Division of Debt in an Arizona Divorce
Arizona Divorce: Dividing Debt
We get a lot of questions about the division of marital assets. We get just as many questions about the division of debt in an Arizona divorce. Marital debts are treated the same as marital property. They will both be included as the family court attempts a fair and equitable division of all marital property.
When dividing debt in an Arizona divorce, there are two main options: you may pay off all of your marital debt before filing for divorce or share responsibility for the debt during settlement negotiations.
Many couples cannot afford to pay off all their debt before filing for divorce. If that is the case, settlement negotiations are the remaining option. The problem that arises when attempting to determine who will be responsible for which debt is that, post-divorce, your former spouse may not pay the debts as agreed upon.
When this occurs, you are still responsible regardless of the fact you agreed differently during the divorce. It may seem odd, but lenders do not recognize divorce court orders and are not bound by those orders because they were not a party to the divorce case.
For those reasons, it is much better if the parties either pay off all the marital debt prior to or during the divorce. Alternatively, spouses may just refinance or transfer the obligations into their names. This allows for a clean financial break.
Chris Hildebrand wrote this article about the division of debt in an Arizona divorce to ensure everyone has access to information about community property laws pertaining to debts in Arizona. Chris is a family law attorney at Hildebrand Law, PC. He has over 24 years of Arizona family law experience and has received multiple awards, including US News and World Report “Top Arizona Divorce Attorneys”, Phoenix Magazine “Top Divorce Law Firms”, and Arizona Foothills Magazine “Best of the Valley” award. He believes the policies and procedures he uses to get his clients through a divorce should all be guided by the principles of honesty, integrity, and actually caring about what his clients are going through.