Debts in Divorce- Division of Marital Debt in Arizona

by Alexander D. Nirenstein

Divorce and debt problems often go hand in hand and have adverse impacts on each other especially in terms of finance and possessions. Sometimes, fighting on financial issues drain the joy out of a marital life and compel the couple to split up. Under Arizona law, all the assets and the debts incurred during a marital life are regarded as community property and therefore after divorce needs to be divided equally between husband and wife. Division of debt is not an easy task because your better or worse half might have accumulated outstanding debt, but you also remain liable to pay it off. Both Debt division as well as asset division is contentious as both you and your spouse fight over each and every tiny issue in order to evade any sort of loss. Only a knowledgeable attorney is capable of helping you to divide your marital debt equitably.


Documents Required to Aid in Debt Division

Courts demand substantial proofs and documentation to determine marital assets and debts. It is not always possible for couples to provide all exact and accurate information to court and therefore verification of facts are required. Credit bureaus are able to shed light on this matter and can present exact figures and estimation of debt. Before planning a divorce you need to keep a record of following items like tax returns, mortgage papers, investment portfolios, bank account records, credit card statements, business records, titles or deeds of ownership. In case there is no financial documentation of the above mentioned items, you can request assistance from forensic accountants and certified public accountants. They can investigate your finances and get an exact account of debts and assets. It is essential to depict a clear picture of the community properties, separate properties and debts so that the court can make a perfect ruling on the property division.

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Arizona Grounds for Divorce

Arizona Divorce Law
What are the grounds for divorce in Arizona?

According to Arizona divorce law, a divorce may be granted in Arizona for the “no-fault” ground of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.


In a divorce, the court declares the marriage contract broken; in an annulment, the court says that there never was a marriage. Annulment is much more difficult to prove — and is much rarer — than divorce. If you want to go this route, you will definitely need to speak to a divorce attorney. Of course, if you want an annulment for religious reasons, you’ll need to consult with your priest, minister, or rabbi as well.


You’ll need to provide your lawyer with the following documentation, in order to proceed with your dissolution as per Arizona divorce law. Start gathering everything together as soon as possible so that you can find out what might be missing and submit any requests for duplicates.

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What is the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage?

If you’re contemplating a divorce, then you’ve probably been wondering what the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage looks like. So let’s take a look!

The Caption.

A caption goes on all motions, pleadings, and discovery papers in the family law case so it can be identified quickly. At the top of the first page of the Petition is the caption, which contains the following information:

  • Name, address, and telephone number of the person filing the Petition, and attorney information if represented by counsel.
  • Arizona Superior Court for the county where filed.

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Divorce and Taxes: Five Things You Need to Know

Time Magazine just posted article on Divorce and Taxes that has some basic information on whether to file “married”, “single” or “head of household”, etc.  Deals with tax treatment concerning alimony (spousal support), child custody and dependent status, child support, an tax treatment for sale of marital residence.

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Equitable but Unequal Division of Real Estate in Divorce

I. Introduction

Under Arizona Revised Statutes § 25-318 (A), Arizona divorce judges are directed to “divide the community, joint tenancy and other property held in common equitably . . . .” Over the years, Arizona courts have interpreted this statute to require that “all marital joint property should be divided substantially equally unless sound reason exists to divide the property otherwise.” Toth v. Toth, 946 P.2d 900, 903, 190 Ariz. 218 (1997) (citing Hatch v. Hatch, 113 Ariz. 130, 133, 547 P.2d 1044, 1047 (1976)). This article will address the limited circumstances under which an Arizona court may stray from the general rule that jointly held real estate be divided substantially equally.

When a husband and wife acquire jointly titled real estate during their marriage using during-marriage earnings or financing to purchase the real estate, there is virtually no basis for either spouse to argue for an unequal division of such real estate. In this situation, the real estate will, without any foreseeable exception, be divided substantially equally between the husband and the wife.

There are two fairly common scenarios, however, in which one spouse may be able to make a tenable claim that real estate should be divided unequally because an equal division would not be equitable. The first situation is where one spouse brings a piece of real estate into the marriage and subsequently adds his or her spouse’s name to the deed. The second situation is where, during the marriage, one spouse uses sole and separate funds to acquire real estate but where title to the real estate is nevertheless taken in both spouses’ names.

