Written by Canterbury Law Group

Get Your Finances Ready for Your Divorce With These 6 Tips

For some couples, no matter what they do to fix their marriage, the only option left for them is to get a divorce. Going through this process is not fun emotionally, mentally, or financially.

Divorces can quickly get messy when finance issues start to rear their head. Separating money between the two parties can cause many fights and resentment. However, it is a necessary and crucial part of the divorce process.

Although your divorce attorney in Scottsdale will have advice specific to your case, there are some general tips to help you get your finances ready for your upcoming or pending divorce.

Gather All Necessary Documents

You’ll need to gather all the documents that show what you and your spouse’s financial situation is like. It is a good idea to have a copy of things like your checking and savings account, any investments, loans, credit card statements, retirement accounts, and income tax. The more organized you are with your finances, the smoother the process is likely to go.  Plan on gathering up at least 24 to 36 months of statements for the past 2 to 3 years on all accounts.

Don’t Start Overspending

When you know that you’ll be getting a divorce, try to keep your spending habits either the same or more conservative. Deciding to go and spend all of yours and your spouse’s money before the divorce begins could certainly work against you once the case begins.

Ensure that the two of you have sufficient money set aside for the attorneys and anything else related to the divorce (e.g. expert witnesses).

Leave Large Financial Decisions for Later

Once a divorce is certain, it may be tempting to go and take your soon-to-be ex-spouse off of your life insurance, health insurance, or anything else that his or her name is on. You may want to hold off on that though.  Once the case begins, you are prohibited from canceling insurance coverage or joint accounts.  The judge will certainly want things to remain status quo until the case resolves.

Jumping too quickly into significant changes that remove your spouse could work against you in court. Many of those issues will need to be negotiated out during the legal proceedings. The judge takes issue with what you may have done without the blessing of the court and reward your spouse instead.

Make a note of Your Assets

It’s important that you have a clear picture of all the assets and liabilities you and your spouse possess. Make sure to note what is owned together and what you each bought before marriage. These documents will help you out when it is time to split things between the two of you.

Ask for Help

When in doubt, talk to your attorney for help on how to handle your finances during a divorce. He or she is there to help you navigate the case, so it is wise to take advantage of that. You will be able to get advice precisely tailored to your family wealth situation.

Start Budgeting

Once the divorce is finalized, you’ll be living without the help of your spouse. Especially if he or she was the primary income for the family, you likely will need to adjust your spending habits.

Start budgeting with only your income in mind. See how you will be able to manage all of your expenses and if you will need to bring in any additional revenue. By starting now, it will help prepare you for when the divorce ultimately concludes.  They all do.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Rediscover Yourself After a Divorce

Going through a divorce is no easy matter. It’s emotionally, mentally, and even physically draining. It’s easy to find yourself alone and wondering what went wrong that got you to this point.

One of the hardest parts of a divorce comes after signing the papers – rediscovering who you are. Many find themselves asking this question after years of putting other’s needs before their own. One is left wondering who they are and what they are going to do next with their life.

Whether you commenced the divorce or not, this new phase in your life can be looked at like a fresh start. Between your divorce attorney in Scottsdale, your friends, and your family, all of them can help you along your journey of rediscovering yourself after dissolution.

Get Lots of Rest and Recover

The first thing you should do is take some time to rest. You are likely to go through the grief process because the truth is, you’re losing many things as you go through a divorce.  Many years or decades may have been shared with your former partner. After final separation, you are likely to mourn the loss of that past life.

Give yourself time to go through the grief process and to rest. You will need to have the energy and peace to get yourself back up on your feet.  Think twice about dating new people right away.  Do not rush into the dating market.  You need to reset your internal clock and moral compass first.

Connect With Your Old Self

Change happens when you are with a partner for a long time. You start to pick up your spouse’s traits and sometimes have to give up ones too.  Not only that, many find themselves falling out of touch with certain hobbies and activities they used to enjoy before getting married.

After the dissolution, use this time to reconnect with your old self before marriage. What were your hobbies and favorite activities? What were you good at and what did you want to get better at? Start getting back in touch with the things you love.

Reconnect With Anything Given Up

As mentioned, there is likely something you would have not given up before entering a marriage. Maybe your spouse was allergic to pets, and you always had a dog around. There could have been a hobby you enjoyed that your partner didn’t. The things you used to love but have not looked at in quite some time, maybe a place to refocus your new time and energy now that you no longer have a life partner.

