Written by Canterbury Law Group

5 New Year’s Resolutions for a Happier Marriage

A new year means a fresh start for many. It’s a chance to begin something new, whether or not you have been working at it for years before.

A new year can be just what some couples need, especially if the word divorce has come up in the past. There are New Year’s resolutions you can make that focus on you and your spouse to work at your marriage and fix any issues that have been bothering you.

Even after working at your resolution to help your marriage and it’s still not working, there is always your divorce lawyer in Scottsdale to help you evaluate your next path. Before that though, try some of the following New Year’s resolutions for couples who want to work at a happier marriage.

Have More Date Nights

A healthy marriage is one in which the couple spends time together with just the two of them. Regular date nights are a way to ensure that you have that quality time.

Date night could be anything from sending the kids off on a sleepover and having a movie night at home, to going away for the weekend to your favorite destination. Either way, the purpose is to spend alone time with your spouse.

Turn the Phone Off

Smartphones can quickly become an issue in a relationship. If you spend more time browsing your phone than you do talking with your partner, there’s a good chance an issue will come up, if it hasn’t already.

Have times during which you turn your phone off so that your attention is on your spouse and family. Don’t think that you can multitask and talk with your spouse while on your phone. It just doesn’t work that way.  The phone will alienate your spouse and your children.  Put it down for the night and focus on your spouse and kids.

Show How Much You Care

Sometimes, all a marriage needs to keep it on track is for the partners to show each other that they still care. It’s easy to forget that we still need that attention and affection after many years of marriage. We may know that our spouse loves us, but if they don’t ever say it and show that they do, that confidence can quickly fade away.  We’re all vulnerable and need affirmations of love and respect from our spouse.

Work on Communication

Communication is key in any relationship, especially in a marriage. Many fights could be avoided if the couple would properly communicate with each other.  Good communication should include when things are negative as well as when they are good. Your partner should be able to sit down and talk through any problems he or she may have, and vice versa.

Grow Your Passion

The longer you’re together, the easier it is to let the passion between the two of you fade away. Not only that, many start to lose their passion for their everyday activities in general. When that passion fades, it’s hard to be happy.  The average healthy couple who does not divorce is romantically together only 11 times a year! That is not a lot for most couples, but consider making a mutual goal to be together at least once a month to stay the course and make the marriage last for 20, 30 or 40 years or more.

Make 2019 a year that you and your partner grow your passion between the two of you, and with life. Remember why it is that you are with each other and focus on that. Take trips that will boost your passion and reignite that connection all over again. Fuel your passion for your own life by getting back into the things that you love.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Get Your Finances Ready for Your Divorce With These 6 Tips

For some couples, no matter what they do to fix their marriage, the only option left for them is to get a divorce. Going through this process is not fun emotionally, mentally, or financially.

Divorces can quickly get messy when finance issues start to rear their head. Separating money between the two parties can cause many fights and resentment. However, it is a necessary and crucial part of the divorce process.

Although your divorce attorney in Scottsdale will have advice specific to your case, there are some general tips to help you get your finances ready for your upcoming or pending divorce.

Gather All Necessary Documents

You’ll need to gather all the documents that show what you and your spouse’s financial situation is like. It is a good idea to have a copy of things like your checking and savings account, any investments, loans, credit card statements, retirement accounts, and income tax. The more organized you are with your finances, the smoother the process is likely to go.  Plan on gathering up at least 24 to 36 months of statements for the past 2 to 3 years on all accounts.

Don’t Start Overspending

When you know that you’ll be getting a divorce, try to keep your spending habits either the same or more conservative. Deciding to go and spend all of yours and your spouse’s money before the divorce begins could certainly work against you once the case begins.

Ensure that the two of you have sufficient money set aside for the attorneys and anything else related to the divorce (e.g. expert witnesses).

Leave Large Financial Decisions for Later

Once a divorce is certain, it may be tempting to go and take your soon-to-be ex-spouse off of your life insurance, health insurance, or anything else that his or her name is on. You may want to hold off on that though.  Once the case begins, you are prohibited from canceling insurance coverage or joint accounts.  The judge will certainly want things to remain status quo until the case resolves.

Jumping too quickly into significant changes that remove your spouse could work against you in court. Many of those issues will need to be negotiated out during the legal proceedings. The judge takes issue with what you may have done without the blessing of the court and reward your spouse instead.