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Mesa Family Law Attorneys Say Technology Figures in Arizona Divorce

An interesting article out of Tennessee highlights something our Mesa family law attorneys have been seeing right here in Arizona: the effect of new technology on divorce. As social media, online communication, and smartphones become commonplace, it is easier than ever to obtain information about your spouse during divorce proceedings. However, although some of the evidence obtained through email or sites like Facebook could be helpful to your case, there is still a lot of gray area in the law regarding the legality of obtaining this information and using it against your spouse during divorce proceedings.

If your spouse knows your passwords, uses snooping software, or has access to your email or smartphone, then that information could end up in court and affect your divorce settlement. Even information obtained legally through public posts on social media sites could wind up as evidence against you. Evidence of cheating and financial misconduct are among the most common accusations garnered from this type of digital information.

If you are going through a divorce in Mesa, we recommend that you change all of your passwords and avoid posting anything to social media sites about your divorce proceedings. If you are concerned about snooping software and similar tactics, there are services that will check your computer for these items and help you remove them.

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The Sampair Group, Phoenix, Arizona Divorce Lawyers | New Website Redesign of

The Sampair Group’s newly redesigned website provides detailed insider knowledge into each matter of family law, along with official company documents for new clients.

Glendale, Arizona, The Sampair Group, divorce and custody lawyers with locations in the Glendale and Mesa areas, now make their legal services more accessible to their clients with the recently enhanced redesign of their website at The new design of the website provides a structured and informative layout of their divorce and custody law services with audio and video features.

Attorneys Patrick Sampair and Geoffry M. Khotim of The Sampair Group have a combined 47 years of legal experience in fields including divorce, child custody, child support, and bankruptcy law. And now, with the updated features on their website, current and potential clients of The Sampair Group can gain insider knowledge about the firm, its seasoned attorneys, and their family and bankruptcy law services.

The Sampair Group’s contemporary website is a legal resource for a variety of family law topics, and is available to anyone in need of legal information. Legal matters including divorce, child custody, alimony, annulment, and legal separation are a few of the main concentrations of The Sampair Group. The newly redesigned website provides detailed insider knowledge into each matter of family law, along with official company documents for new clients. The Sampair Group provides their legal counsel and divorce law services throughout the East and West Valley, with locations in Glendale and Mesa.

About The Sampair Group

The Sampair Group has two locations to serve East Valley clients in and around Mesa, Chandler, Tempe, and Gilbert as well as West Valley clients in Glendale, Peoria, Goodyear, Sun City, Avondale, and Phoenix. While the divorce attorneys at The Sampair Group mainly focus on matters of family law, they also specialize in bankruptcy law. Their newly redesigned website at, features all of the firm’s legal services, as well as provides a thorough description of each attorney and the firm itself.

More information can be found online at The Sampair Group

Types of Child Custody

Learn the difference between legal custody, physical custody, sole custody, and joint child custody.

Everything You Need to Know about Arizona Divorce Law

By Cathy Meyer

Arizona Divorce Laws


At least one party needs to be a resident of Arizona for a minimum of 90 days before filing for dissolution of marriage. There is also a 60-day waiting period after the service of process [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Title 25, Chapter 312 and 329]


Irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapter25, Title 316]. However, if the marriage is a covenant marriage [Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapter 25, Title 901], the following may be considered grounds for a dissolution:

  1. Adultery,
  2. Commission of a felony and the resulting imprisonment,
  3. Abandonment for at least one year,
  4. Physical or sexual abuse,
  5. Living separate and apart for at least two years,
  6. Habitual drug or alcohol abuse,
  7. The husband and wife both agree to the dissolution of the marriage. [Based on Arizona Revised Statutes; Chapter 25, Title 903]

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Arizona Child Custody and Visitation Questions & Answers

Child Child custody refers to the rights and relationships between the parents and their children when the marriage relationship has failed or ended. The court can order sole custody or joint custody. The most important aspect of custody, rather than deciding what legal term to use, is to decide how both parents will share responsibility for the children, and the amount of time each parent will spend with the children.

Can the custodial parent refuse to provide custody or visitation rights if child support is not being provided by the other parent?

Child support is a different issue from child custody. A parent cannot be denied access to a child merely because that parent is not paying support. Likewise the custodial parent cannot be denied support even if that parent is not providing access to the child to the non-custodial parent.

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If you still have questions after reading the article don’t hesitate to contact the Sampair Group for any divorce or family law information.