What is “Community Property?”
By Zachary Mushkatel on December 12, 2013
One of the key issues confronted in the vast majority of Arizona divorce focuses on how the couple will split the community property owned within the marriage. This process, known as the “division of marital property,” can have long-lasting effects on your financial stability after the divorce is final.
Arizona law defines “community property” as “all property (including debts) acquired by either the husband or wife during the marriage.” This broad definition extends not only to major acquisitions like investments, real estate, or vehicles, but also to small items like jewelry, antiques, and household goods. Any debts acquired during the marriage are also considered community property. Because so many items acquired during the marriage belong to both spouses, it is crucial to understand how community property functions and how the community is to be divided in accordance with Arizona law.
During a divorce, you and your spouse have the opportunity to decide how the community property will be divided. If an agreement is not feasible, the court may divide the property. In an Arizona divorce, community property is theoretically divided “equitably” to give each person a roughly equal chance at establishing a future. Remember, however, that an “equitable” distribution is not always the same as an “equal” one.
At Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC, our experienced Arizona family law attorneys have helped people throughout the Surprise, Peoria, Scottsdale, Sun City, and Glendale areas to navigate the rocky waters of divorce successfully. Contact us today at (623) 889-0691 for a free and confidential consultation.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.