Make a note of Your Assets

It’s important that you have a clear picture of all the assets and liabilities you and your spouse possess. Make sure to note what is owned together and what you each bought before marriage. These documents will help you out when it is time to split things between the two of you.

Ask for Help

When in doubt, talk to your attorney for help on how to handle your finances during a divorce. He or she is there to help you navigate the case, so it is wise to take advantage of that. You will be able to get advice precisely tailored to your family wealth situation.

Start Budgeting

Once the divorce is finalized, you’ll be living without the help of your spouse. Especially if he or she was the primary income for the family, you likely will need to adjust your spending habits.

Start budgeting with only your income in mind. See how you will be able to manage all of your expenses and if you will need to bring in any additional revenue. By starting now, it will help prepare you for when the divorce ultimately concludes.  They all do.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Wanting to Be a Lawyer? These Qualities Will Help You

With every job, certain traits and qualities will help you succeed. Whether it be schooling, training, or having a natural position ability, the more merits you possess that are specific to your job, the better you can be.

A lawyer is no exception to this. There is more to just knowing the rules of law to be a successful lawyer. Your divorce attorney in Scottsdale has some advice for those who are wanting to become a lawyer.

Excellent Communication Skills

A lawyer must be able to deliver high-level communications. Good lawyers are also excellent listeners. Part of the job will be to stand up for your client, sometimes speaking for them. Public speaking skills will help aide any time you are in front of a judge, jury, or entire courtroom.

Your communication skills do not stop at verbal communication. Being able to clearly and persuasively write will be a strong asset too. There will come moments when you must draft challenging legal documents. Those documents must be as concise and easy to read.

Research Skills

There will be a lot of research happening behind the scenes before you really begin moving forward with your client. Why? Because you should know the ins and outs of the entire situation, including past examples from old cases.

The more research you can do, the better it will be for your legal clients. Having good research skills will help this process go quicker and smoother, and ensure you are getting accurate and concise information.

People Skills

No matter how much you excelled at school, you need to have people skills to be a successful lawyer. Your job revolves around people’s day to day lives. You may have to speak on behalf of a client, be face to face with the opposition, or just having to stand up in front of a large crowd.  Having good people skills will benefit you as a lawyer.

Problem-Solving Skills

Having excellent problem-solving skills is vital for a lawyer. There will come moments when you may need to be creative in finding a solution or the answer you need. Being able to think on your feet and quickly assess a situation and find a solution will be critical for a lawyer.

Perseverance

A good lawyer sticks with it until the end, no matter what, even if it ends up being a losing battle. The job can get exhausting after a while, but a successful lawyer is in it for the long haul.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Covenant Marriages and Divorces in Arizona

Arizona offers two types of marriages for residents. There’s the standard marriage that a good majority of residents get into. The state offers another form of marriage called covenant marriages. These covenant marriages are different in their legal nature. Unlike with the regular marriages, spouses also need to meet different requirements to later get a divorce. This article will briefly explain what covenant marriages in Arizona are, and how to get a divorce under the laws governing this type of marriage.

What is a Covenant Marriage in Arizona?

A covenant marriage is defined as a marriage between a man and a woman in Arizona. This category is available as an option for those who wish to get married and is not a replacement option for the standard type of marriage offered in the state. However in covenant marriages, the two parties enter into the marriage only after signing a written legal declaration stating the intention to enter into a covenant marriage and that they have satisfied certain requirements through premarital counseling provided by a member of the clergy or a licensed marriage counselor.

The legal statement is binding on both parties and strict rules govern how the spouses in a covenant marriage can later get a divorce. Unlike with regular marriages, where separating spouses are not required to cite the reasons for wanting a divorce, separating spouses in a covenant marriage do. Those entering covenant marriages should expect to stay highly committed because legal separation or divorce can be difficult to later achieve.

Dissolution of a Covenant Marriage

The specific reasons under which a court may grant a divorce for a covenant marriage are listed in Arizona Revised Statutes Sections 25-901 to 25-906. There are actually only eight scenarios that legally satisfies valid grounds for an Arizona divorce in a covenant marriage:

  • Cheating or infidelity;
  • One spouse abuses drugs, alcohol or another addictive substance;
  • The other spouse has committed a serious crime that could result in a life sentence or the death penalty;
  • One spouse has abandoned the family and has not been home for at least a year;
  • One of the spouses have committed a sex crime, mainly sexual assault, against a related person;
  • The spouses have been living separately for at least two years and do not intend to live together again;
  • The spouses are legally separated (different from divorce) and have been for at least a year;
  • Both spouses strongly want a divorce.

