Arizona is a state that has a community property law. This means that any property you obtain during your marriage should be divided equally upon divorce. The same is true of debts since those are considered shared, instead of individual, debts.
While this is the case for your divorce as well, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to agree to divide your debts equally. For example, if you and your spouse have a prenuptial agreement in which you agreed to divide your debts based on who took them out or who they were specifically used for, then you may be able to reduce the debt load that you’ll take on after your divorce.
During a divorce, you have the right to make your own decisions over debt
You and your spouse do have the right to make your own decisions regarding how you want to divide your debts, even if that decision isn’t a 50-50 split. You may decide that debt for one of your degrees should stick with the person who got the degree instead of the other spouse. You might decide that credit card debt or debt for a vehicle will be held only by the person who is benefitting from those debts or who will retain the assets that those debts are for.
Not every couple’s situation is the same, so it’s somewhat unreasonable to expect that you’ll divide all of your debts 50-50. However, if you cannot decide on the way you want to divide your debts, then the judge will determine how to split them. That determination will likely leave you with half of all the debts accrued.
Can you prove that debts don’t belong to you?
If the debts present currently were created prior to your marriage, you may be able to show that these should be treated as separate assets and be paid for by the person who created them. The date of the debts on a credit card or loan, for example, may help you show that they were taken out prior to your marriage.
Debt is a major issue for people going through divorce. With the right approach, you may be able to limit your overall responsibility to your marital debts.