Try New Things

Not only are you rediscovering who you were after a divorce, but it is also a time to try new things. It could be anything that you’ve wanted to try, but never did when you were married. Make a list of all of the activities and adventures you wanted and start working through them.

Surround Yourself With Love

In the end, one of the best ways to rediscover yourself after a divorce is to surround yourself with friends and family that know you best. You may have found yourself becoming distant while going through the divorce process. Your friends likely don’t want to pick sides, or you don’t want to put them in that situation. However with the case now over, keeping in touch with your friends will help keep you uplifted, avoid the feeling of loneliness, and help get you back to the self you have missed for so many years.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

5 Factors That Can Spark a Divorce

When a couple gets married, chances are they aren’t planning to get divorced down the road. Unfortunately, divorce is quite common in the United States. It is a stressful and sometimes quite painful time for both parties involved.

There are many factors that can contribute to a divorce. Some have warning signs in which you and your partner can work on. Others, however, are out of your control and are the result of an unfortunate circumstance.

The Canterbury Law Group, your divorce lawyer in Scottsdale, came up with a list of some of the top factors that can spark a divorce.

Lack of Communication

The lack of communication in a marriage is typically at the top of any list when it comes to divorce. Having good communication is critical in any relationship, but especially in a marriage. Without communication, it is hard to tell what your spouse is thinking, how he or she is feeling, and the two of you need to address any concerns.

High Expectations

Another common factor in a divorce is when one partner has too high of expectations for the other. Whether it be due to finances, household chores, or making someone happy, if a spouse has unrealistic expectations of their partner, it can generate many issues. If someone feels like they can never be good enough for the other person, it can result in them being unhappy and inevitably wanting out of the marriage.

Finances

Money is another significant factor in a divorce. If both partners are not on the same page with their finances, it can lead to a lot of trouble down the road. If one spouse wants to keep spending on expensive items, but the other one wants to save for the future, the two of them are bound to clash. Having opposing views with finances can lead right to divorce.

Lack of Intimacy

Intimacy in a marriage is essential for staying close to one another. Having intimacy in a marriage means both physical and emotional. If one partner starts to withdraw from the other and it never gets fixed, it could lead to divorce. Having that strong physical and emotional connection will help keep a couple strong and connected.

Wrong From the Start

In some circumstances, the marriage may have ended the moment it started. Marrying for the wrong reasons (for money or something other than love and having a connection), will likely lead to divorce sometime down the road. For a successful marriage, it is essential that the person you choose is someone you genuinely want to be with for the rest of your life. If there is a hesitation, it could be a sign that it may not be the right person for you.

Marriages will have their problems at one point or another. However, that doesn’t mean a divorce will happen. Depending on how the couple handles martial problems and works to get past them, that will likely determine if a divorce is in the near future or not.

Spending quality time with each other, having those emotional and physical moments will help keep the connecting between both partners thriving. Communicating with one another will help to overcome issues before the turn into something more extreme.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

6 Ways to Help Your Kids Cope Through a Divorce

A divorce is not something you plan for when getting married. Unfortunately, many families face divorce at some point. Going through a divorce can be highly stressful for both parties involved, children especially.

Every divorce will affect kids in some way, whether it be through sadness, anger, frustration, or even worrying. However, as their parents, you can help your children cope with the divorce process so that they use this as a growing experience.

Talking with your divorce lawyer in Scottsdale will help to give you the best advice for your situation. There are also the following top six tips that you can use to help your children cope with a divorce.

Inform the Kids of the Divorce

It’s not an easy conversation to have, but it is essential to talk to your children about the divorce. They’ll need to know that mom and dad will be living apart. Explain why you made this decision and that it was never caused by them. Keep the conversation appropriate for the age, temperament, and maturity of the child. Stay positive, stay optimistic—do not drench the children in negativity.  To the contrary, tell them they have a new optimistic life ahead.

Let Them Speak

It’s important that kids can express how they feel in these types of situations. This will mean the parents, both if possible, sit down and listen to them and acknowledge their feelings. If they are struggling, help them put how they feel into words.  Provide the children with counseling if needed.  They must repair their internal feelings immediately to avoid long-term emotional scarring.

