Centuori & Alcoverde, P.C.

The first few weeks of a divorce can be a hectic time. There are a number of issues that require attention, and it can seem as though there is never enough time in the day to cover the growing to-do list. There are several financial safeguards that should be put into place during this period of time, and Arizona spouses should make those tasks their priorities as the divorce process gets started.

Shared accounts can pose a number of problems during the time between a divorce filing and the finalization of the divorce. In some cases, one spouse is angry about the end of the marriage, and he or she will take actions to deplete marital resources or run up debt. This can come in the form of cleaning out a joint bank account, making outrageous purchases on shared lines of credit or even making significant payments toward outstanding debt.

The only way to protect against these types of actions is to eliminate as many shared accounts as possible. In some cases, smaller debts, such as credit cards or store lines of credit, can be paid off and closed. For accounts that have higher balances, payments in full may not be possible. It is still a good idea to contact all creditors and ask that one's spouse be removed as an authorized user for accounts held in only one party's name.

When an Arizona spouse takes actions to deplete marital wealth, those choices can be addressed during property division negotiations or in divorce court. That said, addressing the issue during the process so can be time-consuming and expensive. Whenever possible, it is far easier to simply close shared accounts and eliminate possible risks. From that point onward, it is important to monitor all financial transactions that involve linked or shared accounts, so that the final property division settlement is one that is fair to both parties.

Source: The Huffington Post, "8 Divorce Hacks that Will Save You Time & Money", James J. Sexton, Jan. 11, 2016

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