Just as community property is owned equally between spouses, so too is marital debt. Upon divorce, or dissolution of marriage, in Arizona, any marital debt that exists is divided equitably between the spouses.
This means that each spouse takes a fair amount of the couple’s overall debt that was accumulated during the marriage.
Marital Debt Definitions
In Arizona, generally any type of debt that was acquired during a marriage is considered marital debt. In fact, it doesn’t matter which spouse incurred the debt, as long as the debt was acquired during the marriage.
Marital debt can include both types of debt – secured and unsecured debt – and it doesn’t matter if your name is specifically tied to the debt because Arizona is a community property state. For instance, if your credit card payment is in your spouse’s name, it can still be considered marital and shared debt, even if your name is not on the credit card account.
This would be different, however, if the credit card was taken out before the marriage, in which case, the debt would remain the responsibility of the sole debtor who took out the credit line. There are exceptions to these general debt guidelines, and your attorney can discuss them at length during the divorce proceedings.
Types of marital debt could include:
- Credit cards
- Mortgage loans
- Auto loans
- Tax debt
- Personal loans
- Miscellaneous personal debts
- Payday or installment loans
- Student loans
Disagreements on Marital Debt
When spouses cannot agree upon how to divide marital debt, the court will make the decision for them. In these cases, an experienced family law attorney can also assist in the division of marital debt upon divorce.
In either situation, when the spouses cannot agree to division on their own, the help of legal counsel may be required in order to protect the rights and responsibilities of each spouse. The complexities of marital debt may present legal challenges that the spouses can’t manage without a qualified attorney.
Need Help with Debt Division?
At JacksonWhite Law, our family law team offers comprehensive divorce and mediation services. We offer a comfortable, positive atmosphere that can help you avoid the stress and frustration of divorce litigation.
To discuss your divorce or marital debt needs, contact our team, led by attorney Tim Durkin. We offer consultations that can explain your rights and legal options when it comes to divorce and separation.
Call Tim today at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your family law needs.