Be Their Support System

Although you’ll have so many things going on in your life with a divorce, it’s crucial that you remain a strong support system for your children. Be there for them, talk to them, ask what will help them feel better.  Do NOT complain about the divorce, or your spouse, or the lawyers or the court—these kids have enough to deal with if you must vent, do so with capable adults, not your own children.

Keep Your Emotions in Check

If your children see you upset or stressed out, it will start to seriously affect them. As their primary emotional support system, trying to be as calm and collected as possible will be more beneficial in helping your children cope with the divorce. Approaching the situation angry and frustrated will only get them agitated.  Vent your deeper feelings on your own time, in your own space, and not within the sight line of your kids.

Be Kind to Each Other

Kids hear, see, and remember almost everything. You would be shocked to walk in their shoes for 24 hours.  If they see you and your partner actively arguing, or if you’re speaking poorly about your life partner when they’re not around, there’s a good chance that they’ll pick up on these things. Being kind and civil to each other will help prevent putting your kids in a difficult situation, or feeling like they need to choose sides.  Take the high road.  Stay silent when the kids are in the room and handle your “adult business” only with adults in the room.

Reassure They Are Loved

In the end, it’s important to reassure your kids that they are always loved by both parents no matter the divorce outcome. Explain the new living arrangements and express that while you’re with one parent, the other parent still loves them.  Money and property rights come and go, your children are the bedrock of your life today and into the future.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Three Leading Causes of Divorce

You may or may not be surprised to learn that the divorce rate in the U.S. has been around 50% for many years. While there is a myriad of reasons as to why divorces can occur, there generally are commonalities between all divorce cases. In many instances, money and finances can cause a lot of distress. Ultimately, if we can solve our issues with finances, many people would be able to avoid divorces. Top Divorce attorneys in Scottsdale recommend paying attention to the following list of three of the most common money problems in a marriage along with some solutions that can help get you back on the right track.

Financial Secrets

It’s in your best interest to never hide money from your spouse. Finding out about a secret stash of money can lead to mistrust. Ultimately, this will impact other areas of the marriage.

Solution

Do not keep secrets from your significant other. It’s important to be entirely transparent, which builds trust and fosters love.

Weak Communication

It’s absolutely imperative to have a strong foundation for communication with your spouse. Couples who do not talk about their finances will inevitably experience trouble sooner rather than later. Ultimately, you should seek to establish trust with each other. Once you have this, it’s okay to relinquish the financial management role to one partner over the other.

Solution

You should set up regular meetings with your spouse to discusses finances. For example, talking about mutual access to online bank accounts will only help your marriage.

Not Enough Savings

It is no surprise that many American families have under one thousand dollars in savings. Think about it: with no money in the bank, you will undergo stress.

Solution

There is no question that you have to generate and save money for unforeseen expenses. You should have separate savings account devoted to just this.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

6 of the Hardest Moments During Divorce, According to Women Who Have Experienced It

It can be hard. It can be ugly.

Divorce is never a good thing (in the moment), but it happens.  A lot.

Of course, divorce can always end up being a good thing when all is said in done, but going through the process yields some difficult and challenging times. There are arguments about money, child custody, real estate, residences, and more. These disputes seem to go on forever with little to no resolution.

While every divorce is a little bit different, arguments about money generally top the list. Especially if you’re in business with your spouse, figuring out how to separate money can be a brutal task. The process involves lawyers and a lot of tears. Sure, there are things that be done to prevent divorce, but sometimes it is unavoidable.

Why must divorce be so hard? It need not be.  Divorce attorneys in Scottsdale will tell you that there is a right way to approach this transition as opposed to the long-reviled “scorched earth” approach.  Is it really worth the emotional and financial trauma to “go to war” with someone you once loved deeply?

That said, let’s take a look at six of the hardest moments during a divorce, according to women who have been through the conventional litigation process to achieve it.

Money Stress

During your marriage, there are times when you may have discovered your spouse handling finances in a secretive and non-transparent manner. For example, perhaps your spouse had a gambling or substance abuse issue that caused depletion of your community funds. This can end up very, very messy.

Leaving Your Home

After pouring your heart and soul into your primary housing (including potential renovations), having to either sell it or move out is a very difficult process.  Memories were made in that space, the children grew attached, school districts were established.

