Couples having financial arguments early in their relationship may find themselves heading toward a divorce. As reported by MarketWatch, researchers found that money problems are the top indicators of an upcoming divorce. Credit card debt reflects a typical contributing factor in a couple’s money problems.
The data studied revealed that nearly 30% of baby boomers claimed disagreements over finances led to their breakup. A greater number of younger couples, however, noted that financial arguments caused them to divorce.
Courts may review credit card balances
High credit card balances may lead to assumptions about an individual’s spending habits. Regardless of whether the purchases appear wasteful or unnecessary, Arizona’s courts generally consider credit card debt as part of a couple’s household maintenance.
According to Arizona’s laws, each spouse may share responsibility for paying credit card debts used for a household’s benefit. As noted by Forbes magazine, this may hold true even when one spouse opened an account in his or her name only.
Marital property division may include shared debt responsibility
Arizona considers assets and income acquired during a marriage as community property, which belongs to both spouses. During a divorce, all property and assets split equally between two spouses.
The law does not require couples to hold joint accounts for assets to classify as community property. Accordingly, each spouse may also hold liability for half of the debt accumulated for a shared household. For this reason, some couples may decide to sell their assets and use the proceeds to pay off their remaining credit card balances.
When an agreement made between a couple specifies that a specific asset or debt exists as separate property, a divorce court may not need to divide it. The two spouses may, however, need to provide proof of the separate ownership agreement.