blank
Written by Canterbury Law Group

Does Divorce Impact Social Security Benefits?

Credit and Divorce

You’ll want to pay attention to how divorce and remarriage affect your Social Security, just as you would with marriage. For example, a name change must be recorded to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in order for your earnings to be accurately reported, and remarriage affects survivor benefits.

Essentially, if you have been married for at least 10 years, you will likely continue to get Social Security benefits. If your marriage lasted fewer than ten years, you would not be eligible for your ex-benefits. spouse’s Remarriage and other variables can affect your benefits.

During a divorce, it is not overly complicated, but you must understand your rights and take care of these matters immediately.

How long must a couple be married before receiving benefits?

To be eligible for spousal benefits, you must have been married for at least 10 years.

How much Social Security does a divorced spouse receive?

This is crucial information for your divorce financial planning. To comprehend your spouse’s or ex-retirement spouse’s funds, you must obtain their Social Security benefits statement. This is particularly significant if you lack your own earnings or employment history.

When you reach the full retirement age, you will get full or unreduced benefits as well as fifty percent of your retirement savings account. Typically, if you have your own benefits, you will receive them first. If your spouse receives a bigger benefit than you do, you will also receive funds from their record.

The current full retirement age is 66, but it will shortly increase to 67. You can apply for Social Security payments at the age of 62, but the amount you get will be decreased. You may be eligible for delayed retirement credits if you or your spouse prolong your retirement age. These raise your monthly benefit amount.

Can You Continue Receiving Social Security Benefits After Divorce?

You can only get Social Security benefits after a divorce if:

  • You were wed for a decade.
  • You have not married again*
  • Your ex-spouse is qualified for Social Security and disability benefits.
  • Your personal retirement benefits are lower than those of your ex-spouse.
  • You are age 66 or older
  • You have been divorced for a minimum of two years.
  • Generally, remarriage will nullify your former spouse’s benefits.

How Are Social Security Benefits Divided Upon Divorce?

Social Security can be split in a variety of ways. Still, it is common for each spouse to get fifty percent of the retirement account. You may be subject to Social Security regulations, or you may be eligible for a greater payment or additional benefits. Divorcees must consult with an attorney to guarantee that each party receives what is due.

A delayed retirement can affect the timing and amount of benefits received. Overall, delaying retirement is preferable to retiring early, so your benefits will not be lowered.

Can You Collect Social Security If Your Ex-Spouse Has Died?

Yes, you will receive the full amount of their retirement benefit if your ex-spouse dies. At age 62 or beyond, you will begin receiving Social Security. Delaying your Social Security payments until age 65 or 67 ensures you receive the entire amount (retiring before age 67 can result in a reduction of 0 to 15% in benefits till age 67).

How Divorce Affects Benefits for Survivors

If your divorced spouse dies, you are eligible for widow/widower payments if your marriage lasted at least 10 years. However, you will not be required to meet the length-of-marriage criteria if you are caring for your deceased ex-minor spouse’s or disabled child. Benefits paid to a 60-year-old or older surviving divorced spouse do not influence the benefit rates of other survivors receiving benefits.

Keep in mind that the SSA will not notify your ex-relatives spouse’s if you apply for survivor benefits. In addition, there is no limit on the number of individuals who may claim for benefits from a single Social Security account.

How Remarriage Affects Benefits for Survivors

In general, if you remarry before the age of 60, you are ineligible for survivors payments until the second marriage ends by death, divorce, or annulment. You can continue to claim benefits on your former spouse’s record if you remarry after age 60 (50 if disabled).

At age 66 or older, you are eligible to receive retirement benefits based on your new or current spouse’s record if it is greater. Your remarriage would not affect the amount of child support given to your children.

Name Modification on Your Social Security Card

If you change your name, you must inform both the Social Security Administration and your employer. This will ensure that your earnings are reported and documented accurately by your company.

You can obtain a new Social Security card bearing your new name. You must produce a copy of your birth certificate, adoption decree, or other appropriate documentation to confirm your date of birth. To establish your identity, you’ll need a valid U.S. driver’s license, state identification card, or passport.

