Mediation as a Means to Divide Property in Divorce

Fotor0706104753Mediation offers couples an opportunity for a calm and cordial environment in which to discuss important and complex legal family law issues. It is imperative when making crucial decisions concerning your future to use the most effective manner to divide the property that has been accrued during the marriage in Arizona.  Arizona law requires an “equitable” and reasonable division of community property.  A list is made of all the assets, and both parties discuss, with the assistance of a mediator, an agreeable division of all the property.


Properties to be Discussed and Divided  in Mediation

Property / Real Estate

Property (literally) owned by a couple needs to be divided.  The decision needs to be made whether to sell the house, let it go into foreclosure, or let one spouse keep the house. An experienced Arizona divorce attorney can help you to better understand these options. During the mediation process, the parties agree to an appraisal to determine the value of the house and/or other properties.  If one spouse keeps the house, commonly arrangements are made to refinance the house. If there is equity in the house, this can be divided through cash or by giving the other spouse more of the property that remains.


When dividing up vehicles, a couple can start by getting bluebook values for the vehicles.  In some cases, each person agrees to keep the vehicle that he/she always drove.  When one vehicle is worth more than another, there can be an agreement to pay the difference in order to make the values equal. The couple may have to agree to transfer titles or refinance if there is a loan on a vehicle.

Retirement an financial Accounts

Concerning retirement and financial accounts, both spouses must discuss and decide how to divide accounts equally, which accounts to close, and how to handle retirement accounts without creating a taxable issue. If there is a business financial account in the relationship, the parties need to come to an agreement how to split it.  There are options depending if the business is a community business. An estimated value for the needs to be determined. When a divorce involves division of business accounts, an Arizona Divorce attorney will assist you in this possibly complicated legal matter.

Separate Assets

In some situations, couples need to deal with separate assets (gift or inheritance assets received prior to marriage). One party may be interested in the other’s assets, but this is an issue to be discussed with an attorney or to be resolved in mediation.

Personal property

Personal property (home furnishings, electronic equipment…) accumulated during the marriage may divided in different ways. A list of items is made, and each party can decide what each wants. Another way is to go down the list and take turn picking an item.  This is a good example of where a mediator can help to facilitate the process and regulate this part of the division of property.