Divorce will bring many financial changes to a person's life, and the implications of ending a marriage could affect you for years to come. If you are considering moving forward with this step, it is prudent to know what to expect and how to protect your interests. When you are prepared, you will be able to minimize complications and mitigate some of the financial stress associated with divorce.
One of the most common questions people have when considering divorce is about what will happen to their credit card debt. Will you still have to pay for your soon-to-be-ex-spouse's credit card debt? How can you fight to ensure you emerge from the process with a fair debt burden and stable financial future?
Community property and credit cards
Most people have credit card debt, which means that during a divorce, you will probably have to consider who is liable for any balances accumulated over the course of your marriage. Arizona is a community property state, which means both parties are equally liable for any credit card debt from the time of your marriage to the date you separated.
This does not apply to any credit card debt from before your marriage, however, it may be beneficial for you to understand the following about factors that could affect your future financial obligations:
- A judge may order a spouse to pay a portion of the other spouse's debt if purchases made were for household things or items that benefitted both parties.
- A court may consider factors like income and the length of the marriage when determining how exactly to divide credit card debt.
- A couple may be able to come up with a mutually beneficial out-of-court agreement regarding how to share credit card debt from the marriage.
Once you decide to divorce, it is in your interests to take certain steps, such as removing yourself from joint accounts and taking a financial inventory of assets and liability.
Protect your long-term interests
Divorce can affect everything from where you live to your credit score for years after the process is final. These are important issues, and it is smart to make decisions based on what is truly beneficial long-term, not just how you feel in the moment. It can be helpful to rely on the guidance and counsel of an experienced Arizona family law attorney as you navigate complex property division issues.