Because conflict over money is one of the leading causes of divorce, Arizona couples who are getting married should discuss a number of issues beforehand to make sure they are in agreement on how they will handle their finances. First, a general conversation about what an ideal marriage looks like and how that ideal fits into each person’s overall life plan is a good idea. Next, the couple should discuss whether they want to sign a prenuptial agreement.
Couples should discuss the debts they are bringing into the marriage, including student loans and credit card debt, as well as their financial history. They should also talk about their savings and how they plan to handle saving as a couple and a monthly budget. Part of this conversation should also include a discussion about whether the couple will have joint or separate finances.
The couple should also discuss the assets they are bringing into the relationship, including inheritances, and whether they will share those assets. Who will do the tax returns and how responsibility for paying the bills will be split should also be worked out. What kind of insurance is needed, whether to have children and the impact that will have, and whether each person has a retirement plan and an estate plan should also be discussed.
Unfortunately, some couples may not thoroughly discuss these issues prior to marriage, or they might change their minds about some of the issues after marriage despite a discussion, and that could lead to divorce. Having a good understanding of the family finances will make that aspect of the divorce somewhat less difficult. However, couples will still have to go through the process of property division. Since Arizona is a community property state, the first step will be to determine what counts as marital property.