How To Divorce Your Wife And Keep Everything
Written by Canterbury Law Group

How To Divorce Your Wife

How To Divorce Your Wife And Keep Everything

Divorce is a major life-changing event and can be devastating and traumatic for a family. If there are children involved, the divorce can have profound impacts on them, which they will carry with them their entire lives. However, if a divorcing spouse has a basic understanding of what the divorce process in Arizona will entail, he/she will likely feel a sense of comfort and be able to pass that on to the children.

  • A divorce action is commenced in Arizona upon the filing of a Petition for Dissolution. The Petition will include the filing spouse’s general positions relative to custody, division of assets and debts, financial support and attorney fees. The Petition for Dissolution must then be served upon the other spouse, who will have 20 days to file a Response.Once the initial pleadings have been filed, the next phase of a divorce begins. During the discovery phase, both spouses are required to disclose certain documentation that can be reviewed by the attorneys in order to make an assessment of what assets and debts exist and their respective values. In addition, formal discovery requests may be issued in this phase. Again, responses to discovery requests are primarily utilized by the attorneys to make an assessment of what and how assets and debts should be divided between the spouses. The discovery phase may also include depositions and requests for documentation issued directly to third parties.How long does a divorce take?In Arizona, a divorce can take anywhere from six months to one year to complete. This can be a difficult and unstable time for families because there are not yet orders in place relative to contact with the children, financial support and temporary possession of certain assets, including vehicles and the marital residence. Therefore, a spouse who needs assistance with these issues during the divorce process can file a Motion for Temporary Orders. Once this motion is filed, temporary orders can typically be issued by the court within 60-90 days and will stay in place until final orders are issued by the court or agreed upon between the spouses.

    Once the discovery process has been completed, then the attorneys and spouses can engage in settlement negotiations. There are several methods that can be used to negotiate and, hopefully, resolve a matter without costly, time consuming and emotionally tolling litigation. Depending on the facts and complexity of the matter, settlement negotiations can take place in correspondence between the attorneys, an in-person mediation through the court or during a private mediation. In the event that the spouses are able to negotiate an agreement, then the agreement will be incorporated into a final Decree of Dissolution, Property Settlement and Joint Parenting Plan.

    In cases where the spouses are unable to resolve some or all of the issues, it will be necessary to attend a trial where the judge will hear testimony from witnesses and review evidence. Ultimately, the court will issue the final orders for any matters that the spouses were unable to resolve amongst themselves. Once a trial is completed, the judge has up to 60 days to issue a ruling that sets forth the final orders. In some cases, the judge’s ruling is the final Decree of Dissolution. In other cases, the court directs one of the attorneys to draft a Decree of Dissolution that incorporates the rulings.

    Whether a divorce case settles or proceeds to trial, it is critical to have an experienced attorney on your side who can protect your rights and advise you as to what you may be entitled to under Arizona law.

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Why Are Divorce Rates So High?

Why Are Divorce Rates So High?

What factors are associated with a higher risk for divorce? Read on to learn more.

  • Young age.  Marriage at a very young age increases the likelihood of divorce, especially in the early years of marriage.
  • Less education.  Research shows that those with at least some college education (vs. high school or not finishing high school) have a lower chance of divorce.   
  • Less income.  Having a modest income can help couples avoid stress that may lead to divorce.   
  • Premarital cohabitation.  Couples who live together before marriage appear to have a higher chance of divorce if they marry, but the risk is mostly true for those who have cohabited with multiple partners.  A common belief is that living together before marriage provides an opportunity to get to know each other better, but research has found those that live together before marriage have already developed some leniency towards divorce.   This leniency towards divorce is what leads the couple to become high risk. However, there are some caveats to these findings.  Research suggests couples who get engaged and then move in together are no longer at a high risk for future divorce.   Their commitment towards marriage reduces the risk of a future divorce.
  • Premarital childbearing and pregnancy.  Childbearing and pregnancy prior to marriage significantly increase the likelihood of future divorce.
  • No religious affiliation.  Researchers have estimated those with a religious affiliation compared to those who belong to no religious group are less likely to divorce.
  • Parents’ divorce.  Unfortunately, experiencing the divorce of your parents doubles your risk for divorce.  And if your spouse also experienced their parents’ divorce than your risk for divorce triples.  This does not mean you are predisposed to having your marriage end in divorce, only that you may need to be more aware of your marriage trends and work harder for a successful marriage.  For more information on what a healthy marriage entails click here.  

