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Making financial plans for a divorce

People in Arizona may want to make some financial preparations before they file for divorce. This may be particularly true if they are not very involved in the household finances. A first necessary step might be gathering as many financial documents as possible and making copies of them. If the divorce becomes acrimonious later, it might be difficult to get these from the other spouse.

Establishing a personal bank account and an individual line of credit may also be important for people who share accounts with a spouse. People may want to order copies of their credit report so they can address any errors before the divorce is in progress. For people who do not earn a living, it might still be possible to get a credit card based on household income. Applying for credit cards should be done well before the divorce is underway because this part of the process may take some time.

A team of professionals may help. This could include a therapist or counselor, an attorney and a financial planner. A financial expert might help a person with several aspects of the divorce including budgeting and taxes. People should understand any tax liabilities that might accompany the sale or division of certain marital assets.

Since Arizona is a community property state, most assets and debts acquired by either person since the marriage are usually considered shared property. This means that if a person has earned much less than the other partner or has not worked outside the home, that person may still be able to claim part of the bank account, the retirement account and other assets as part of property division. A lower-earning or nonworking spouse might also be eligible to receive alimony.

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