The courts do not grant divorces in covenant marriages unless the parties specifically qualify for relief under any of the above listed statutory mandates.

Getting a Divorce in a Covenant Marriage and Child Custody

Because divorces under covenant marriages are granted under very specific qualifying specifications, separating spouses must get Family Law help in Scottsdale. The proceedings can be complicated if the spousal dispute includes the custody of children and if there are complex debt or property issues involved. Furthermore, prenuptial or postnuptial contract agreements could further complicate things.

If you are in a covenant marriage, it is not impossible to get a divorce. Consult with a qualified lawyer who specializes in covenant marriages

Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Deal with Debt Collection Companies

Most Arizonians don’t know what to do when a debt collection company calls. The law does allow creditors or collection companies to call debtors and attempt to retrieve money owned. However, there are state and federal laws regarding which practices are allowed and which are explicitly prohibited. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act both stipulate what some attorney’s call “debtor’s rights.” When a collection company calls you, it’s important to know what rights you have against creditor abuse and malpractice.

When a Collector Calls

When a collection company calls you, they cannot demand that you pay the debt without informing you of several fundamental things. After the first call, the collection company has five days to inform you of the amount of debt that you owe and the name of the creditor to whom you owe the debt. If a collection company calls you demanding “payment” without specifying either of these, you have a fair case you can make against the collection company. You should contact a bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale if a collection company keeps calling without specifying the debt.

You can Contest the Debt

Most debtors are unaware that they can call into question the validity of a debt. Once a collection company calls you notifying you of a debt, you have 30 days to dispute the debt. If you doubt the validity of the debt, you can make a statement disputing the collection company’s claim. Once you have written to the creditor or the collection company, the parties should issue a statement in return verifying the debt in another 30 days. If you don’t get this verification statement after you issue a dispute, then the debt is very likely invalid.

When Creditors Don’t Match

Sometimes creditors sell debt. So some of your debt could be owned by a different creditor than the original person or entity you borrowed from. If the current creditor is different, then the collection agency must issue a statement with the name and address of the original creditor. If you don’t recognize the creditor of a debt, you must issue a statement and have the collecting agency specify the creditor’s identity. It’s important to note that the collection company cannot call you or try to retrieve a debt before notifying you who the original creditor is. You must get the verification as a written statement too.

Don’t Let Them Verbally Advise You

Some collection agencies may try to verbally tell you who the original creditor is, what amount of debt is owed, and other such factors. This is an attempt by collection companies to avoid issuing written statements. Documents can be upheld in court. If you get a verbal statement, the collection company can always change the story if the case goes to trial. Therefore, you must have physical statements mailed to you. Debtors have the legal right to such.

Collection companies that don’t adhere to the rules can be taken to court. In some cases, your debt may be waived and the court may demand the collection company to pay your attorney’s fees as well.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Some Facts about Arizona’s Adoption Law

Arizona allows any adult to adopt a child. Parents, grandparents, step parents, or non-related individuals can file a petition to adopt a child in the state or from outside the state. Here are several legal facts about Arizona’s adoption laws:

Adoption Eligibility

Arizona allows married, unmarried, and legally separated adults to legally adopt children. A married wife and a husband can jointly adopt a child. However, an unmarried couple may face certain legal restrictions when jointly adopting. It’s recommended to consult with local family law help in Scottsdale if you are an unmarried person with a partner who wants to jointly seek adoption of a child.

Adoption for Same Sex Couples

In Arizona, couples in same sex marriages can adopt children either individually, or as step parents. The law is unclear on whether same sex marriage couples can jointly adopt a child. The law could change soon, so it’s highly recommended to seek legal help if you and a same sex partner are seeking joint adoption.

Child’s Eligibility for Adoption

A child must be below the age of 18 to be adopted in Arizona. Also, the child must not be an illegal immigrant alien in the state when the adoption petition is filed. Foreign children can be adopted as long as they are not present in the state as an illegal alien defined by state law. Importantly, the child has to be free in legal terms to be adopted. The term refers to custody arrangements. The child’s birth parents, if present, must formally give their consent for the child to be adopted. If the birth parents are deceased or if their rights have been terminated by a court order, then this consent form is not necessary.

