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What is Division of Property During a Divorce in Arizona?

 

 

As the best community property lawyers in Arizona we often get asked, “what is division of property during a divorce in Arizona?” Hi, I’m Brandon Yost. I’m an attorney with a Law Office of Kevin Jensen. I want to talk you a little bit about a division of property case that I had and how it relates to a case that you may be experiencing. I had a client come into my office, Alex. And we sat down, and he just realized that his wife is… he actually just realized it was his ex-wife had got a default divorce against him and had transferred the deed to their house out of his name. And it was interesting, because he didn’t even know they were divorced.

So, he came in to me, and he said, “Hey, Brandon, I’ve got this problem. You’ve got to help me get out of it.” So, we sat down, and we looked at it. And I had asked him to show me the petition for dissolution of marriage, which she had filed about a year before. And we looked at it, and then I had asked him, I said, “Well, Alex, why didn’t you respond to this?” he said, “Well, when she filed this, she came to me and said, ‘I want to get a divorce. Here’s where we’re at.’ And then we started talking, and we were living apart, but we kind of were talking about maybe we were going to get back together, maybe we’re going to do something different. And so, I just kind of left it alone and hadn’t heard anything.” Well, in the meantime, we looked at the court docket and found out that she had filed an application and affidavit for default. And then after that, she went and had a default hearing without him. He didn’t even have a copy of the default decree. So, I had to file a notice of appearance and request a copy of the default decree from the court. And I looked at the default decree, and this was a couple of weeks later, I had him come back into my office after I got it. And I looked at the default decree and I looked at the petition, and there were some significant differences. I also looked at the docket and saw that the application for default hadn’t been mailed to his home address as required to. It had been mailed to some different address that he never lived at.

Now, it’s very important to understand that, when you get a divorce, you can get a default. And the reason why we have these default statutes are sometimes people don’t respond, and you can’t just wait out there in limbo forever. But it’s very specific. If you’re going to get a default, it has to match exactly the terms that are in the petition, and you also have to give the party proper notice that you are going for a default. Well, neither of those happened in this case. So, we met together, we talked about the different options, and Alex and I decided the best way to go would be to set aside the default. And so, we did. I filed our petition to set aside the default, and also some of the other required filings that came with it. And then she filed the response, and we had a hearing. At this point, she had an attorney. And we had a hearing with the other attorney. And Alex and I did really well at the hearing, and the judge agreed with us that she hadn’t followed the proper statutes and set aside the default.

So, this was very important, because then we had to go and deal with Arizona property statutes as far as how we divide the house, how we divide the vehicles, how we divide the retirement accounts, how we divide the other remaining personal property, how we divide the debts, and also, how we deal with spousal maintenance or alimony as people commonly think of it? So, then we went through the divorce process. And because she hadn’t followed the proper statutory regime, we got to essentially start over again. And then we were able to follow the Arizona property laws, which essentially require that half of the community assets go to husband and a half go to wife. And in this case, they had been married for a long time, so all of the assets that they had acquired were acquired during the marriage. And so, instead of the wife getting the house free and clear without him, he was able to get his half of the equity from it. Alex didn’t want to do anything wrong. He didn’t want to take advantage of his wife, but he just wanted what he was entitled to. And because we were able to get in there and get involved in the case early enough, we were able to set aside the default.

First off, I want you to understand that, if somebody files for divorce, you should come and talk to me because there are some things that we need to do. First off, we want to file a response. We want to make sure that Arizona community property laws are followed. But also, if a situation happened in which you do have a default against you, there may be something you can do. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s too late. But you don’t want to wait too long, because the statutes are pretty clear that you have about 6 months to try to set aside a default. And after, that it would be much more difficult. Luckily, Alex came to me within time, we were able to get it done, and we’re able to get a fair result for him. So, if you have any situations like this, it’s important that you should come and see me. Come and see us at the Law Offices of Kevin Jensen and we can help you look at your different options. And then we together can decide what is going to make the most sense in your case.

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Our team of family law attorneys and divorce attorneys look forward to helping you when you need it most. With over two decades of aggressive divorce, child custody, child support, and divorce mediation representation we will not allow you to be taken advantage of. We believe in making a difference in the lives of our clients and their children.


Mesa, AZ – Office

Located in Mesa Arizona, on Val Vista and Southern Avenue. Our Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers in Mesa AZ have been helping our clients achieve the legal results they are searching for. Our Mesa Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Mesa AZ
3740 E. Southern Ave Suite 210
Mesa, AZ 85206
(480) 999-2321
https://familylawattorneymesaaz.net/mesa

Chandler, AZ – Office

Located On Dobson Road, just North of W. Chandler Blvd, near the 101 Freeway. We have a team of the Best Divorce Lawyers and Family Law Attorneys in Chandler Arizona. Our Chandler Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Chandler AZ
333 N. Dobson Rd #5
Chandler, AZ 85224
(480) 632-2083
https://familylawattorneymesaaz.net/chandler

Gilbert, AZ – Office

Located in South East Gilbert, Near Higley High School on Pecos Road, West of Power Road in the Power Ranch Neighborhood. Our Gilbert Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Gilbert AZ
4365 E. Pecos Rd Suite 138
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 900-2302
https://familylawattorneymesaaz.net/gilbert

Florence, AZ – Office

Located in the Community of Anthem in Florence Arizona, off of Hunt Hwy. Our Florence Law Firm is staffed with family law attorneys that offer Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Florence AZ
3281 N. Hunt Hwy Suite 111
Florence, AZ 85132
(480) 632-1120
https://familylawattorneymesaaz.net/florence

Glendale, AZ – Office

Located in Glendale. Our Glendale Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Glendale AZ
7075 West Bell Road Suite 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
(602) 834-8585
https://familylawattorneymesaaz.net/glendale/




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Jensen Family Law in Mesa is located on 3740 E Southern Ave Suite 210, 85206 Mesa, Arizona. From Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Take S 41st St to E Sky Harbor Blvd, then head west on E Sky Harbor Blvd and Use the left lane to take the exit toward S 41st St. Then Turn right onto S 41st St. After that, Continue straight to stay on S 41st St, then Take AZ-202 Loop E, AZ-101 Loop S and US-60 E to S Val Vista Dr in Mesa. Take exit 184 from US-60 E after that Merge onto E Sky Harbor Blvd, then Use the left 2 lanes to merge onto AZ-202 Loop E toward Tempe/Mesa and Use the right 3 lanes to take exit 9 to merge onto AZ-101 Loop S. After that, Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 55A-B to merge onto US-60 E toward Globe, then Take exit 184 for Val Vista Dr. Then Continue on S Val Vista Dr to your destination and Turn left onto S Val Vista Dr. Turn right onto E Southern Ave, then turn left and Destination will be on the right.

We’re open 9 AM – 5 PM Monday – Friday and we are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

For additional questions you can call us at (480) 999-2321 or you can find us on Yelp.