i-propertydebtdivisionBreaking Up is Hard to Do — to Property

The division of assets and debts in a divorce can be a complex. If the parties to a dissolution are not amicable and agreeable, serious litigation can arise over the classification and division of property. Property rights can also arise for individuals who are not married, but who have lived together (cohabitate) for a length of time and pooled their resources.

Having been in the business for over 22 years, Scottsdale divorce attorney Kyle Scoresby has the knowledge and experience necessary to effectively represent his clients, whether in either a contentious and litigious legal battle or in an amicable proceeding. Mr. Scoresby directly and clearly advises his clients of their rights regarding the division of property and debts in a divorce under Arizona law. With years of experience negotiating property settlements for his clients and taking cases to trial when the parties cannot agree, Mr. Scoresby has the knowledge and expertise to provide excellent representation in Arizona divorce cases of all types and sizes. Contact the North Scottsdale office today to schedule a consultation to discuss your rights regarding property division.

Equitable Does Not Always Mean Equal

Arizona law requires judges to make an “equitable division” of community property without regard to marital misconduct. This does not necessarily mean an “equal” division of property, but Arizona judges usually try to divide marital property substantially equally by value. Many factors can affect the court’s ultimate division of property and debts when the spouses cannot agree on their own. Having an experienced and aggressive divorce lawyer is critical if your case goes to trial.

The court will first assign all sole and separate property to each spouse accordingly. If either spouse disputes the characterization of certain property as sole and separate, this could cause issues and litigation. In dividing the community property, the court may consider all debts and obligations that are related to the property, including accrued or accruing taxes that would become due on the receipt, sale or other disposition of the property. The court may also consider any excessive or abnormal expenditures, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.

For these reasons, it is extremely important to know all of the assets and debts each party has and how and when they were acquired. This may require a bit of investigation, especially if the parties keep separate bank accounts or have separate credit cards.

Once all property is identified, each party is assigned a fair and “equitable” portion of the estate. Not all property can be divided equally. For instance, both parties cannot receive the house they shared. As a result, one party may receive the house with an offset to the other party by way of other assets. If other assets are not available, it may become necessary to refinance or order the party who receives the home to “buy out” the other party. If those options still are not available, it may be necessary to order a sale of the home.

The debts of the parties also need to be divided and taken into account along with the property division. Having a knowledgeable attorney who understands and can explain the potential future consequences of the debt division is a must.

North Scottsdale Attorney Skilled at Splitting Up of Property and Debt

Scottsdale divorce and property lawyer Kyle Scoresby at Scottsdale Family Law is skilled at handling all matters of property division from small and simple to large and complex. Mr. Scoresby is also able to assist unmarried individuals with issues related to the division of property acquired during cohabitation. Do not hesitate to contact our North Scottsdale office to set up an appointment today to learn more.