Foreign Adoptions Follow the Hague Intercountry Convention

All foreign adoptions in the U.S., including in the state of Arizona, are conducted according to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. The original country the adoptee comes from must also be a part of this Hague Convention for an adoption to take place. It should be noted that the U.S. bans adoptions from some countries, like Russia, even if these countries are party to the Hague Convention. Foreign adoptions can be a lengthy and expensive process. You should speak with a lawyer who knows immigration law to petition for a foreign adoption.

Non Relatives Require Court Certification

If the to-be adoptive parent is unrelated to the child, as an aunt or a stepparent, then the adult must obtain a court certificate to show eligibility. These certifications follow what’s called a “home study” carried out by an approved adoption agency in the state, an official from the Arizona Department of Economic Security, or a court officer. The study will involve an assessment of social, financial, and other qualifications of the prospective adoptive parents.

Birth Mother’s Husband’s Consent is Necessary

Arizona maintains that a married birth mother’s husband must give consent to the adoption. If the birth mother is married, her spouse must give consent even if he is not the biological father of the adopted child. If the biological father is not married to the mother, he must be notified of the adoption before it takes place. The biological father will be given 30 days to respond to the notification with paternity action.

Adoption, in general, is a straightforward process but some factors can complicate it. You must seek help from an experienced attorney to make sure the process goes smoothly.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

What is the Difference between Divorce and Legal Separation in Arizona?

In Arizona, there are two ways to formally and legally remove your estate from your spouse: divorce and legal separation. It’s important to understand that these are two different processes. Legal separation is not another term for divorce. While there are certain overlapping legal similarities between the two, it’s important to understand that these are two different things. Read below to find answers to commonly asked questions about divorce and legal separation in Arizona:

What is the Difference between Divorce and Legal Separation?

Obtaining a divorce means that the marriage is legally dissolved, with all assets separated, and both spouses legally become single people capable of remarriage and child custody rights are legally established. In contrast, a legal separation does not dissolve a marriage. The spouses will be technically still married to each other, but also judicially separated. However, like with a divorce, virtually all assets and debts are typically separated between the two spouses. But unlike in a divorce, the spouses cannot claim to be single persons for any legal reason nor can they remarry.  Most people pursue Legal Separation to maintain valuable health care coverage, among other reasons.

Why Seek Legal Separation Instead of a Divorce?

Legal separation may be suited for some people over a divorce for several reasons. Most spouses who do not want to divorce due to religious reasons or personal convictions can still undergo legal separation to judicially extricate oneself from a spouse. Spouses that want to live apart but without getting a divorce can obtain a legal separation.

Some people prefer to legally separate rather than divorce in order to keep valuable health insurance benefits of a group plan. As mentioned above, legally separated spouses are still considered married, and thus can benefit from continued spousal health insurance coverage. Similarly, those who have been married for less than 10 years can continue to receive social security benefits on their spouse’s federal benefits following a legal separation, unlike with a divorce in which such benefits are completely terminated for the lower earning spouse.

If you need to formally cut all legal, civic and other ties to a spouse, then you will need a divorce.

Grounds for Divorce or Legal Separation

Arizona is a no-fault state. It does not matter who did what to whom, or who cheated with whom.  Therefore, for both divorce and legal separation, you don’t need to show any reason for divorce to a court. If one spouse desires to divorce then the court will grant the divorce. Similarly, spouses do not need to prove a reason to get a legal separation. Claiming that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” is reason enough to obtain a Decree of Legal Separation as long as the other spouse does not object.  Only one of the two spouses must desire the divorce.  The person who “wants to hang on” cannot prevent the legal divorce from ultimately taking place.

What if One Spouse Insists on a Divorce?

Unlike in a divorce, legal separation is only granted if one spouse does not object. If one spouse wants a legal separation but the other wants a divorce, the court will convert the case and grant the divorce. Because a spouse can object, it’s important to discuss and make sure this is what both parties want. Consult with a local divorce attorney in Scottsdale to discuss your options.

What if the Legally Separating Couple has Children?