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Stages Of Divorce

Stages Of Divorce

LIke grief, divorce has stages a person goes through. In this post we briefly review those stages. Read on to learn more.

Denial. 

It is often tough to accept that you are in the middle of a divorce and you may think the divorce was entirely your own fault. This can send you into a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts You may think there is something you can do to get back with your partner.

Shock. 

You may act in a way in an abnormal way. The shock of the divorce creates different emotions inside your head that may cause panic. This shock becomes more pronounced when you realize how much time you invested in your marriage and family.

Contrasting Emotions. 

It will be tough to control your emotions. From feeling hope to feeling simply nothing but despair, you will try your best to make sense of all that has happened leading up to this point. You may also find that all you think about is the failure of your marriage.

Bargaining.  

You are still hopeful that your marriage will work out. You are willing to do anything to change yourself and just make things work. You may resort to drastic measures just to get your ex to change his or her mind. What you will need to realize at this point, though, is that you cannot control the feelings of other people. Bargaining only delays the harsh reality of divorce

Letting Go.

 When you realize that nothing you say or do will bring your marriage back, you stop blaming your ex-spouse and start to understand your faults and what contributed to the end of your marriage. You may also feel a sense of freedom and a better outlook about what the future holds for you. You can finally let go and move on.

Acceptance. 

The negative emotions finally stop. You feel that you are finally fit to lead a life that is filled with happiness and satisfaction. This stage will accompany a time period of growth. You will finally understand that there is life after divorce, and that there are more positive things to look forward to in your life.

Need a Divorce Lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix?

As proven legal counsel in family court, we have a network of Arizona attorneys, expert witnesses, mediators, tax specialists, estate planners, financial planners, child specialists, real property appraisers, adult and child therapists and parenting coordinators who are here for you if you ever need them. Our lawyersdivorce mediators and collaborative divorce attorneys in Scottsdale are here to make your divorce less stressful and keep you in control and the costs contained. Call today for an initial consultation at 480-744-7711 or [email protected]. Our family lawyers can also help with divorce litigation, child custodylegal guardianshippaternityprenuptial agreements, and more.

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Reasons to Finalize Your Divorce and Save Money

If your marriage is in a rocky place, it would behoove you to be mindful of the timing of decisions; the government has recently enacted a few tax laws that impact divorcing couples, especially those with high net worth. Tax codes are perplexing in the best of times and now, quite frankly, does not constitute the best of times. This makes it more important that you understand how these new laws affect you.

How do you decide if it is in your best interest to settle this year? The first step is to take a deep breath. Second, divorce attorneys in Scottsdale recommend considering the three items below and what effect they will have on you. Third, work with a lawyer as well as a financial advisor experienced in divorce to minimize the impact of the new laws.

Move Fast To Control Taxes On Alimony

Alimony, often called spousal support or maintenance, will have a significant change on New Year’s’ Day in 2019. Under current laws, alimony has been deductible by the paying spouse and taxable to the receiving spouse. This benefited the family unit as the recipient paid tax at a lower rate than the payor deducted it at resulting in lower taxes. Going forward, however, alimony will no longer be deductible by the payor or taxable to the recipient.  Alimony will now be treated the same as child support: tax free.

