Real property can easily become a sticking point in Arizona divorces. Community property statutes typically give both spouses an interest in their marital home, and people may fight aggressively to keep the house where they have lived with their children when they divorce.
Of course, many couples in Arizona own more than just one property. Maybe you have a vacation home where you spend holidays as a family, or perhaps you have purchased multiple poorly-maintained properties to fix them up and either resell them or rent them how to create a stream of revenue.
How do you divide those secondary real properties in an Arizona divorce?
Any community property is subject to division
The first step to take when looking at secondary real estate is when you took ownership of the property and how much marital income you invested in the maintenance or purchase of said property.
Assets purchased or repaired with marital resources are likely at least partially community property. Assets owned prior to marriage or specifically protected by a marital agreement are likely not subject to division.
You typically need to establish if the real estate holdings are marital property to determine which ones will be part of the property division process.
How do you divide your real property?
If you own multiple properties, you and your ex might agree that each of you keeps a certain number of the properties. On the other hand, perhaps one of you wants to stay in the real estate industry while the other wants to change their professional pursuits.
You could potentially have the properties appraised and then use their value as grounds for other property division decisions. The spouse keeping those properties could also potentially refinance them and use some of the equity to compensate the spouse not keeping the property.
In rare scenarios, divorcing spouses may decide that the best solution is to retain those secondary properties together. If you intend to pursue future joint ownership, thorough agreements on the responsibilities and rights of each owner are crucial, as are agreements about what will happen when you eventually want to sell or refinance the property.
Putting an appropriate price on investment properties and vacation homes will be an important part of the property division process in an Arizona divorce.