Assets are usually divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. And, sometimes, a judge may decide that the separate assets of one spouse be used to fund a settlement that is fair to both spouses. That's not to say that keeping some money in separate accounts is useless. Open your own account if you don't have one yet.
Review your credit report from the three major credit bureaus to identify all the credit cards and loans you share with your spouse. You will also need to divide the assets you have in your investment and retirement accounts. If you own a home with your spouse, decide who keeps it or sell it and divide the profits. If the house has a mortgage and you want to keep it in your name only, you will need to refinance the loan.
In every divorce, a couple's assets and debts must be divided between them. But each of the spouses will keep their own separate assets and be liable for their own separate debts. Know the Difference Between Marital and Separate Property. Community property states require a 50-50% division of all marital assets, which includes all assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage.
The money and assets you had before marriage are not included in a division of marital property, unless you mix or mix them with the marital property.
divorce hasgone from being a hypothetical scenario to a time when for many families in the United States. As the sanctity of marriage declines and divorce rates soar, many unsuspecting spouses wake up in the morning to find divorce papers by their morning coffee. The overall process of a divorce can be both psychologically and physically demanding, as you will have to make many life-changing decisions.
These decisions are difficult, affecting things like where you'll sleep, how much money you have, and how you'll pay your normal bills. When it comes to the division of assets during a divorce, most people have heard of the classic fifty-fifty division of marital assets, in which all the assets are added together and given a valuation of which each spouse earns about half. The fifty-fifty division is legally known as the community property standard and is only used in a few states, such as Arizona, California, and Texas. In community property states, all assets, assets, and bank accounts that were purchased, created, or used during the course of a marriage belong equally to both parties to a divorce.
In community property states, the easiest way to determine what is considered community property is to first find out what is separate property. Separate or non-community assets are assets purchased or accounts opened before the marriage began, as well as any gifts or inherited items. Everything else will be community property. This designation is often confusing for some people, since their bank account likely existed before the wedding began and accounts existing before marriage are not considered community property.
Even though an account existed before the marriage began, all the money in the account does not belong solely to the spouse whose name appears on the account. A court will consider a bank account as a place where money has been added throughout the marriage and any money added to the account during the marriage is considered community property. When it comes to dividing marital assets, such as bank accounts, the name on the account has little or no importance. The only time it's beneficial to have a separate account in your name is if that account existed before marriage and you don't plan to add additional funds to it or use it to pay for things.
If you marry with a separate bank account, that account will only be considered separate and not community property, as long as you or your spouse do not use it during your marriage. If you decide to fund the account or use the money for something like paying bills, a judge will consider the account to be mixed and then classify it as community property. Following these basic steps will prepare you for your meeting with your divorce lawyer, but more importantly, they can also serve as evidence against your former spouse if they try to hide money or assets from the court. Even though the savings account is in your name, the courts consider savings accounts to be joint property and will be divided between you and your spouse in the divorce.
Separate bank accounts are spousal property if considered mixed. This means that if you or your spouse have deposited money into the account or used the funds in the account, they are considered to be mixed and should be divided equally in the event of a divorce. If a separate bank account existed before the marriage began and no money was added to it or money taken away from it, then it is considered separate property and is not eligible to be divided. The process of going through a divorce and dividing marital assets is challenging and confusing if you don't have help, but you don't have to do it alone.
Having an experienced family law attorney on your side will ensure that the process runs smoothly and that the court gives you everything you deserve. JacksonWhite Law offers a full range of legal services to help individuals, families and businesses achieve success across the state of Arizona in a wide range of legal matters. The information provided on this website does not constitute or is intended to constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Mesa40 N Center St Suite 200 Mesa, AZ 85201 Scottsdale5635 N.
Couples going through a divorce must decide how to divide their assets and debts or ask a court to do it for them. Under California community property laws, the assets and debts that spouses acquire during marriage belong equally to both, and must be divided equally in a divorce. Code § 258 Some couples can agree on how to divide all of their assets and debts, such as deciding who gets the house in a divorce. Couples who can't handle this will end up going to court to ask for an arbitrator or judge's decision.
Assets should not necessarily be divided based on their current dollar value. You need to understand which assets will be the best for your short- and long-term financial security. This is not always easy to discern without in-depth knowledge of the asset itself—its liquidity, cost base, and any tax implications associated with its sale. Instead, judges should consider the specific circumstances of each divorce before deciding on a fair way to divide the couple's assets and debts.
If you challenge the court when, for example, it orders you to share account balances and the location of the money, you can be convicted of contempt of court, which can mean jail time. Equitable distribution states aim to divide everything equally or fairly, depending on the particular circumstances of the marriage. If you are thinking about getting a divorce, you may be worried about how your money and assets will be divided. Arizona is a community property state, so property will be divided equally between divorcing spouses.
The main reason people want to hide their assets before divorce is because the law requires a division of marital assets when a couple divorces. The date of separation can become a big problem if, just before the divorce, one spouse won an unusual amount of money, got a big bonus at work or won the lottery, for example, or spent a significant amount of money. . .