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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.

What Happens to Debts During a Divorce?

Arizona Revised Statute 25-318 provides that debt incurred during the marriage is presumed to be community debt. Generally, the court divides debt equally. Debt incurred by a spouse before the marriage remains the separate debt of that spouse. The court may also order the parties to submit a debt distribution plan. This means that within thirty (30) days after receipt of a written request for information from a litigant (which includes the court name and case number), a creditor shall provide the balance and account status of any debts of either party or both spouses, identified by account number, for which the requesting spouse may be liable to the creditor.

What is an Affidavit of Financial Information?

Every case with children must have a document filed called an Affidavit of Financial Information, to be filled out by both parents and notarized. Read all the fine print on this document. It requires you to attach the last three (3) years of taxes and at least six (6) months of pay stubs. (Please remember to delete your Social Security and bank account numbers from these documents. If you file these documents without those numbers being covered, they will become public record and you could be subjecting yourself to possible identify theft).

In the Affidavit of Financial Information, you will outline your current monthly expenses, debts and income. it is understood that these numbers will change upon dissolution (divorce), but the court’s request is for the amount you are spending right now. The courts will analyze your financial position to determine how much child support you (or your spouse) should pay. We recommend that parents omit the taxes and supply the last three pay stubs; these can be produced without becoming part of your court file.

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