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Before worrying about all of the laws and statutes that guide judges in the division of community property, remember that you have control over this situation. As with any other aspect of divorce, you and your spouse have the ability to work out an agreement outside of court if you can work together and agree on the details.
This is obviously the fastest and cheapest way to divide your community property. Your first option can be to try to sit down with your spouse and determine if you can come to an agreement on your own.
Although we do live in a community property state, if you and your spouse decide that you do not want to split the assets 50/50, that is completely up to you. Outside of court you can reach any agreement you feel comfortable with and submit it to the court.
If you know that your spouse can be manipulative or combative, this may not be the best option for you. It is easy to be taken advantage of in such a stressful situation; be sure to go into the discussion with what you think is a fair agreement and work toward a compromise. If you cannot come to an agreement, then mediation or court will be your next decision to make.
Using Divorce Mediation to Settle
If you are unable to come to an agreement on your own, your next option is to take the issue to divorce mediation. Mediation is different from court, in that you meet with your attorneys (if desired) and a third-party mediator that will guide a discussion and try to help you create a resolution.
This is the second fastest and cheapest option because it avoids going to court. Many couples find success in mediation because they are still in control of the outcome, but are working on their own timeline and not the court’s.
If you are unable to come to an agreement in mediation, or know that your spouse will not be willing to negotiate, then going to court may be your only option.
Separating Community Property in Court
Since Arizona is a community property state, the separation of the property should be equal and fair. Equal division of property does not mean that you each get half of each item; this would be difficult in many situations and not practical.
An equal division of assets in the eyes of the court means that the total of everything each party receives is about equal. While this sounds like a simple and fair solution, people still argue over who gets what property.
In court, some issues that arise will be:
- Whether the property is community or separate property
- Who gets what
- Value of certain items
These kinds of issues are resolved at the judge’s discretion based on facts presented in court. Having an attorney on your side that will fight to get you what you want and deserve will be important at this point.
Both sides are acting with their own self-interest in mind – an aggressive and understanding divorce attorney will advocate for you and make sure that you are not take advantage of or intimidated.
Get the Most Beneficial Result to Your Divorce
Divorce is stressful, and worrying about your property often adds to your distress. At JacksonWhite, we understand how frustrating the process can be, so we take every effort to shoulder your burden. Our family law attorneys are well-versed in community property management, and we’ve had thousands of clients receive divorce settlements that gave them the results they were looking for.
Although there are many considerations that go into dividing community property, if you have an experienced divorce attorney that can guide you through the process, you’ll have the best chance at getting a beneficial result to your divorce.
Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.
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