is a combination of separate or community property, it can get very complicated to figure out how to divide it. A common example is when you or your spouse has a pension or retirement benefit from a job held before and during the marriage.

In general, when either spouse has a pension, a lawyer's help is necessary. First, a pension can be one of the most valuable assets you have from your marriage. Second, the special rules that apply to pensions are very technical and do not apply to any other kind of asset. A pension plan must be "joined" by obtaining a court order called a qualified domestic relations order, or QDRO. If you make an error, there could be harmful results. It is worth paying a lawyer to correctly prepare the QDRO for you.

Contact A Chandler Lawyer To Discuss Marital Property Rights

Contact me, a Tempe, Arizona, asset and debt division lawyer now to discuss your questions and concerns about division of assets.