Centuori & Associates, PC

Arizona residents who are going through a divorce may want to learn more about property division laws. While determining who gets what in a divorce settlement, gaining a solid understanding of what is defined as community property and what isn't may help to prevent some disputes from arising.

With a few exceptions, all of the property that was acquired by either spouse during the course of a marriage is considered the community property of both spouses. Property may not fall into the community property category if a spouse acquired the property through a gift or inheritance, however. Additionally, any property that was acquired after the petition for divorce was filed will be the individual property of the spouse who acquired it.

After a divorce petition is served, community property will maintain its status as community property even if that property is used to acquire new property by one spouse. This means that a divorcing spouse could not use funds in a marital bank account to purchase new property and then keep that new property as their individual property. Rather, the new property would still be considered a marital asset.

An uncontested divorce may be more likely when both spouses involved understand what assets are considered community property. However, community property such as a house and real estate can be difficult to divide and may still lead to disputes. A family law attorney may be able to help an individual who is going through a divorce to assert their rights and achieve the best possible outcome for themselves during property division.

Source: Arizona State Legislature, "Property Rights and Contract Powers", October 21, 2014

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