Feeling Unsafe

One of the most compromising feelings is the notion that you’re in a dangerous physical predicament During a divorce, you may experience blowout fights that can result in the feeling of being unsafe.  Your lawyers can solve this problem rapidly and with strength so you can sleep well at night.

Seeing Someone Else

Things can get ugly if/when you find out that your spouse is romatically seeing someone else prior to divorce papers officially being filed or later on, finalized. This can be seen as disrespectful and downright rude.

Time Away From The Kids

Not being near your kids each and every day can result in a lot of heartache. Experiencing divorce is hard enough; losing time with your kids may be harder.

Losing Your Best Friend

After all, people tend to marry who they refer to as their best friend. Knowing that you’re losing your friend and husband/wife at the same time can be a deflating feeling.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Four Logical Tips to Improve Your Marital Finances

It is no secret that nearly all marriages come with financial obstacles. Big or small, money issues will inevitably come up and will certainly be stressful. Whenever you are feeling strapped, you may overreact and try to completely overhaul your finances. Having said that, saving money in short, aggressive spurts is the financial equivalent of a crash diet and therefore never truly works.

Divorce attorneys in Scottsdale recommend sticking to the following four financial tips to secure comfort and peace of mind in your marriage.

Set A Grocery Limit

Due to the simple fact that a grocery bill is not a fixed expense (like a car payment or internet bill), food costs can be significantly reduced. Try creating a meal plan before going to the store and buying only for those specific meals. Furthermore, you can consider buying your groceries online. This way you’ll know exactly what your total bill will be before you buy.

Walk (Everywhere)

There is no question that walking places will save you money. Outside of walking, public transportation is the next best option. Buses and light rails are a perfect way of getting around in an urban area. However, walking with your spouse is almost like a completely free built-in date. You can often choose a far-away restaurant, grab a go-cup of wine (legal in some cities), and take the extra long stroll as a pre-and post-dinner activity. Not only will this save you cash, but it’s a nice chance to catch up and get more exercise.

Stay In On The Weekend

Quite frankly, this can be boring. Once Friday rolls around, you may feel that you’ve earned a night out for the hard work you’ve done all week. Generally speaking, however, this can be an expensive habit. Although this may seem boring at first, staying in doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun or celebrate the week’s end. On Friday, you can have a drink on your porch and then cook dinner together. Usually, this proves to be a lovely evening and a great way to save money.

Travel More Thriftily

Instead of booking a hotel room, look into booking a rental home. This will save you money. Ultimately, you’ll be able to cook breakfast in “your house” and sip a bottle of store-bought wine on the balcony after dinner. Sure, you may miss being in a full-service hotel, but it’s a nice treat to feel as if you live like locals. Not only that, it will save you enough money to tuck away toward a future trip.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Reasons Why People Make Divorce Overly Expensive

There is no question that it takes more money to run one household than two households after a divorce. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t doable or worth it to go through a divorce, if that’s what is necessary, you have little choice.

Sure, divorce is expensive. When all is said and done, costs can run close to $50,000 to $100,000 if both sides dig in and want to litigate. That is a lot of money.

While there are certainly ways to save money during a divorce, there are also many ways to increase costs, many of which are almost entirely unnecessary.

Divorce lawyers in Scottsdale see costs continue to grow as people exhibit the following behaviors.

Of course you want what you are entitled to. Having said that, are you willing to go to the brink on this one even if the amount that you fight for is not enough to cover attorney costs? Think about that one for a minute. Spending ten thousand dollars to win back five thousand dollars to “show up your spouse”—that’s bad math. Do not do it.

Refuse to Accept Your Settlement Proposal

Sure, your attorney wants what is best for you, even if that entails you spending all of your money on what’s right. Ultimately, you should get what you deserve, right? Demand That Your Ex Runs All Parenting Decisions By You If you and your spouse struggled to make parenting decisions during your marriage, what makes you think that it’ll go smoothly once you’re divorced? This will only result in wasted time, energy, and money.

Negotiate With Your Spouse

One of the most common reasons as to why people file for divorce is due to trouble communicating. Spouses constantly argue about budgets, schedules, and general decision-making. Things can escalate from there within a divorce.

