Division of Assets and Debts
Here in Arizona, when a couple divorces the assets and debts that were acquired during marriage must be divided equitably. Courts have usually defined an “equitable division” as being an equal division.
When dividing assets and debts, the first step is to determine whether they’re marital assets, or sole and separate. For example, an asset which was acquired by one of the parties prior to marriage is almost always considered as a sole and separate asset and therefore isn’t divided.
The same is also true for debts – A loan or other debt incurred by one party before the marriage is considered as a separate debt; the other party isn’t responsible for repayment.
Dividing assets and debts during a divorce is a multi-stage process. After first determining whether an asset is marital or sole and separate, that asset must be valued. Or, if the item is to be sold, the proceeds will generally be equally distributed between the two parties.
The objective is to equally divide the equity value of each shared asset. This may also be accomplished by applying the values or portions of values of some assets to offset the values of others. For example, one person may keep the house while the other party keeps a bank account of similar value.
It’s important to understand that the division is final – Whatever happens to the asset after the division has no future consequence. For example, let’s assume that one party keeps a bank account of a certain value while the other party retains the stock portfolio of a similar value. If the value of that portfolio drops later (or skyrockets upward), there’s no effect on the division, it still stands as final.
And, it’s also important to know in cases where both of the parties want the same asset, and if there’s no clear reason why one party or the other should receive it, then the court may order that asset to be sold, and the sale proceeds divided.
Here in Arizona, divorce represents the final resolution of many legal issues, and the chance for a fresh new beginning. The expert divorce attorneys at Copperstone P.C. can guide you through the process quickly and effectively. They can resolve any kind of family legal issues at the end of a marriage, so you can move forward in life.
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Copperstone, P.C. is Tucson’s most effective divorce and family law firm. We’ll help you navigate through divorce or other family legal issues quickly and safely in order to provide the best outcome for you and your loved ones. Our attorneys are only licensed to practice in Arizona.