Arizona is one of nine community property states, which refers to the equal division of community or marital property in a divorce.
The property division phase of any divorce can seem overwhelming, especially for couples with significant assets. Planning ahead will help you minimize the potential for mistakes.
Anticipate change in status quo
Remember that the status quo is about to change. Unexpected events happen in life: loss of employment, disability, asset depreciation, the health needs of your children. Make sure your settlement agreement is flexible enough to address changes.
Consider new lifestyle parameters
With divorce, your present lifestyle will change. You may have to downsize, and you will most certainly have to create a new budget. You may want to maintain the lifestyle your children are accustomed to, but will this cut into your new budget?
There are seemingly endless details involved with a divorce. You will have to provide large amounts of data to support your side of the settlement agreement negotiations. You may feel the temptation to step back and let others deal with the details, but stay engaged. The results of property division will affect your future and perhaps the future of your children.
Educate yourself financially
In a community property state like Arizona, equal division of community property does not necessarily mean a 50-50 split. The court will consider certain aspects of your marriage in addition to individual circumstances in order to make equitable decisions as to the division of property. As you prepare for this phase of your divorce, make lists of your assets and debts. Understand your present financial situation and decide what you will need in order to settle into a secure financial future.