What if my spouse does not pay the community debts as ordered in the final decree? Can our creditors force me to pay?

Yes, Arizona Revised Statute 25-318 states that a creditor can collect a marital debt from either spouse, regardless of which spouse is ordered to pay the debt by the court. The innocent spouse then has the right to recover from the obligated spouse. If a party fails to comply with an order to pay debts, the court may enter orders transferring the property of that spouse to compensate the other party.

Characterization of Property During a Divorce

The first thing to decide is the character of the property. If it is community, it can be split 50-50. If it is sole and separate, it is yours and does not need to be divided but it must be disclosed. At the end of the divorce, you will want to divide the community property approximately equally. This includes the house, furniture, cars, boat, bank accounts, savings, stocks, investments, pensions and debts. You also need to be aware that each spouse has an obligation to disclose all property under the Rule of Family Law Procedure 49. Hiding assets will not be treated kindly by the court. Even sole and separate property must be disclosed so the other spouse has an opportunity to determine if it really is sole and separate.

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