Arizona residents who are considering getting a divorce may be concerned with how the process may affect their financial affairs. Instead of allowing the issue to cause them significant stress, divorcing individuals should take the important step of focusing on their finances, particularly their assets, income, liabilities and expenses.

The spouse who maintains ownership of the home will generally be expected to make mortgage payments and be responsible for any other debt that is associated with the property. However, because a divorce decree does not supersede individuals’ obligations to their creditors, both spouses will still have a legal responsibility to the creditor.

If there are credit cards, it is important that both spouses know how much is owed on the cards. If one spouse has charging privileges on a card belonging to the other spouse, the issue of whether those charging privileges should be revoked will have to be addressed.

Taxes are another aspect of finances that will be impacted by a divorce. Both spouses should maintain copies of all tax returns that were filed jointly, especially those that were filed within the last five years.

When negotiating the terms of a divorce settlement, both spouses should be aware of the tax implications. Individuals who will have to file as a single person after the divorce will have to pay a higher tax rate. In situations in which there are dependent children, the spouse who serves as the custodial parent is likely to use the more favorable head of household filing status.

A divorce attorney may advise clients about which legal avenues should be pursued to obtain favorable settlement terms regarding legal issues. Litigation may be used to protect the interests and rights of clients during disputes regarding the division of assets, such as financial accounts and real estate.