Should You Identify Your Assets Immediately in a Divorce?

There are many issues that need to be taken care of as part of a divorce. Among the most important  is resolving financial matters. In Arizona, assets accumulated during the marriage are considered marital property, and belong to both parties, with limited exceptions. In order to protect your finances, it is best to identify your assets immediately in a divorce. This ensures a fair resolution.

Make a List of All Your Assets

The first step to take when beginning your divorce is to make a list of all your assets. It is important to take your time, and make sure that you remember everything. Remember that you may have some money that is not readily available. Some of the types of accounts to list include:

  • Checking and Savings Accounts
  • Money Market Accounts
  • IRA’s
  • Pension and Retirement Funds
  • Stocks and Bonds
  • Whole Life Insurance Policies
  • Property
  • Homes, Cars, and Boats

Exemptions from Community Property Rules

There are a few exemptions to the community property rules of divorce. Any property that you owned before you were married belongs to you alone as long as those assets were not “commingled” with community assets or gifted to the community. Gifts that you received, even during the marriage, do not need to be shared. The same is true of any inheritance that you received. Sometimes, asset ownership can be complicated, and it is helpful to get help from a qualified divorce attorney in these cases.

Verify the Current Value of Your Assets

As you make a list of assets, it is a good idea to find out their current value at the time of your separation. This will help determine how these funds will be distributed in the settlement.  Some valuations are straightforward, such as the balance in your bank account. However, there are some assets that are harder to figure out. For example, your pension may have funds that were put in both prior to, and during your marriage.

A Preliminary Injunction Is Put In Place

A preliminary injunction is put into place at the start of divorce proceedings in Arizona. The injunction bans both parties from removing, or selling property or other assets that are considered marital property. The injunction is designed to protect both spouses, and to ensure that the marital assets remain intact. Keeping a list of your assets provides you with further protection against any wrongdoing on the part of your spouse.

Asset and property settlement issues can be difficult and complicated. Contact the experienced legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to discuss the details of your divorce.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Identify Your Assets Immediately in a Divorce, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact  480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.