Child custody issues for legally separating couples are handled similarly to a divorce by Arizona courts. The courts will always prioritize the needs of the children. A family court will also determine parenting time and parental responsibilities.  You will receive formal judge imposed custody orders from the Court under either scenario.

What Happens to Marital Assets and Debts When a Couple Legally Separates?

Asset and debt separation for legal separations are also handled similarly to divorces. A court will make the determination.   Usually, the date upon which the original Legal Separation or Divorce Petition is “served” on the receiving spouse is the date that the community terminates.  Put another way, any salary or paychecks received after the date of service will usually be the earning spouse’s sole and separate property.  Exceptions apply, however.  Please consult seasoned legal counsel on all of these issues.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

When Should You File for Bankruptcy?

Of course, filing for bankruptcy is not easy on anyone. The filing process can go smoothly if you have a good lawyer. What’s really difficult is deciding when to file for bankruptcy. Does your financial situation actually call for you to throw in the towel? This article will help you understand which situations call for declaring personal bankruptcy:

Do a Self-Assessment of Your Situation

No one knows your financial situation better than you. So, when deciding to file for bankruptcy, you should do a self-assessment of your financial situation. Even if you feel like your debts are unbearable, you may not necessarily be in the danger zone that calls for declaring bankruptcy. There are several indicators that you are in serious financial trouble. Here is a short list:

  • You get constant debt collection calls
  • You are unable to, and have not recently made, minimum payments on credit cards
  • You don’t know the size of your debt
  • Your family home is at risk of foreclosure due to a debt
  • You have to borrow money to pay for necessities
  • You get a lot of red notices in the mail
  • Your creditors are threatening legal action

If you answer yes to three or more questions above, then you are seriously in debt. If you are unable to pay for everyday necessities without using credit cards or borrowing money in another manner, then you are definitely in the financial danger zone. You could consider bankruptcy as a possible solution.

Consider Alternative Routes

Filing for bankruptcy will lower your credit score significantly. Therefore, it’s not something that should be done frivolously. First, consider if there are alternatives to bankruptcy you can consider. Try calling your creditors and renegotiating the terms of your loans. Most creditors prefer if debtors don’t go bankrupt as a judge could erase the unsecured debt. It’s very likely that the creditor will be able to come into new favorable terms with you.  You can also consider selling stuff around the house to find funds to repay loans. It’s possible that you are spending money unnecessarily, so a household budget adjustment may solve your problems. Exhaust your alternatives first, and then decide to file for bankruptcy.

Consult with an Attorney

If you are really not sure about doing either of the above, you can always consult with an attorney for professional advice. Find a local bankruptcy attorney in Scottsdale or other cities in the state. Most will be willing to hold a consultation for a lowered fee. The state of Arizona does pose limits on how much a bankruptcy attorney can charge so money may not be an issue.

Know What Types of Debt You Owe

Are your debts mostly because of secured loans, unsecured loans, unpaid taxes, or fees due like alimony? Some debts, like taxes and child support, cannot be wiped out by filing for bankruptcy. If you owe a lot of unsecured debt, like credit card debt, then filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy is a good option.

It all depends on the type of debt you owe, and your income level. Before you file for bankruptcy, make sure you are eligible for it. You may also want to ask your attorney whether a certain type of debt can actually be forgiven by a bankruptcy court.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Sue an Abusive Creditor in Arizona

If you are in debt, it’s not uncommon to experience constant creditor collection calls. However, some debtors experience serious creditor harassment and abuse. Some creditors can threaten debtors, verbally abuse them, deploy scare tactics like fake court orders, or demand unseemly favors in return for not paying the debt. The laws in Arizona protect debtors from such abusive behavior from creditors.

How the Law Protects Arizona Debtors

Creditors in Arizona are subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA). It is a federal law that protects debtors from abusive creditors and collection practices. Under Arizona state law, creditors and collectors are also prohibited from engaging in specific types of intrusive, abusive and deceptive debt collection practices. Unlike the federal law, the state law is a criminal statute. That means if you are a victim of any prohibited practices, the collection agency may be deemed liable.

