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In Arizona, How Is Marital Debt Divided?

Marital debt isn’t always easy to handle. But, what happens if you live in Arizona and your spouse has a lot of debt? In order to divide it equally, the court will first determine which debts were incurred during the marriage and which weren’t. The judge may also consider who is more likely to be able to pay off certain debts before dividing them up fairly. This can get complicated quickly so speak with an attorney about how this process works in detail for your specific situation.

First, let us understand assets and debts, and marital property. In Arizona, any assets and obligations a spouse acquires during their marriage are presumed to be communal or marital property. Couples who have complicated property issues can seek legal counsel if they cannot agree on what belongs to whose separate properties. 

When the couple is unable to come up with an agreement, courts will decide whether the commingled property was given as a gift during the course of your relationship or not at all – meaning that you would deserve full compensation for it!

  • Protect financial stability by knowing your marital rights
  • Understand the legal process to legally protect your assets 

Distinguishing between community and separate property can sometimes get complicated- especially if one spouse runs a company or other asset while the other contributes labor throughout the marriage. If you have an uphill battle with your own legal dispute about what belongs where it’s important that you seek professional legal counsel from someone who has experience in these kinds of cases so they can help clarify which kind of property is yours as well as how much compensation should go back to whoever donated whatever originally belonged exclusively them. Being able to distinguish the difference will help you:

  • Prevent legal disputes from arising
  • Clarify exclusive property rights
  • Help with compensation amounts
  • Understand possible conflict resolution through legal counsel 
  • Know the clear definition of who owns what
  • Understand how the courts will providing fair compensation to both parties according to their contribution

Under Arizona law, all properties acquired by either party during matrimony are considered joint unless there is clear evidence otherwise indicating ownership rights belong solely to one of the marital partners. This makes it difficult to divide marital assets when a marriage ends – but not impossible! Arizona law will:

  • Simplify marriage law
  • Protect marital interests from being taken for granted
  • Prevent parties from receiving less than what is rightfully owed

Division Of Marital Debt

In Arizona, all marital debts are split equally unless one spouse can prove it was incurred before the marriage date. For example, if you owe your ex-wife $10k for a loan she gave to you during the courtship period and not when married then that debt is still owed by both of you in an equal share because it existed long before either of your marriages began.

Breaking up is hard to do, but the law makes it a little easier. In addition, any debt accrued by one party after divorce proceedings are initiated will be allocated exclusively to that person and cannot go against their spouse’s credit rating in Arizona. The key date here is when the petition for dissolution of marriage was served because this ends application under community property rules; however, debts incurred during your time as husband or wife can still come back to haunt you if they don’t fall into these exceptions:

  • Property Destruction
  • Any guarantee or indemnity transaction.
  • Excessive or unusual spending.
  • Any transaction involving the purchase, sale, or encumbrance of a real estate interest that is not an unpatented mining claim or a one-year lease.
  • Theft or deception in the disposition of communal or joint property.
  • Actual damages and judgments stemming from activity that resulted in either spouse’s criminal conviction, with the other spouse or a child as the victim.

Sometimes, in cases where there are unforeseen circumstances that cause one person to be owed more than the other, a court may impose upon them an unequal share of communal debt from a 60/40, 70/30, or any other non-50% split that may be in the best interest of all parties involved given unforeseen circumstances. This is unheard of unless it’s due to some kind of circumstances like disability or spousal infidelity.

If you are planning to file for divorce in Arizona, chances are that there is a lot of uncertainty about what will happen with your marital debt. This can be especially true if one spouse has been the primary breadwinner or if one spouse racked up most of their credit card bills. Fortunately, we know how it works and would love to give you some peace of mind by answering any questions you might have on the subject matter. We’ll help come up with an appropriate plan and work out all the details so that everything goes according to plan at no extra cost! Give us a call today so we can get started right away!

Are You Looking for a Family Law Attorney Skilled in the Distribution of Property and Division of Debt in a Divorce?

The attorneys at GillespieShields are well-versed in a variety of different legal fields, ranging from family law to civil suits, employment disputes, and probate cases. Although we specialize in several areas of practice, our greatest passion is family law. In Arizona, married couples are required to divide property upon divorce. All property acquired during the marriage will be divided equally between both parties; it is known as community property in this state and applies to all types of possessions (both tangible and intangible), real estate, income, or debts that exist at the time of divorce. This can make dividing marital assets a daunting task if not done correctly from day one because there are certain rules which must be adhered to! During our private, one-on-one consultation, we’ll take the necessary time to answer any and all of our questions surrounding Arizona’s family laws, your family’s unique situation, and the possible court outcomes. Contact us today for your consultation!

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The materials available on this website are for informational and entertainment purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.  You should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in this site without seeking legal or other professional advice. The information presented on this website may not reflect the most current legal developments.  No action should be taken in reliance on the information contained on this website and we disclaim all liability in respect to actions taken or not taken based on any or all of the contents of this site to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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