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 Arizona Divorce | Arizona is a ‘Community Property State’

This verbiage is taken directly from the Superior Court of Arizona Website

Arizona is referred to as a Community Property State because of the way our state laws treat the property and debts of a married couple. 

Community property generally means that a wife and husband, husband and husband, wife and wife (spouse and spouse) equally share the ownership of anything the couple purchased, acquired, or paid for during the marriage.

It does not matter who uses the property, who paid the money or in whose name the title to the property is taken. In the eyes of the Court, neither spouse has a greater claim to community property than the other. 

Arizona Divorce | Community Property Is Not Only Real Estate

Community property is not just land or buildings. It includes all kinds of things like money (all forms – cash, bank accounts, investment accounts, and certificates of deposit), jewelry, home furnishings, automobiles, boats, and stock options.

And don’t forget the wages or earnings of both spouses during the marriage. 

Even retirement plans can be part of the community estate assets. 

Arizona Divorce | Personal Property 

Except for things that one spouse or the other receives by gift or inheritance which are considered Personal Property.

All property that either spouse receives during the marriage generally is considered to be community property unless proven otherwise.   

It’s important to determine and place a value on the community property, including debts on the property that are owed. 

In a dissolution case the court is required by law to divide the community property in a fair (not necessarily equal) way. 

If the spouses do not make each other and the court aware of what community property exists, the final court order may not include necessary terms that show exactly what property each spouse should receive when the marriage ends. 

If a retirement plan or pension is involved, the court may have to sign a special order (a “Qualified Domestic Relations Order”) so the company that keeps the retirement monies or handles the pension knows when and how to divide the account or plan payments. 

Other Reading

Why are House Inspections Necessary During a Divorce?

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What I Do:

1. I help people who own a home together, and plan to separate and/or divorce, avoid making very expensive and long-lasting mistakes with their co-owned home.

2. Although my information can help anyone who plans to divorce, it is best suited for those who are not contesting the divorce (too much) and are as amicable as possible. 

How Do I Do This?

1. I'll  consult with my clients and compassionately help them completely understand all of their options with the home. 

2. I'll explain the option of one person keeping the home and refinancing the home, so the former spouse is no longer on the mortgage loan.

3. I'll explain the option of selling the home and splitting the equity, and then each person having the option to buy a new home on their own.

4. I'll explain why an appraisal-minus-the-mortgage does not equal true equity, and why a home inspection (sometimes called house due diligence) is very important at this time.

5. I'll explain to my clients how their decisions with respect to the home will impact their quality of life for many years to come, positively or negatively.

6. I'll explain how the information I can provide will help my clients make better decisions for their future. 

7. I'll explain how my clients can avoid making expensive and long-lasting mistakes.

8. I'll introduce my clients to other professionals, such as mortgage professionals who can better explain the refinancing and new purchase options.   

9. I'll explain my discounted commission rates that I offer my clients if they choose to sell the house and choose me as their REALTOR®.