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Arizona Property Division Factors

In Arizona, the property and debt issues are typically settled between the parties by a signed Marital Settlement Agreement or the property award is actually order and decreed by the Superior Court within the Decree of Dissolution of Marriage.

Arizona is considered a "Community Property" state. Community property is defined as all property and debt that was acquired from the date of marriage until the marital cut-off date. The community assets will be split equally by the Superior Court if the spouses are unable to reach an agreement.

The court shall divide the community, joint tenancy and other property held in common equitably, though not necessarily in kind, without regard to marital misconduct. The property acquired by either spouse outside this state shall be deemed to be community property if the property would have been community property if acquired in this state. This section does not prevent the court from considering all actual damages and judgments from conduct that results in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or child was the victim, excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.

The court may assign responsibility for certain community debts to one spouse or the other. Please be aware that a court order that does this is binding on the spouses only and does not necessarily relieve either of you from your responsibility for these community debts. These debts are matters of contract between both of you and your creditors (such as banks, credit unions, credit card issuers, finance companies, utility companies, medical providers and retailers).

Creditors are not parties of a divorce case, so they are not bound by court orders or any agreements you and your spouse reach in this case. On request, the court may impose a lien against the separate property of a spouse to secure payment of debts that the court orders that spouse to pay.

It is recommended that you contact your creditors to discuss your debts as well as the possible effects of your court case on your debts. (Arizona Statutes - Title 25 - Chapters: 318)