Divorce is not just about breaking hearts, it is also about splitting assets through the property division process. As any Arizona resident may agree, contested property division issues in a divorce are often a waste of money, time and sanity.
For Arizona couples who have done well financially, but who are about to go through divorce, some unpleasant news may await them. As one of just 10 states using the concept of community property, Arizona mandates that everything a couple owns at the time of their marriage ends is up for equal property division. Unless a valid legal agreement exists regarding what property was owned before marriage, all property holdings and financial assets can be divided.
With all of the emotional concerns that arise with a divorce, it can be easy to overlook financial considerations. People may be so busy trying to comfort their children, find a new place to live or settle their future that small details can be easily forgotten.
When people think about the end of a marriage, they often think about the new life that each person has ahead of them. However, before people can start their new life, they have many important divorce issues to resolve. While many of these issues will revolve around the couple's children, property division issues are often very important -- especially in a high asset divorce.
Many Arizonans are familiar with the comedic works of Chris Rock. The 49-year-old comedian, famous for his standup and recent movies, now finds himself in a situation that has no one laughing. Rock has filed for divorce from his wife of almost 19 years. The matter seems to be getting heated, as Rock has accused his wife of keeping the couple's three children away from him. Rock's wife disputes this claim, saying that Rock has had open access to the children. Though this matter may develop into a child custody issue, property division may also be a point of contention for the couple.
Resolving issues related to the equitable division of property and assets continues to be one of the most difficult parts of the divorce process. Divorce involves the legal separation of two people whose lives were intertwined, so the property shared between them and accumulated during the marriage must be divided between the divorcing spouses. Essentially, Arizona law recognizes three primary types of property: non-marital property, separate property and community property. Sometimes these categories overlap but understanding the distinction is critical during property division.
In the majority of cases, two issues seem to dominate in divorce disputes: child custody/child support and property division. It can be quite difficult for a divorcing couple to come to an agreement on who should keep what, especially when larger and less-liquid assets, such as real property or business assets, are at stake.
In what might be the largest divorce settlement ever across the pond, the wife of a British hedge fund manager is seeking a portion of the substantial assets she and her husband have accumulated. As a hedge fund manager, the husband oversees more than $4 billion, and together, the couple have donated over $1 billion through the charitable organization they founded in 2003. The wife is the CEO of the organization and places its value at up to $5 billion. The couple, who met while students at Harvard University, were in court last week to negotiate a settlement.
Some divorced couples breathe a sigh of relief once the final documents are signed. This could be for many reasons, but one reason is probably because they think they are finally off the hook when it comes to their former spouse's debt. From this day forward, they think, I'm no longer responsible for someone else's money issues. But is that really true? In community property states like Arizona, it may not be.
Arizona residents who use Bitcoin and are undergoing a divorce may be interested to learn about a budding issue relating to the electronic currency: divorce courts and lawyers are becoming increasingly aware of the ability of soon-to-be-spouses to hide assets using Bitcoins. During the divorce process, both spouses are asked to fully disclose their income and all financial assets. This information is used to help determine property division, as well as how much one party should pay in alimony or spousal support. Some would rather pay less, so they attempt to hide their assets.