How to Resolve Community Debts in a Divorce

When a couple is married in Arizona, their assets and debts are considered community property. In a divorce, couples must identify their assets and debts, and distribute them in an equitable manner. This can be difficult in situations where the couple has a lot of assets and debts. One of the most common concerns is how to resolve community debts in a divorce.

Recognize All Your Community Debts

Before you can decide how to properly settle your divorce, you need to be aware of all of your joint debts. As with assets, debts incurred while you were married belong to both of you equally. Keep in mind that just because only one of you signed for a loan, or credit card, doesn’t mean that it belongs to just that person. Generally, any debts that were incurred by either party during the marriage are considered community debts.  Pull your credit report, collect account statements, and make yourself aware of your debts. Preparing a chart of debts and amounts owed is generally helpful.

Create a Plan for Resolving Debts

As part of the settlement terms of the divorce, you need to plan how to pay for your debts. This means that you need to split the debts in an equitable manner.  Each of you will be responsible for the debt after the divorce. Some debts can be paid off as a way to more easily resolve the problem. Keep in mind that, in general, even a debt that was assigned to one party in a divorce decree may be able to be collected by a creditor by either party, if the debt was originally community in nature .

Make Changes to Debt Agreements

After a divorce, you should be certain to make changes to the debt arrangements. For instance, if you have a credit card debt which you are taking on after the divorce, contact the company to let them know that you are responsible for payment. It is beneficial to specifically list the debts in your divorce. This will allow you to provide court documents to creditors that prove responsibility for repayment.

Debt Distribution Can Be Challenging

Finances are among the most difficult issues for couples to resolve in a divorce. Debts can be particularly hard to distribute, especially when couples disagree. An experienced divorce attorney will assist you in fair distribution of your assets and debts. Your lawyer will protect your rights and make sure that your finances are protected. Call the legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to schedule a consultation today.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Community Debts in a Divorce, or other family law issues, please feel free to contact Barry C. Dickerson at 480.461.5300, log on to, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools, and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.