Getting through your divorce is an accomplishment of its own.  You certainly don’t want to deal with divorce related problems even after the divorce.  However, a common conflict for divorcing parties is following through on agreements, such as signing over the deed to the house, re-financing loans, paying off debts or even returning personal property. 

Arizona law provides for a process to enforce the Divorce Decree.  The legal process can be costly while remedies are not immediately available, only adding to the aggravation of a deal gone wrong.

One of the major pitfalls during divorce negotiations is rushing through, especially during the execution of documents.  The devil is in the details.  Both the attorneys and divorcing parties can feel burned out after a contentious divorce process.  They may finally see the end in sight, but there is a high risk of rushing through and entirely glossing over important details.  Sometimes divorcing parties may not find certain details important to their case, but the divorce attorney or mediator should take care to point out future implications.   Even worse, court rendered decisions after a divorce trial can leave out many important details. 

A commonly overlooked remedy is to impress a lien on property belonging to the other spouse to secure certain payments to be paid by that spouse.   Such payments include:

1) any interest or equity the other party has in property;

2) any debts a party is required to pay;

3) child support or spousal support, or both;

4) all actual damages and judgments from conduct that resulted in criminal conviction of either spouse in which the other spouse or a child was the victim.

The key to enforcing a divorce lien is to ensure that your Divorce Decree has the proper legal language.  Without the required language, a lien will not be valid.   The Decree should specifically state which property is affected by a lien, including a legal description of any real property involved. 

To avoid debt collection headaches after the divorce, it is helpful for the parties to create a Debt Distribution Plan.  A plan will aid in keeping credit cards or other payments on track during and after the process.  Transferring balances and closing joint credit accounts can prevent unnecessary conflict with your divorced spouse.  If a balance transfer is not possible, parties can negotiate with creditors to release the other spouse from liability.  Any agreements with creditors should be reduced in writing and included with the Divorce Decree or otherwise submitted to court.  

The mediation process can aid the parties in covering all relevant details in a productive setting.  In addition to discussing logistics of carrying out a divorce agreement, the parties can arrange immediate enforcement remedies in the event of a conflict. 

To learn more about the divorce process, please visit practicallydivorced.com, call us at (480) 977-6873 or email at info@practicallydivorced.com.

Practically Divorced, LLC is not a law firm and nothing contained in this article should substitute legal advice.  Mediation is not appropriate for every case, especially cases involving domestic violence.  Each case should be evaluated on an individual basis.  Consulting with an attorney is always encouraged to understand your individual rights under the law.

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