Debt Management in Divorce Mediation

Debt Management in Divorce Mediation

Divorce is complicated enough but if you have individual or mutual debt, it must be determined who is responsible for the debt or how it will be divided.  The laws on how debt is handled in divorce vary from state to state but in Arizona, for example, any debt incurred during a marriage will be divided equally.  But, if an individual acquired debt prior to the marriage, that debt will be their responsibility after the divorce.  Any debt incurred after a divorce is finalized also remains an individual debt.

While real estate and other loans incurred during the marriage are generally split equally, there are some exceptions.  If a cheating spouse incurred debt during or pertaining to the affair, that spouse will likely be assigned solely to that spouse.  Additionally, if apparent that a spouse incurred debt that is only beneficial to them and not the other spouse, that spouse may be solely responsible for that debt.

When you work with an impartial mediator, the mediator will listen to both individuals and review all pertinent documents and records.  Then, the mediator will speak to both spouses so that everyone can have a clear understanding of their rights and obligations under the law.  Next, a mediator will walk you through respectful and fair negotiations of debt allocation.  By doing it this way, you have much more say in how debt is managed, rather than leaving it up to a judge so that you get find a mutually agreeable solution.

About Oliver Ross

Oliver Ross, JD*, PhD founded Out-of-Court Solutions Inc. in 1995 and since then has mediated over 3,000 divorce and family matters. He is a select member of the Maricopa Superior Court Family Mediation roster