Aggregate-Theory State

A state wherein each spouse gets one half of the total community property. This allows for unequal division of individual assets and debts so long as the total community property is equally divided. Arizona is an aggregate-theory state. In re Estate of Kirkes, 231 Ariz. 334 (2013). For example, Let’s say Husband and Wife have three assets: A car worth $1,000.00; a bank account worth $2,000, and a 401k worth $1,000. In an aggregate-theory state, the Court can award Wife the $2,000 bank account and Husband the $1,000 car and $1,000 401k because they each get $2,000 in assets. In contrast, in an item theory state, each of them would get half of each asset.  See Item-Theory State.

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