The debtor can directly or indirectly sue an abusive creditor. Because this falls under criminal law in Arizona, the victim cannot directly sue the abuser for breaking the law. That is up to the state government. If you have experienced abusive debt collection practices, you can report it to a local county or city prosecutor who will potentially charge the creditor with a class 1 misdemeanor. However, as a victim, you can still sue the abusive debt collector for monetary damages under the FDCPA mentioned above. You will need assistance from a bankruptcy lawyer in Scottsdale who will be very familiar with this provision of the federal laws.

Debt Collection Practices Prohibited Under Arizona Law

Before you report or sue a creditor, you must know exactly what debt collection practices are prohibited under the law. Your creditor can still call you on a daily basis without the practice necessarily being considered abusive. Here is what the law prohibits:

  • Pretending to be a legal authority or a law enforcement agency in order to collect a debt
  • Sending any documents or written communication that imitates a court, government, or a legal document
  • Pretending to be a lawyer or have a law office without being a licensed attorney in the state
  • Attempting to collect fees that are not related to the debt, such as collection fees, legal fees, court fees, and so on
  • Tell you that if you don’t pay the debt, you will have to pay additional fees for investigations, services, lawyers or anything else
  • Lying to you about the amount of existing debt
  • Giving the impression that any lawful or government agency in Arizona backs the creditor
  • Use verbally abusive language in collection calls
  • Continue to contact you after you have sent a written request not to

Some other abusive practices, such as physical threats, are also prohibited. Contact your lawyer if you don’t see the tactics that are being used against you by a collection agency in the above list.

It’s important to keep in mind that suing the creditor for illegal collection practices does not “erase” the debt. You will have to go to bankruptcy court to have at least some of your debt forgiven.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Common Misconceptions about Divorce in Arizona

We all have our own ideas about divorce. When it comes to the legal aspects of divorce, most people have significant misunderstandings. The legal process to divorce in Arizona is straightforward, but cases that go before a judge can become really complicated. If you are considering a divorce, it’s very important to realistically understand the legal process and consequences. Here is a list of common misconceptions about divorce most Arizonians have:

Does Filing a Court Petition Equal a Divorce?

When you file for a divorce in a court, you are required to file a petition. Some people believe this petition to be equal to a legal divorce. It is not. You are legally divorced when a judge says so and issues a ruling which recognizes the formal Date of Separation. From that day on, your civil status will be officially divorced and single, but not a day before. This date is very important because your income and property ownership (that you retain after the proceedings) only become non-marital property after this date is set by the court.

Can Child Custody be Arranged According to a Prenup?

This is an absolutely inaccurate idea. Prenups can set provisions for things like asset division in a divorce. However, child custody is solely up to a family court to decide. Child custody is largely a matter of public policy that ensures the well-being of a child. That requires judicial assessment of a child’s current living situation. Therefore, having provisions for child custody is highly improper in a prenup agreement. It could possibly render the whole agreement void. To make sure your prenup agreement has no chance of being voided by a court, consult with a divorce attorney in Scottsdale.

Can A Spouse be Ordered to Pay My Attorney’s Fees?

In Arizona, the laws allow for a divorce court to order one spouse to pay the legal fees of the other in whole or part. However, this is very much subject to a judge’s independent review. The aim of these laws is to eliminate any income disparity between the spouses from hindering access to similar legal representation (going to court on “a level playing field” so to speak). However, the judge will see how “reasonable” both parties are. In other words, your spouse will be ordered to pay your legal fees if only the request is evaluated as reasonable and that your positions are in fact reasonable as presented in court.

Is Alimony is Forever in Arizona?

Courts in Arizona typically set alimony for a specific period of time, such as until a child comes of age. The purpose of alimony is to provisionally support a spouse in need. But alimony is not financial life support. If the receiving spouse dies, remarries or cohabits with another, then alimony can be terminated.   Generally speaking, the longer the duration of the underlying marriage, the longer the potential duration of payout on spousal maintenance.

Creditors will Only Go After the Spouse for Debts He or She Agrees to Pay Off

Arizona is a “community property” state. That means that any debts incurred during a marriage become the presumptive responsibility of both spouses. The actual person who signed the loan agreement may not always matter. This status applies even after a divorce. Your spouse could agree to pay off a credit card loan or the home equity line of credit in the divorce agreement, but you won’t be completely off the hook. If the spouse fails to pay, the third party creditors could come after you. Any agreement in a divorce is between you and the spouse, not the creditor.

Hopefully, now you are a bit more enlightened about what getting a divorce means in Arizona.

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