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My ex-spouse has more debts than I do, will it affect me?

On Behalf of | May 29, 2023 | Divorce

During a divorce, one of the usual concerns of parties is the effect of the separation on their financial capacities. This is why it is essential to ensure that each spouse will get their fair share of the marital assets. But with the distribution of properties also comes the division of debts. What if your ex-spouse has more obligations than you during the marriage? Will you be responsible for them as well?

The first step is to understand the rules of property division in Arizona.

Property division in Arizona

Arizona is one of the few states that follow community property laws in divorce cases. And under the community property rules, all properties and debts the spouses acquire during the marriage equally belong to them. Note, however, that the division is not necessarily exactly equal. Arizona courts ensure that the division is fair, though it is still possible that the courts will try to make it as equal as possible given each case’s circumstances.

You will only be liable for common debts

Following the property division laws in Arizona, only debts commonly acquired by spouses will be subject to distribution. Let us say you and your spouse took out a bank loan to establish a joint business. This debt is part of the community property and shall be divided equally between the two of you. Debts your spouse acquires on their own during the marriage are their separate property. You don’t have to worry about them as they will not form part of the community property.

Property division is a complex process, and it is essential to properly characterize each property and debt as marital or separate property. This way, each spouse will be able to protect their own share and avoid responsibility for debts that are not theirs.