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Arizona

JURISDICTIONAL END OF MARRIAGE DATE: Date of Petition for Dissolution-preferred. If there is no Dissolution Date use current date.

STATE TYPE FOR PENSION DISTRIBUTION: Arizona is a "community property" state.The courts in the State of Arizona will distribute the community property of the spouses as it deems equitable and just, without regard to marital fault, after setting aside to each spouse that spouse's separate property.

[Arizona Revised Statutes Annotated; Title 25, Chapter 318].


ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 25-203

Scope of agreement

A. Parties to a premarital agreement may contract with respect to:

1. The rights and obligations of each of the parties in any of the property of either or both of them whenever and wherever acquired or located.

2. The right to buy, sell, use, transfer, exchange, abandon, lease, consume, expend, assign or create a security interest in, mortgage, encumber, dispose of or otherwise manage and control property.

3. The disposition of property on separation, marital dissolution, death or the occurrence or nonoccurrence of any other event.

4. The modification or elimination of spousal support.

5. The making of a will, trust or other arrangement to carry out the provisions of the agreement.

6. The ownership rights in and disposition of the death benefit from a life insurance policy.

7. The choice of law governing the construction of the agreement.

8. Any other matter, including their personal rights and obligations, not in violation of public policy or a statute imposing a criminal penalty.

ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 25-211

Property acquired during marriage as community property; exceptions

All property acquired by either husband or wife during the marriage is the community property of the husband and wife except for property that is:

1. Acquired by gift, devise or descent.

2. Acquired after service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment if the petition results in a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.

ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 25-213

Separate property defined

A spouse's real and personal property that is owned by that spouse before marriage and that is acquired by that spouse during the marriage by gift, devise or descent, and the increase, rents, issues and profits of that property, is the separate property of that spouse. Property that is acquired by a spouse after service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment is also the separate property of that spouse if the petition results in a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.

ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 25-214

Management and control

A. Each spouse has the sole management, control and disposition rights of each spouse's separate property.

B. The spouses have equal management, control and disposition rights over their community property and have equal power to bind the community.

C. Either spouse separately may acquire, manage, control or dispose of community property or bind the community, except that joinder of both spouses is required in any of the following cases:

1. Any transaction for the acquisition, disposition or encumbrance of an interest in real property other than an unpatented mining claim or a lease of less than one year.

2. Any transaction of guaranty, indemnity or suretyship.

3. To bind the community, irrespective of any person's intent with respect to that binder, after service of a petition for dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment if the petition results in a decree of dissolution of marriage, legal separation or annulment.

ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 25-215

Liability of community property and separate property for community and separate debts

A. The separate property of a spouse shall not be liable for the separate debts or obligations of the other spouse, absent agreement of the property owner to the contrary.

B. The community property is liable for the premarital separate debts or other liabilities of a spouse, incurred after September 1, 1973 but only to the extent of the value of that spouse's contribution to the community property which would have been such spouse's separate property if single.

C. The community property is liable for a spouse's debts incurred outside of this state during the marriage which would have been community debts if incurred in this state.

D. Except as prohibited in § 25-214, either spouse may contract debts and otherwise act for the benefit of the community. In an action on such a debt or obligation the spouses shall be sued jointly and the debt or obligation shall be satisfied: first, from the community property, and second, from the separate property of the spouse contracting the debt or obligation.

ARIZ. REV. STAT. § 25-318

Disposition of property; retroactivity; notice to creditors; assignment of debts; contempt of court

A. In a proceeding for dissolution of the marriage, or for legal separation, or in a proceeding for disposition of properly following dissolution of the marriage by a court which previously lacked personal jurisdiction over the absent spouse or previously lacked jurisdiction to dispose of the property, the court shall assign each spouse's sole and separate property to such spouse. It shall also divide the community, joint tenancy and other property held in common equitably, though not necessarily in kind, without regard to marital misconduct. For purposes of this section only, property acquired by either spouse outside this state shall be deemed to be community property if the property would have been community property if acquired in this state. This section does not prevent the court from considering excessive or abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy and other property held in common.

B. The community, joint tenancy and other property held in common for which no provision is made in the decree shall be from the date of the decree held by the parties as tenants in common, each possessed of an undivided one-half interest.

C. The court may impress a lien on the separate property of either party or the marital property awarded to either party in order to secure the payment of:

1. Any interest or equity the other party has in or to the property.

2. Community debts that the court has ordered to be paid by the parties.

3. An allowance for child support or spousal maintenance, or both.

D. The decree or judgment shall specifically describe by legal description any real property affected and shall specifically describe any other property affected.

E. This section applies through both prospective and retrospective operation to property without regard to the date of acquisition.

