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Need help/info with marriage and buying a home in Arizona

Hello fellow freedom lovers!

I need some information through experience or known websites about marriage and buying a home in Arizona. I am currently single yet plan on being married in December or January. Please refrain from the "don't get married" comments. I don't need advice in that regard.

My fiance and I are going to be purchasing a home extremely cheap, <85k, and she is going to be the only one on the loan. We are doing this for a couple of reasons. Mainly if we wanted to get rid of the house but were underwater or if I got into trouble financially. I don't expect either of these situations to arise but essentially just trying to be smart and careful and limit liability. I do expect housing to continue downward but some of these cheaper homes are at a discount because of it being a short sale, foreclosure or bank owned. So I believe it is a fairly good time to buy. Plus they have to raise interest rates sooner rather than later and we would be looking to get into a fixed rate.

I essentially just need information about when we are wed and living together what legal responsibility do I have? Because we are married is she liable for any debts that I have and am I liable for any of hers? What about the home? Again, I am not anticipating anything disastrous but just wanting to protect ourselves. She is done with school and making good money. She is hardcore about paying off all of her debt which should be easily attainable within a year. I have some and could get rid of it all but am not willing to part with my silver. I am holding it because ,most here all know, where it is headed. So my plan is to hold the silver and accumulate more while paying off some debt.

To summarize:

1) Getting married soon in Arizona
2) Wife will be buying home in her name >85k
3) The home maybe purchased, most likely, before we are married
4) Needing to know if all liabilities/assets becomes each others with marriage

Any input, experience or good websites with info would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

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Shucks

You took away my best come-back with your first paragraph.

Answers...

1) Getting married in Arizona. Arizona is a Communal Property state, meaning, all property and debts that you accumulate during the marriage are yours equally 100%, not 50% hers and 50% yours, but 100% yours and 100% hers. Should she not pay her credit cards for example, its 100% your debt, your problem. Contracts that she enters, you enter. Contracts that you enter, she enters. In effect, she looses her identity via the last name and becomes "one with you". Thus its hard to take $75 out of your joint checking account and say, "Here honey, I bought these roses for you!". So my gentle advice is both should maintain some separateness via separate checking accounts.

2 & 3) Once she buys this BEFORE you are married, it stays her property. If you later on contribute to the mortgage payment directly yourself from your separate checking account, you MAY later have an argument that the house is no longer separate property, but community property under the new marriage. A divorce judge would decide that. The next item, does she mark on the Purchase Contract her as "sole and Separate", "joint w/right of survivorship", "community property"..... this will be up to her, and after the marriage she can always update the legal title. The lender themselves will be happy to add you to the debt, I am sure.

4) All liabilities and assets stay yours separately after the marriage. Her credit card debt and car and furniture all remain hers even after the marriage. However, again, if you pay off her car or furniture debt with your seperate checking account during the marriage, the divorce judge may see it as becoming "community property of the marriage".

5) While I do understand that you wish to get married, what does "get married" mean to you and her? Does it mean a state license? Does it mean a church ceremony? Does it mean an "at home in front of family and friends?". Does it mean both, just one, or neither? If it means getting a state license, then when it comes to going down to Maricopa County courthouse, review with them what is Community Property and what is not.

6) Children. In many ways I believe married fathers and just fathers (unmarried) have the same rights and responsibilities.... my take on the last 40 years is that the legal benefits of fatherhood have all but dissolved to just a paycheck, ie, pay and pay again and again but get NO SAY in the raising of your child over that of the wife. If she wants riddlin pills taken by your over active 8 year old boy to calm him down, the STATE will back the mom. Indeed, with the federally funded 'War on Men' we all are treading very thin ice: read here:http://www.sovereignman.com/expat/new-hampshire-man-lights-himself-on-fire

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