Arizona is a community property state, which means that spouses share joint ownership in most property acquired during the marriage, regardless of which spouse earned or acquired it. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Property acquired through gift or inheritance can be treated as separate property.
The community property designation becomes highly important in a divorce, when it comes time to divide the marital property. The principle underlying community property is that regardless of whose name is on the title or who earns the majority of the income, both spouses contribute to the family unit. Upon property division in an Arizona divorce, each spouse is deemed to own an equal share in all community property.