Centuori & Alcoverde, P.C.

For couples who are preparing to end their marriage and want to make the process easier and less stressful, there are a number of available options. One of the most powerful ways to simplify an Arizona family law matter is to work through many of the financial aspects of that process as early as possible, even before filing for divorce. Addressing debt is a great place to begin, especially with couples who agree on many of the key components of their financial standing.

This begins by both spouses making a comprehensive list of their debts, both those they consider marital and those that are separate. Gathering documentation of the current balance of those debts is the next step. With that information in hand, couples can begin discussing the best way to move forward.

In the case of shared debt, it may be wise to pay those accounts off prior to initiating the divorce process. Doing so will remove those issues from the negotiation process, and can give both spouses a better idea of how their post-divorce budget might look like. For those who can reach an agreement on how to divide debt held in certain accounts, it might be helpful to transfer each spouse's "balance" into accounts held in their separate names, and then close the joint account.

Dividing debt can help simplify an Arizona divorce, but only in cases where both sides are willing and able to make choices that are fair and balanced, and in the interests of both parties. Otherwise, taking steps to pay down or restructure debt could result in negative financial impact for one or both sides. If there is any suggestion of disparity in intent or action, then debt issues are best left to be handled under the guidance of a family law attorney.  

Source: msnewsnow.com, "7 ways to protect yourself financially in a divorce", Andrew Housser, July 18, 2016

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