Determining what is separate property and what is community property can be one of the most contested issues in an Arizona divorce. The answer isn't always black or white. Due to commingling, many assets contain a blend of separate and community property.
At the law firm of Singer Pistiner, P.C., in Phoenix, Arizona, our lawyers help clients protect their separate property rights and obtain a fair division of community property. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case.
How Is Community Property Defined in Arizona?
In Arizona, all property acquired during the marriage is community property, unless it was inherited or a gift. Even if an asset is titled in one person's name, it is still community property if it was acquired during the marriage. Separate property is property acquired prior to marriage or by gift or inheritance during the marriage.
It seems straightforward. However, the line between community property and separate property can get blurry due to "commingling." Here are some examples:
- If you use separate property to make a down payment on a home acquired during your marriage, that contribution may be considered separate property, even though the house is community property.
- If you contribute to home repairs or mortgage payments of your spouse's separate property home, a portion of the home may be community property to reflect those contributions.
- If you refinance a separate property home and include your spouse's name on the title, that action may be considered a gift, making the home community property.
To preserve your separate property rights in a community property state such as Arizona, it's important to be able to trace your separate property contributions. Otherwise, separate property can become community property.
Singer Pistiner, P.C., is also highly knowledgeable in community property matters. We have experience in complex asset and debt division cases, as well as those with simpler property issues. Throughout the entire process, we will work to protect your assets and achieve a property settlement that enables you to move forward in life in the strongest possible position.
Learn More About Commingled Funds and Other Marital Property Issues
If you'd like to know more about community property and separate property in Arizona divorce law, please feel free to call our attorneys at 602-910-2642, 623-239-4610, or send us an e-mail to schedule a free initial consultation. From our office on Camelback Road, we represent clients throughout the Phoenix metropolitan area in Arizona.