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What is an equalization payment?

On Behalf of | May 9, 2019 | Property Division

As Arizona is a community property state, courts in the Phoenix area often split marital property evenly in a divorce or permanent separation. For a variety of reasons, however, it may not be feasible to divide property literally in half between the two spouses. For instance, one spouse may really want to keep the family residence for a number of reasons, as opposed to just selling it. In other cases, one spouse may be involved in a family business and want to remain involved in that business.

There are a number of ways to get around this difficulty. One way to accomplish property division in Arizona is through an equalization payment. As the name implies, an equalization payment is money one spouse pays to the other to account for the fact that the first spouse will receive more property than the other.

In Arizona and other community property states, an equalization payment is one way to make sure property is divided evenly. While equalization payments can be the best way for both spouses to get their rightful share of the marital property, the details of how such payments will be made and on what terms are important to spell out. Likewise, spouses need to discuss what will happen if one spouse does not pay the equalization payment as promised.

If an equalization payment is not a viable option, then other options for dividing up property may be available. A Phoenix resident should speak to their family law attorney about these other options.