Money and property are both contentious issues in many Arizona divorce cases. Each party generally wants to maximize the amount that they emerge from the divorce with, and this can lead to expensive disputes. To formulate a negotiating position, it is important to know how a court would divide the assets if the matter reached a trial.
Know the difference between marital and separate property
First, you should know which property is not subject to division. The marital estate does not include separate property that one held before the marriage or things like an inheritance. However, if separate property commingles with marital property, it can be subject to division. For example, if this property was placed in a joint bank account, it can become marital property.
The factors the court analyzes
When it comes to marital property, the court will make an equitable distribution of the property. Sometimes, this can be a 50-50 split, but the court will look to various factors when reaching a decision. A judge might consider the length of the marriage, the amount earned by each spouse and each spouse’s post-divorce financial situation. Courts have a wide discretion to award the property how they see fit, stripping you of any kind of predictability. Each party takes a risk when a divorce goes to court, so you may want to try to settle the case beforehand. In addition, divorce litigation costs can add up quickly, giving you an incentive to resolve the matter amicably.
To learn more about how a court may divide assets in a divorce, you should contact a divorce attorney. The lawyer may help you develop a strategy for negotiations and could represent you in settlement discussions. Otherwise, you may not fully know how your property could be divided. If your attorney cannot reach an agreement on your behalf, they could represent your interests in front of a judge.