Failure to Disclose Financial Information in a Divorce in Arizona
In Arizona, the family court includes decisions regarding support obligations and the division of marital assets in the final divorce decree. In some cases, one or both of the parties may not cooperate fully.
The court makes the best decision possible using as much information as possible, but in many cases, information may not be provided that could be useful in determining an equitable division of assets. In the unpublished Arizona Court of Appeals case of Quigley v. Quigly, the division of marital property and award of spousal maintenance were based solely on the testimony of the two parties.
Husband and Wife were married in 1991. Wife filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in August 2013. The wife testified at the evidentiary hearing about the parties’ standard of living, the history of employment during the marriage, and illness and disability benefits.
Wife testified that her health was deteriorating and spousal maintenance would be needed for her to meet her living expenses. Wife also testified she contributed to Husband’s earning capacity throughout their marriage, as she cared for the children while he was at work and supported him while he education to pursue additional career opportunities.
Husband also testified regarding his finances. He claimed his retirement benefits were earned during the marriage and should be equally divided between the parties. The husband also testified he had not seen Wife’s financial affidavit or disclosures of bank accounts or her disability award.
He stated he knew nothing about any debts incurred during the marriage. A divorce decree was issued dissolving the parties’ marriage, dividing their marital assets, and awarding Wife spousal maintenance of $600 for 120 months. The husband moved to amend the judgment and filed a request for a new trial and subsequently filed an appeal to the Arizona Court of Appeals.
Dividing Assets in a Divorce Without Full Disclosure of Assets
The husband argued on appeal that the family court could not equitably divide the parties’ assets based solely on Wife’s testimony without the Wife’s disclosure of financial documentation. He contends the court should have imposed sanctions or delayed ruling until proper disclosures were obtained.
On appeal, the trial court’s equitable distribution of property is examined to determine if the trial court abused its discretion. A.R.S. Section 25-318(A) requires a family court to provide an equitable division of community property (though not necessarily in kind) without regard to marital misconduct. In this case, the family court ordered that financial accounts containing community property as of the date of service would be divided equally.
There was only one community account identified in the proceedings, which was the Husband’s retirement account. The husband’s argument that the retirement account should not be divided until “all monies” are accounted for is in contradiction to his proposal at trial for the retirement assets earned during the course of the couple’s marriage to be divided equally.
The division of the Husband’s retirement was based on both pre-trial statements filed with the court and the Husband’s testimony. Change in Circumstances to Modify Alimony in Arizona. Additionally, the Husband does not allege how Wife’s disclosure violations would have prejudiced the court’s decision. The husband did not file a motion with the court to compel the Wife to disclose financial information, or request a continuance of the trial, or make any objections at trial.
On appeal, Wife was found to have met the requirements for being awarded spousal maintenance, pursuant to A.R.S. Section 25-319(A). Additionally, at the hearing, Husband did not argue Wife was not entitled to an award of spousal maintenance.
As a result, the Husband’s claims on appeal regarding Wife’s eligibility to be awarded spousal maintenance lacked merit on appeal. The family court considered the 13 enumerated factors in the statute prior to awarding Wife $600 per month in spousal maintenance for 120 months. The Court of Appeals of Arizona, therefore, affirmed the decision of the trial court in this case.
Other Articles About Community Property in Arizona
- Community Lien on Sole and Separate Property in Arizona
- Community Lien in Arizona
- Community Liens Separate Property in Arizona
- Community Property and Personal Guaranty in Arizona
- Determining Community Versus Sole Property in Arizona
- The difference Between Community and Separate Property in Arizona
- Disclaimer Deed in a Divorce in Arizona
- Divide Retirement Accounts in an Arizona Divorce
- Dividing Property Not Included in Divorce Decree in Arizona
- Division of Debt in an Arizona Divorce
- Do Rules Regarding Property Apply to Debts in an Arizona Divorce
- Enforce Division of Property and Debt in an Arizona Divorce
- Enforcing a Property Settlement Agreement in Arizona
- Filing a Lis Pendens in a Divorce in Arizona
- How is Property Divided in a Divorce in Arizona
- How to Divide Property in Arizona When a Spouse is Hiding Assets
- Is All Property Community Property in Arizona
- Is Arizona a 50 50 State in a Divorce
- Is Separate Property Divided in Arizona Divorce
- Marital Property Laws in Arizona
- Military Retirement Pay and Divorce in Arizona
- Pensions and Divorce in Arizona
- Separate Property Used to Purchase a Home During Marriage in Arizona
- Sole and Separate Property Divorce Arizona
- Is a Spouse Liable for Credit Card Debt in Arizona
- Stock Options Divided in an Arizona Divorce Case
- Stock Options in an Arizona Divorce
- Unequal Division of Property in Arizona Divorce
- Unfair Separation Agreement in Arizona
- Valuation and Distribution Options For Pensions in an Arizona Divorce
- What is Community Property in Arizona
- What is Separate Property in Arizona
Chris Hildebrand wrote the information on this page about the failure to disclose financial information in a divorce in Arizona to ensure everyone has access to information about family law in Arizona. Chris is a divorce and family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and, quite frankly, actually caring about what his clients are going through in a divorce or family law case. In short, his practice is defined by the success of his clients. He also manages all of the other attorneys at his firm to make sure the outcomes in their clients’ cases are successful as well.