Hire a Child Custody Evaluator

These professionals generally charge about $10k to $15k for a comprehensive custody evaluation, not including time spent as a witness at any hearings. — Sure would be cheaper to hammer out a compromise with the other parent compared to spending the time money and tears usually consumed in the child custody evaluation process.

If you want to decrease costs during a divorce, consider avoiding the aforementioned behaviors. They will save you time and money in the short-term and make you much happier in the long-term.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

4 Tips to Managing Your Money During a Divorce

It’s never fun, but sometimes (and unfortunately) it’s necessary.

Going through a divorce is as tough on your finances as it is on your heart. Having said that, while a divorce will certainly alter your marital status, it really doesn’t have to change who you are as a person.

Divorce lawyers in Scottsdale recommend the following four tips to managing your money during a divorce. These tips will help you push your emotions aside and grasp a stronger hold on your life.

Access Your Credit Reports

Once every year, you are able to pull a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The agencies will show each and every credit account that is in your name, regardless of whether it is individually or jointly owned. If your spouse (or ex-spouse) doesn’t pay his/her bills on time, it can negatively impact your credit score. By watching your credit, you are also watching your spouse in many ways.

Work With Your Ex

You should really continue to utilize your individual or jointly-owned accounts as normal. If you come to a point and realize that you don’t have the proper funds to hire a divorce attorney and handle any other relevant expenses, you should come to a mutual decision with your spouse about spending a conservative and equal amount to get what you want. In the case of a relationship that isn’t amicable, consider going through your attorney for legal separation. This would specify how you both should be using your money until the divorce is complete.

Remember Health Insurance

If you were on your spouse’s insurance policy, paying for an entirely new individual policy could cost you a significant amount of money. You really want to take time to examine your insurance policy before your divorce is finalized. Open enrollment for health insurance begins at the end of the year. A change in health insurance resulting from a divorce is considered to be a “qualifying life event.” Thus, you’ll likely be eligible for a plan under a Special Enrollment Period regardless of your offical divorce decree date.

Establish a Financial Plan

Living on less income is certainly no easy task. In order to be financially stable, you need to learn the art of budgeting. You’ll need to consider things like college tuition, sports and activities, child care, lessons, retirement, transportation, taxes, and rent/mortgage payments.

Here’s another thought: if your divorce settlement results in money from property sales, retirement account rollovers, or the sale of other assets, consider using a financial planner to help you create a budget and to properly navigate the taxable implications of such transactions.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Talk About Divorce Right After Engagement

It’s THE most exciting time in your life. You’re newly engaged and about to embark on an exciting life journey with the one you love.  You will soon marry!

But guess what? Now, and we mean NOW, is the best time to talk about divorce.

Why is that?

Well, divorce attorneys in Scottsdale see it all the time. Great people with high hopes and optimism for their relationship soon crumble before them with a relationship that ends in resentment and heartbreak. With affections and optimism at its peak during an engagement, talking about divorce is extremely productive.

Generally speaking, people end up filing a divorce because they don’t know their spouse or they don’t know themselves. By simply speaking with your significant other about divorce, you are taking a huge leap in the right direction to avoid this situation.

The only question that remains is, what should you talk about?

Let’s take a look.

Talk About the Why

That’s right. You should have a conversation with your fiancé about why you would get divorced in the first place. This is a very clear path to pinpointing your marital expectations. This includes non-negotiables such as fidelity and honesty in addition things that might change throughout the marriage like friendships and career details. You can take this one step further and discuss what you both feel are good and bad reasons to get divorced.

Discuss Prevention

Experiencing issues in a marriage is inevitable. A perfect marriage, with no problems, simply doesn’t exist. Having said that, it’s important to handle those issues properly and overcome them in the best possible manner. Be candid with your partner about how you would handle problems and what you would do if issues were to present themselves. Would you broach things head on? Would you wait it out? Would you seek counseling? These are all important questions to consider.

Share Obligations If You Were to Get Divorced

While prenuptial agreements may be tough to have at such an early stage of your long-term relationship, they provide a great of insight. They are raw, emotional, and passionate.

It’s important to discuss things like the space you share (your home), financial logistics/needs, professional life changes, family member involvement, and parenting.

While it’s important to discuss individual needs during a divorce, if you devote enough affection throughout your relationship and appreciate everything your fiancé has to offer, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever need to file those divorce papers.

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