Arizona is one of a handful of “community property” states, where property division occurs on a strictly-applied mathematical formula unless the spouses negotiate a different arrangement. The bill would have allowed judges to vary the property division in divorce cases if one of the spouses committed marital misconduct like adultery or alcohol abuse.
Supporters had said the bill would have allowed judges to take better care of innocent spouses and promote justice. Napolitano said in the letter accompanying her veto that the bill would have clogged courts with new issues. Other critics had charged that the bill would have created confusion and would have “put the judge in the bedroom.”