Skilled Guidance in Arizona Property Division
Aside from custody and other issues regarding children, there is no more highly contentious aspect of divorce than the distribution of assets, property and debts. Whatever their occupations and levels of sophistication, many people confronting a marital dissolution are shocked by the “letter of the law” in this regard.
Let Us Help You Achieve Your Goals Regarding The Division Of Marital Property
Arizona is a community property state. Essentially, unless a valid prenuptial agreement exists, the vast majority of all money and property received or earned by either spouse during the marriage is subject to 50-50 division in divorce. This includes retirement accounts, stock options, personal collections and just about any other valuable asset you can name.
If you have a lot on the line in a high net worth divorce, your financial situation going forward may well depend not only on your attorney’s specific legal knowledge, but also on his or her financial acumen and access to quality professional resources. At Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, we exercise extreme diligence and rigor in defending our clients’ financial interests. Our proven capabilities cover the spectrum of:
- Comprehensive, proactive investigation and analysis to ensure full financial disclosure is provided by the opposing party when property division may be contested
- Due diligence to bring forth evidence that specific assets should be treated as separate property, rather than marital
- Reliance on top-quality experts for testimony on issues such as the proper valuation of a business or professional practice
- Specific understanding of allocation of military pensions and other key issues in a military divorce
- Full-service representation on other financial issues such as negotiation or litigation of any spousal maintenance order
Commonly Asked Questions About Property Division
Our attorneys get a lot of questions from our clients and potential clients. Here are answers to a few that we commonly hear:
Is property division 50-50 in Arizona?
The property division process for couples seeking a divorce in Arizona is not like that of a majority of the states across the U.S. Most states follow an equitable distribution system where a judge will look at all the couple’s joint belongings and divide them in a way that they believe is fair. However, a handful of states, including Arizona, abide by a community property method. Through community property guidelines, all the property a couple jointly accumulates is divided 50-50 between them. It’s important to note that this community or marital property doesn’t include assets you may have had prior to your wedding date. Our property division lawyers will help you understand your options before your divorce is finalized.
What happens to my retirement accounts if I get divorced?
Working for a steady paycheck and constantly investing a portion toward a fruitful retirement is something you don’t want to lose through the divorce process. Prior to dissolving your marriage, it is vital to get a complete understanding of the future of your 401(k). Essentially, your 401(k) and other similar retirement account contributions during your marriage are community property subject to a 50-50 split. An exception to this rule is any retirement accounts protected by a prenuptial agreement. Also, a divorce allows you to withdraw from a 401(k) before retirement age without a penalty fee. So, if you need any extra cash to get your feet on the ground as you re-enter single life, talk to us about your options for an early withdrawal.
Who gets the house in a divorce in Arizona?
Everyone’s situation and divorce goals are different, meaning the future of the marital home will vary from couple to couple. Although, whether you keep the family home or sell it, community property rules will still apply. This means that if you put the home you purchased during your marriage up for sale, the proceeds will go into the community property pool. If you want to keep the family home, you may have to prove you need it to raise your kids properly, that you invested a lot into it or that you are willing to give up other assets.
However, if your or your soon-to-be ex bought the family home or received it as a gift or inheritance before your marriage, it may be treated as separate property. Separate property isn’t subject to division in a divorce.
Can I keep a family inheritance in my divorce?
If you have this question, you’re most likely hoping to hear a simple yes. By law, in Arizona, gifts and inheritances are safe from the asset division process. However, if your inheritance mixes with (or is commingled with) marital property, then it is marital property and subject to division.
An example of this is receiving an inheritance check and depositing it in a joint bank account. Another instance could be if you received something physical like real estate, and both of you paid to keep up the property during your marriage. Separate property examples may include, 1) a family heirloom that has remained untouched since receiving it, and 2) placing inheritance money in a bank account in your name alone.
Who determines the value of a business in my divorce?
The divorce process can become complicated for those with high-valued assets. Business owners may feel overwhelmed with how they should handle their business moving forward. A professional evaluation should be obtained if you independently own a business or co-own one with your spouse. Trying to calculate the value of your business on your own isn’t easy, as it depends on many factors, including intricate formulas and always-evolving market conditions. So, if you come up with an estimate based on your numbers, like revenue, debts and inventory, you shouldn’t be surprised if your guess doesn’t match the value a professional comes up with. We can help you establish the most accurate value and help you keep your business operating after your divorce.
Turn To Trial-Proven Divorce Litigators And Negotiators
From full-service offices in Phoenix, Peoria and Goodyear, the property division lawyers at our firm emphasize resolution through negotiation or mediation whenever possible. However, we are also trial-ready advocates willing and able to go the distance to secure a just outcome and provide you with the financial security you deserve.