Determining Community Property Versus Sole and Separation Property in an Arizona Divorce


The process of getting a divorce involves the division of assets and earnings between the married couple. Property settlements are just one issue that has to be resolved in the divorce process. In Arizona, property is categorized as either separate or community property and it will be divided accordingly. If property is deemed as separate, the owner will keep that property after the marriage, and it will not be split. Dividing community property, however, is when property settlements can become time-consuming and complicated. Both spouses equally own this category of assets, so in a divorce, it has to be divided as such.


Determining Community v Sole and Separation Property in AZ | Add It All Up

The property owned by a couple is broken down into categories using these guidelines:

Separate Property:

Gifts and inheritance
Awards from personal injury cases
Separately owned property purchased outside of joint funds even if bought during the marriage
Personal business owned before the marriage (if the business gains value during the marriage the increases in earnings can be considered community property)
Property such as land or vehicles owned before the marriage
Community Property:

  • All property accumulated during the marriage
  • All wages earned throughout the marriage
  • Any debts incurred in the marriage
  • Benefits, retirements, or pensions that accrue interest during the marriage
  • Stock options

A mixture of Community and Separate Property:

A spouse may have separate funds due to selling property owned before the marriage but may buy a new property with a combination of those separate funds and community resources. To be partly separate property, proof must be shown that separate funds were used when buying the property.

Determining Community Versus Sole Property in Arizona.

Determining Community Versus Sole Property in Arizona.

The division of community property can prove to be complicated and overwhelming. In Arizona, there are many options that the court can take when it comes to property settlements. The first step is coming up with a net value of the total assets owned together. After the value is determined, there are several various distribution paths. Some of the standard options include:

Cash out distributions
Deferred division distribution
Reserved jurisdiction distribution
“In kind” distribution
Sale and division distribution

Call our experienced Scottsdale Arizona family law attorneys at Hildebrand Law, PC at (480)305-8300 if you have questions about community and separate property in Arizona.