Are You Afraid of Divorce, Remarriage, and Social Security? Consult a Lawyer

Social Security-related information is available at SSA.gov. A divorce can effect many aspects of one’s life, even after death. It is essential to comprehend the legal ramifications of a divorce, from retirement benefits to name changes on Social Security cards.

Put your mind at ease by allowing an expert divorce attorney in your state to assist you in making the right decisions regarding divorce, remarriage, and Social Security.

blank
Written by Canterbury Law Group

Credit and Divorce

Credit and Divorce

If you have just gone through a divorce or are planning one, you may want to examine credit and divorce concerns attentively to prevent the predicament described above. In addition, understanding the various types of credit accounts acquired during a marriage can provide light on the potential advantages and disadvantages of each.

Does Divorce Affect Credit Scores? Your credit score may decline.

Divorce does not influence your credit score by itself. Unless you take the necessary safeguards, the divorce process, which sometimes involves joint credit accounts, may negatively impact your credit.

The divorce order defines who is liable for accounts opened during the marriage. This judgment does not, however, bind the lenders. This means that you may still be liable for an account bearing your name.

Types of Credit Accounts and Financial Obligation

There are two different sorts of credit accounts: individual and joint. You can also allow approved others to use your account when applying for credit.

Personal Accounts

The creditor takes your income, assets, and credit history into consideration. Regardless of your marital status, you are solely responsible for paying off the debt in your individual account. The account will appear on your credit report, as well as that of any “approved” users.

Nonetheless, if you reside in a community property state (Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, or Wisconsin), you and your spouse may be responsible for debts incurred during the marriage, and the individual debts of one spouse may be reflected on the credit report of the other.

Advantages/Disadvantages

If you are not employed outside the home, work part-time, or have a low-paying job, having an individual account could be detrimental. Because it may be difficult to provide a solid financial picture without your spouse’s salary.

Alternatively, if you start an account in your own name and are responsible, no one else’s actions (or nonpayment) can negatively impact your credit rating.

Shared Accounts

Considerations for a joint account include the income, financial assets, and credit history of both account holders. In a joint account, you and your spouse are jointly accountable for paying debts, regardless of who pays the bills. A creditor who reports the credit history of a joint account must include both parties’ names (if the account was opened after June 1, 1977).

Advantages/Disadvantages

A creditor accepting a loan or credit card may consider the combined financial resources of two applicants as evidence of their creditworthiness.

However, because two people jointly applied for the credit, both are liable for the debt. This is true even if a divorce ruling assigns each spouse distinct debt liabilities. On jointly-held accounts, ex-spouses who run up expenses and don’t pay them can harm their ex-partners’ credit histories.

Account titled “Users”

If you create a personal account, you can grant access to another individual. If you list your spouse as an authorized user, a creditor who reports your credit history to a credit bureau must also include your spouse’s name (if the account was opened after June 1, 1977). A creditor is also permitted to report the credit history of any other authorized user.

Advantages/Disadvantages

Frequently, user accounts are created for convenience. Students and housewives, who may not qualify for credit on their own, benefit from these loans. These individuals may use the account, but they are not contractually obligated to pay the bill.

What Happens to Your Credit If You Divorce?

If you are contemplating divorce or separation, pay close attention to the status of your credit accounts and the relationship between credit and divorce. If you keep joint accounts during this time, it is imperative that you make regular payments to protect your credit rating. As long as a joint account has an outstanding amount, you and your spouse are accountable for it.

Will a divorce save assets from creditors?

As noted previously, a judge’s divorce judgment does not apply to creditors. This means that creditors may pursue you for any missed payments or unpaid credit card balances. Additionally, they will submit your credit history to a credit bureau.

Should Debt and Credit Cards Be Paid Off Prior to Divorce?

Yes! If at all possible, it is preferable to pay off or decrease as much of your joint debt as possible prior to or as part of the divorce process. If that is not practicable, stop making new purchases with shared credit cards.

Preventing an Ex-Spouse From Ruining Their Credit During or After a Divorce

Divorce by itself can be quite hard. However, it is essential to consider the financial ramifications, especially in terms of credit scores. The following recommendations can assist you in maintaining good credit as you go in life.

Early closure of joint accounts

You might want to close any joint accounts or accounts where your ex-spouse was an authorized user. You might also ask the creditor to convert these accounts to individual accounts.

