Is your spouse threatening to take your whole estate to intimidate you out of seeking a divorce? Is your spouse trying to get you to give something up before you have sought the proper advice from a family law attorney?
People about to divorce often threaten to take their “spouse to the cleaners.” Unless you fight so much that all your money goes to legal fees, you must divide your joint property in a fair manner according to Arizona Community Property Law.
Once you are married you immediately begin to create a marital estate; it can be made in a few months or over several decades. Whatever your community estate consists of, it must be divided when you get divorced. In Arizona your estate does not have to be divided equally, but it does have to be “substantially equitable” in the court’s eyes.
Your assets do not always have to be sold in order to be divided. You are allowed to offset one asset for another asset, such as the equity in your marital home for the marital share of the retirement account. If there is a difference in the values of each, that amount can be paid in cash or through another asset. It is often important to get an appraisal on various assets to determine the value so that offsetting can be accomplished. Couples can save money if they agree on one appraiser for the property, a family business, or other personal assets such as cars, jewelry, weapons, collector items and automobiles.
In mediation, we can review many options to create a substantially fair division that can satisfy some or all of the wishes of both parties.Even though it is difficult to let go of half of your estate, when you can have some of what you want in order to start over and rebuild your own new estate, this can lead to an easier transition. At McMurdie Law Office and WHYmediate Mediation Services we favor mediation and we have a strong focus on mediation in order to assist people in getting the best start they can in the future. If we represent you, we want to be as creative as we can to ensure the best, smoothest and most fair result for you.
Beth C – July 2015
If you have to get divorced, this was the least painful way to go. Cristi and her staff were very …
Ed N. – April 2015
Cristi is FANTASTIC! I met with Cristi about my existing divorce settlement to see what some of my options were …