Too Much Debt To Divorce?

The decision of whether or not to divorce is complicated enough without worrying that there is too much debt to divorce, or dealing with concerns about how you would even go about dividing debt. The decision needs to be based on what is the best thing to do, not on worries about dividing debt in a divorce. While Arizona, like most states, is a community property state,  that doesn’t help with the intricacies of dividing up the debt, so we have some information that may help.

How Do You Get A Divorce With A Lot Of Debt?

The answer is to negotiate a fair split of current assets and debts. Most couples today carry debt and mediators and the courts are very accustomed to handling these situations. So, don’t worry, divorce mediators know how to work this out for the best.

The court seeks to find a fair and equitable distribution of property and debt. Despite popular belief, that doesn’t always mean a precise 50/50 split.  All factors are taken into account to make it fair. For example, factors like age, respective income and earning ability, health, and child care obligations can be taken into account to determine an equitable (not equal) splitWorking with a mediator makes all of these discussions and negotiations much more bearable and can even save money in the long run.

Credit Card Debt And Divorce

Credit card debt is a particular issue because it is either in one partner’s name only, or it is held jointly, but all debt accrued during the marriage is likely to be considered marital debt no matter who used the credit card. It is recommended that you close all joint accounts and make a record of the current state of the debt so that one spouse can’t run up a credit card during the divorce process.

Although the court may view credit card debt as shared, the credit card company will still expect you to pay the debts that are in your name and that can affect your credit rating. If you can close all joint accounts and make a record of current debts and assets, you can prevent a common problem where you are still held liable for a debt incurred during marriage even if you agree in the divorce that your spouse will pay it.. You don’t want to be in the position of having your good credit held hostage or having to constantly negotiate or stay on top of it yourself.  However, it’s not always possible to pay off and close all accounts from the marriage.  That’s where mediation can help come up with viable alternatives.

Divorce Mediation And Division Of Debt

If you can set a mediation meeting and get help sorting your debt fairly, you can avoid these concerns and can relatively easily and quickly handle all these concerns. It can be so much easier than it sounds. Couples can determine who will pay off which credit cards and change the names on those cards accordingly; or they could agree to clear all debts using other assets for a fresh start.

Should You Pay Off Debt Before Getting Divorced?

There are some good arguments that it is better to pay off all debt before a divorce, but in situations where this isn’t possible, it isn’t necessary at all. There are plenty of ways to divide shared credit card debt and qualified, compassionate mediators can help you find the best solution for your situation. Divorce mediation can provide so much relief in this situation

We have a quick and helpful divorce mediation checklist to help you that you can download at and please give us a call at our Main Office so we can help you move forward. You can call 602-714-7447.