Arizona is one of nine community property states in the U.S. All property acquired during marriage until the time one party is served with the divorce paperwork is presumed to be community property. All property acquired before marriage or after service of the dissolution paperwork is presumed to be separate property. All property acquired by gift, devise or will during marriage is also presumed to be separate property.
It is important that you familiarize yourself with Arizona community property law as you start this process. Knowledge of the law will take out the guesswork as to what each spouse is entitled. Most, if not all, of your property obtained during your marriage will be considered community.
The ?petition? is what is filed to start the divorce and ?service? is the official way that the other side is notified that the petition has been filed. The other side is called the ?respondent.? Service is discussed more fully in Chapter 4 and terms are defined in the glossary.