Tax Benefits Of The Family Home Are Changing

 Your home. This is a popular item in many divorces. Is it a top priority to keep it? Are you itching to leave it behind with the past? How do you split the value? It’s important to focus on your home as a financial asset while factoring in the memories as well as the potential emotional stability it may provide. The new tax law reduced the deductibility of property taxes and the amount of mortgage that qualifies for interest deduction making it more expensive to own a home under the new tax laws.

Kids Are No Longer As Great A Tax Deduction

The new tax code also eliminated the personal exemption amount for tax years 2018–2025. This means that you don’t get a multiplier of kids as a deduction on your tax return. It’s still important, however, to negotiate who will claim the kids for other purposes. While the exemption amount is zero dollars, it may allow the parent to receive additional child tax credits, which are more generous under the new law.

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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.

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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.

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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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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Three Tips to Enduring Divorce

Divorces are difficult for everyone. While nobody wants to go through the process of divorce, it is, of course, can be necessary.

According to Psychology Today, nearly 40% of marriages ended in divorce in 2017. Think about that. That’s quite many people terminating their marriages.

When marriage trendy headed south, what should you pay attention to reduce overall stress and financial burdens in your life?

Divorce lawyers in Scottsdale recommend these three tips to make the divorce process as smooth as possible. Or you can choose not to file.  Either way, knowledge is power.

UNDERSTAND BOTH PARTIES’ FINANCIAL ASSETS

Before you can even begin negotiating marital assets, each spouse should seek to understand the others’ financial status. Too often, one spouse is in the dark about exactly what assets their significant other has/owns. It’s important to consider ALL financial assets: pensions, retirement accounts, bank accounts, properties, vehicles, etc. Having just a general understanding of these assets can lead to problems during divorce.

Here is the good news: If you file for divorce, your divorce attorney will seek and acquire all the “hidden assets” from your spouse through Court appointed rules and regulations.

AVOID EXPENSIVE LAWYERS

While many people feel the need to hire an “established lawyer” right away, you will be draining your finances more than you really need to. Since the system immediately starts generating work for the attorney (as soon as you submit your filing), you will be charged from the get-go. Things that will be set in motion include, but are not limited to, include financial relief for child support and counsel fees.

Sooner rather than later, you are thousands of dollars in the hole, and that may not even include a court appearance. Initiating the divorce in such an aggressive manner will not only prove to be costly but will also lead to greater tension and potential resentment.

Rather than rushing into the legal process, approach things amicably and have productive conversations. If both parties agree to work together in a civil manner, mediation may be a better option. Not only is this more affordable, but it can alleviate things quicker and more efficiently.

DETERMINE THE RIGHT TIME

Instead of rushing to make divorce official, consider all of the financial matters that come into play when deciding to file for divorce right then and there or at a later time. Timing can also largely impact the “equitable distribution of assets and liabilities.” Your house, amongst other assets, can be a huge factor in determining when you want to file.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Divorce and Taxes in Arizona

The tax season for 2018 starts on January 29. It can be a particularly stressful time, especially now that the national tax laws have changed. If you are in the middle of a divorce or have recently filed for a divorce, this season’s filings can be quite overwhelming. Here is what you should know about divorce and filing taxes in Arizona so that you don’t make a penalty-incurring mistake:

Divorce Attorney Fees are Not Tax Deductible in General

Clients in divorce cases often want to know if attorney fees are tax deductible. Typically, the answer is no. The IRS does allow a minor exception for divorce attorney fees paid during “collection or production of gross income.” This clause doesn’t cover a majority of fees you would pay a divorce attorney. But you can ask your divorce attorney in Scottsdale whether the fees you pay are tax deductible.

Your Filing Status Determines Tax Liabilities

When you file your IRS form, you are given three options to choose from as your civil status: married, single, or head of household. Tax liabilities for each category slightly differs, so the box you check matters a great deal for your individual tax obligations. If the divorce is not yet final, it can be difficult to determine whether to file as a single person or jointly with your soon-to-be-ex. You can consult with a lawyer to decide what to do. Or you could calculate what you owe under all three categories and determine which is most advantageous to you.

