Chandler Property Division Lawyer
We proudly represent clients in Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa & other Arizona cities in Property Division & other family law matters.
What is my “fair share”?”
The law of Arizona recognizes that all assets acquired during marriage that were not obtained through gift, inheritance, or intestacy (inheriting by law) are owned equally (one-half each) by the spouses in Chandler Arizona. Similarly, most debts incurred by either spouse during marriage are the equal responsibility of both spouses. This approach to division of marital property is known as the law of “community property.” The Arizona courts, however, have the authority in most instances to divide marital property and debt in a way that is not equal. How the Arizona courts will ultimately divide your marital estate depends on the facts and circumstances of your particular case. The issue of spousal maintenance is addressed elsewhere.
Am I entitled to my spouse’s retirement benefits in a Chandler, Arizona divorce case?
Retirement benefits may be considered community property and divided between the parties at the time of the divorce in Arizona. If the spouses were married throughout the entire time of employment at the job providing the retirement benefits, then the all of the retirement benefits are community property. Only a part of the retirement benefits may be community property if the spouses were not married during the entire time of employment. The court typically determines how much of the retirement benefit is community property by comparing the length of the marriage against the length of time the spouse was employed, translating this into a fraction, and applying it to the value of the retirement benefits. Once the community interest in retirement benefits is determined, each party is awarded their share of the benefits. A retirement plan can be community property even if the employee spouse is not yet vested. A separate order directing the administrator of the retirement plan to divide the retirement benefits (called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order or a Non-Qualified Domestic Relations Order) is usually submitted to the Court for approval at the time the parties are officially divorced. You should note that there are different types of retirement benefits (traditional pensions, 401(k)s, IRAs and the like), not all of which are valued or divided by the Court the same way. Consult an attorney if you are unsure how much of your spouse’s retirement benefits you may be entitled to receive.
Protect your rights!
If you or a loved one is getting a divorce or has child custody issues in Chandler Arizona, call Louis Lombardo today! Mr. Lombardo has the experience and commitment to help you through every step of your family law case. If you or someone you care for is involved in a family law matter in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area and need the help of an experienced family law attorney, call the Law Office of Louis Lombardo PC at 480-413-9300.