F. In all actions for the dissolution of marriage or legal separation the court shall require the following statement in the materials provided to the petitioner and to be served on the respondent:

NOTICE

In your property settlement agreement or decree of dissolution or legal separation, the court may assign responsibility for certain community debts to one spouse or the other. Please be aware that a court order that does this is binding on the spouses only and does not necessarily relieve either of you from your responsibility for these community debts. These debts are matters of contract between both of you and your creditors (such as banks, credit unions, credit card issuers, finance companies, utility companies, medical providers and retailers). Since your creditors are not parties to this court case, they are not bound by court orders or any agreements you and your spouse reach in this case. On request, the court may impose a lien against the separate property of a spouse to secure payment of debts that the court orders that spouse to pay. You may want to contact your creditors to discuss your debts as well as the possible effects of your court case on your debts. To assist you in identifying your creditors, you may obtain a copy of your spouse's credit report by making a written request to the court for an order requiring a credit reporting agency to release the report to you. Within thirty days after receipt of a request from a spouse who is party to a dissolution of marriage or legal separation action, which includes the court and cause number of the action, creditors are required by law to provide information as to the balance and account status of any debts for which the requesting spouse may be liable to the creditor. You may wish to use the following form, or one that is similar, to contact your creditors:

CREDITOR NOTIFICATION

DATE: ______________________ Creditor name and Address: _________________________

Within thirty days after receipt of this notice, you are requested to provide
the balance and account status of any debt identified by account number for which the requesting party may be liable to you.

Name: ______________________
Address: ___________________ ____________________________ ____________________________
____________________________ (Signature) ____________________________ (Printed Name)

G. On the written request of any party to a pending dissolution of marriage or legal separation action, the court, except for good cause shown, shall issue an order requiring any credit reporting agency to release the credit report as to the spouse of the requesting party on payment by the requesting party of any customary fee for providing the credit report.

H. On the request of either party and except for good cause shown, the court shall require the parties to submit a debt distribution plan that states the following:

1. How community creditors will be paid.

2. Whether any agreements have been entered into between the parties as to responsibility for the payment of community debts, including what, if any, collateral will secure the payment of the debt.

3. Whether the parties have entered into agreements with creditors through which a community debt will be the sole responsibility of one party.

I. The following form may be used to verify agreements with creditors:

Agreement with Creditor

The parties to this agreement include ________ and who are parties to a dissolution of marriage action filed in county superior court, Arizona, Case number ________ and ________ who is a duly authorized representative of ___________ (Creditor). The undersigned parties agree that the debt owed by the parties to _________ (Creditor) is to be disposed of as follows (Check one):

__________ The debt is the joint responsibility of the parties, with payment to made on the following terms: _________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

_________ The balance of the debt is the sole responsibility of _________ and the creditor releases _______________ from any further liability for that debt, with payment to be made on the following terms: __________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________

________ The debt has been paid in full as of this date. We the undersigued acknowledge this agreement.

DATED: _____________________ ____________________________ ______________________ Debtor
Debtor ____________________________ Creditor's Representative Subscribed and sworn to before me this day of ________ 200_
____________________________ Notary Public

J. If the parties are not able to agree to a joint debt distribution plan pursuant to subsection H the court may order each party to submit a proposed debt distribution plan to the court. In its orders relating to the division of property the court shall reflect the debt distribution plan approved by the court and shall confirm that any community debts that are made the sole responsibility of one of the parties by agreement with a creditor are the sole responsibility of that party.

K. An agreement with a creditor pursuant to subsection I that assigns or otherwise modifies repayment responsibility for community debts secured by real property located in this state shall include all of the following:

1. A legal description of the real property.

2. A copy of the note and recorded security instrument, the repayment of which is to be assigned or modified by the agreement with a creditor.

3. A written and notarized acknowledgment that is executed by all parties to the debt, including the lender, and that states one of the following:

(a) The terms for the repayment of the debt remain unchanged.

(b) The terms for the repayment of the debt have been modified and, beginning on the date of the execution of the acknowledgment, the creditor has agreed that one of the debtors assumes the sole responsibility for the debt and that the other debtor is released from any further liability on the debt.

(c) The debt is paid in full and all parties to the debt are released from any further liability.

L. An agreement executed pursuant to subsection K shall be recorded by either party in the county in which the real property is located.

M. After an agreement is recorded pursuant to subsection L, either party may request that on payment of the title company's fees for the document a title company authorized to do business in this state provide the requesting party with a lien search report or other documentary evidence of liens and other agreements of record in the title to the property.

N. If a party fails to comply with an order to pay debts, the court may enter orders transferring property of that spouse to compensate the other party. If the court finds that a party is in contempt as to an order to pay community debts, the court may impose appropriate sanctions under the law. A party must bring an action to enforce an order to pay a debt pursuant to this subsection within two years after the date in which the debt should have been paid in full.

O. Within thirty days after receipt of a written request for information from a spouse who is a party to a dissolution of marriage or legal separation action, which includes the court and cause number of the action, a creditor shall provide the balance and account status of any debts of either or both spouses identified by account number for which the requesting spouse may be liable to the creditor.



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