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Can a spouse really claim half of their ex's wealth in a divorce?

Property questions that arise during divorces in Arizona can be tricky and their outcomes can be influenced based on how couples acquired and maintained their property and wealth. For this reason, individuals who have questions about how their assets will be divided during their divorce should talk directly with their attorneys.

Arizona is a community property state. This means that most of the property that individuals acquire after their marriage will be considered jointly owned by both spouses. For example, if after five years of marriage a couple buys a new car, that car will be considered the property of both of the partners in a 50/50 arrangement.

Therefore, when a couple in Phoenix goes through a divorce, they may see their martial wealth divided in half under the community property laws of the state. Their separate property may remain under their sole control, but property must be identified as separate property in order to retain such a distinction.

Separate property is property that is received during a marriage as a gift or inheritance, or property that is obtained after divorce proceedings have started. Individuals may enter into a marriage owning their own property, and that property may remain their separate asset as long as it is not converted to marital property during the marriage. Ensuring that property is properly identified is important when couples go through a divorce, as Arizona's community property laws do impose significant restrictions on just how marital property should be given out during divorce proceedings.

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