Spousal Support and Child Support are Distinct Categories

When filing your taxes, do not confuse alimony or spousal support with child support. Spousal support, which is sometimes referred to as alimony, is paid by one former spouse to another, for the benefit of the recipient. Child support, on the other hand, is paid to an adult who oversees the well-being of a child, but for the direct benefit of the child.

If you are a custodial parent recipient of child support, you don’t have to list it as taxable income. If you are the parent paying child support, you cannot obtain a tax deduction for the amount paid.

Spousal support works the other way. The individual who receives alimony payment must list it as taxable income. The paying spouse can obtain a tax deduction on the alimony payment. Note that the new GOP tax bill made an important change to this provision that will take effect on December 31, 2018. So it won’t affect this tax season but will start next year. Under the new law, alimony tax deduction is eliminated. The tax obligation is reversed. The spouse that pays the alimony will not be able to report a deduction, while the spouse that receives alimony no longer has to report it as taxable income.

Property Division may be Subject to Tax When Sold

When spouses divide property during a divorce, it is not a taxable act under the IRS Code. However, there’s a hidden clause called “tax basis” that might result in a tax payment. Tax basis is the purchase price of a property that is used to determine capital gains tax. Not all properties, such as a residence, incur capital gains tax following a divorce. However, certain property, such as investments, may incur capital gains tax when sold after a divorce.

For the most part, your divorce decree would determine how taxes should be paid for some property categories, such as IRAs.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Holidays and Parenting Time in Arizona

The end-of- the-year holiday season is typically the biggest time of the year for many families to get together. If the parents are divorced, the Christmas season could bring forth new disputes. It’s very important to protect children from any sort of drama during the holiday weeks, especially when they expect to spend their school vacation enjoying themselves. In Arizona, the divorce decree usually also includes a separate parenting time plan that lays out who time is shared over the holidays.

Holiday Parenting Time Under Arizona Law

The family courts in Arizona have a statutory requirement for divorcing couples with children to provide a holiday schedule. Under A.R.S. §25-403.02 (C), this plan must include a “practical schedule” for how parenting time is allocated during the holidays. There should be specifications for with whom the child would reside, how the child should be transported, and a reconciliation method in case disputes arise.

Parents should specifically arrange a parenting time plan for the year-end holidays. Unlike other vacation times, the November-December period involves many public holidays, seasonal celebrations, and family gatherings. The child might require transportation more so than during other long holidays like the summer vacation. It’s highly recommended that divorcing parents get family law help in Scottsdale to come up with a reasonable plan.

Organizing a Parenting Time Plan for the Holidays

Very generally speaking, parenting plans during the holidays can be developed in three primary ways. First, some parents agree to have the children for Christmas every other year. For example, mom could have the kids for Christmas and Thanksgiving during even years, and dad during the odd years. Some parents divide holiday time evenly during the day. For example, the kids would spend Christmas mornings with mom and the evenings with dad. Other parents designate certain holidays for themselves. For example, the kids may spend every Thanksgiving with mom and Christmas with dad.

Of course, parenting plans can be adjusted according to different religions and cultures. Adjustments can also be made depending on the vacation time the parent gets. However, it’s very important to have the holiday season planned ahead and in writing. The arrangements are ideally made months in advance unless it’s already specified during the finalization of the divorce. But practical concerns do arise every year, so ex-spouse’s with children should make arrangements early.

Be Specific with the Details

More importantly, divorcing parents must make sure the parenting plan is highly specific. For example, separating parents may decide to give mom the kids for Christmas during even years. But that’s a very basic provision. Is “Christmas” limited to just Christmas day? Will the children require transportation from parent to parent? On which day and at what time will the kids be dropped off and picked up again? These specifics should be handled in the parenting plan.

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