During a divorce, the finances of both partners come under legal scrutiny. Financial matters often trigger marital stress, and, when a divorce results, disputes about money often persist. When marriage partners cannot agree on the terms of a divorce, the court will make the decisions for them. Arizona is a community property state, and thus the court will normally. divide marital property equally between the parties absent an agreement to the contrary.
For example, a debt incurred by one spouse without the knowledge or permission of the other spouse could still be split evenly between the people in a divorce. Financial planners recommend that spouses make financial decisions together and that each party keep track of the other person’s financial activity. This could eliminate surprises about large debts during the divorce process.
A person should also be wary of one spouse asking him or her to sign away ownership of an asset. Requests to transfer a home or other assets out of joint ownership and into the name of just one spouse should be questioned. Financial advisers recommend that a person never forfeit a right to a spouse’s pension, IRA or 401(k) plan either. If confronted by disturbing requests regarding valuable assets, a person should get an objective opinion from an attorney.
When getting a divorce, an attorney could inform a person about legal rights and obligations that could apply to assets. With this knowledge, a person might avoid long-term financial hardships after a divorce that could arise from burdensome debts, insufficient child support, a loss of assets or unexpected tax consequences. An attorney could advocate for the person’s best interests during the property division phase. This service could take place during direct negotiations with the other spouse’s attorney or in court.