A creditor cannot automatically liquidate a joint account due to a change in marital status, but may do so at the request of one of the divorcing spouses. However, creditors are not required to convert joint accounts into individual accounts.

Instead, they may force you to reapply for credit individually and, based on your new application, grant or deny credit. To remove a spouse from an obligation on a mortgage, vehicle loan, or home equity loan, a lender will usually need refinancing.

2. Obtain Your Credit Score Through a Credit Reporting Agency

There is no better time to obtain a free annual credit report than when you are going through a divorce or have concerns about an ex-debt spouse’s repayment. Determine your debts, what has been reported, and whether your ex-spouse is behind on payments for joint accounts.

If you reside in a community property state, you must be aware of all of your ex-obligations spouse’s accrued during the marriage, even if your name was never on the loan or credit application. Any debt created during the marriage is regarded as jointly incurred by both parties.

3. Separate and Transfer Credit Card Obligation

Instead of simply announcing that one spouse will be responsible for paying off the credit card debt, actually divide the debt on shared credit cards and transfer it to the responsible spouse. Then, cancel the joint cards without delay.

4. Include a clause on indemnification in your divorce agreement

Consider inserting an indemnification language in your divorce agreement if just one spouse is to be accountable for a jointly-owned debt. This section specifies which spouse is responsible for the debt and makes it abundantly apparent that the other spouse is not liable.

You can sue your spouse if they refuse to pay a debt stated under their name in the indemnification agreement.

Obtain Expert Legal Assistance With Your Credit and Divorce Concerns

Your credit score is an essential component of your financial well-being. If you’re considering divorce, you’ll need to know who will be responsible for the majority of the debt after the marriage and how this could affect your credit history. However, you are not required to answer these questions on your own. A local divorce attorney will be able to alleviate your anxiety.

blank
Written by Canterbury Law Group

Community Property

Community property issues can arise during divorce proceedings and after a spouse's death. When spouses divorce or pass away, they are frequently left with the arduous task of dividing property and proceeds acquired during the marriage. This may include tangible assets (such as stocks, bonds, and legal title), as well as intangible assets (such as automobiles, furniture, paintings, and family homes) and debt. In some states, property acquired during the marriage is considered "community" property and is frequently divided 50/50 in the event of a divorce. The manner in which states treat "community property," also known as "marital property," will determine what happens to debt or assets upon divorce. Common Property Statutes State laws govern community property, and not all states have such laws on the books. Community property laws in nine states (and Puerto Rico) govern the division of debt and property in a divorce. Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin are included in this group. In such states, property is typically divided equally, whereas in all other states, distribution is determined by a judge based on what is equitable or fair. Alaska is distinctive in that divorcing couples have options. Despite the fact that each state determines how property is divided upon divorce, the laws may vary slightly. For instance, some states, such as California, divide debts and assets "equally" (50/50), while others, such as Texas, divide them "equitably." Even in community property states, courts in jurisdictions that apply the equitable distribution doctrine consider numerous factors, some of which justify unequal distribution of property or debt. Because these laws affect property and other valuable assets, they can have a profound impact on the future of a spouse who is forced to share a portion of an asset that was previously considered separate property. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement between the parties, property distribution will be governed by the law of the state in which the couple was married. Compared to separate property, community property In most cases, property acquired during a marriage belongs to both partners. This is particularly true in states where community property laws exist. Despite the fact that not all states have such laws, property acquired during the duration of a marriage is distributed equally upon divorce. The following are examples of community property: Earnings of each spouse during the marriage Home and furnishings acquired with marital funds during the marriage (reword) Investments and operations of a company generate interest income. The mortgage and family home Separate property, on the other hand, is that which was owned prior to the marriage, was inherited or received as a gift during the marriage, or was earned after the date of separation by either spouse. These are examples of separate property: Bank accounts that are held independently Separately held inheritances acquired during a marriage presents to either partner Personal injury compensation Any property acquired after the dissolution of a marriage is considered separate property. Courts have also categorized certain properties as "partially" or "quasi" community property. This includes assets that would have been considered separate property at the beginning or during the marriage, but have become marital property as a result of co-mingling or other circumstances. Considerations a Judge Might Employ to Determine Property Division A judge may consider several factors when determining how to divide property acquired during the marriage. A judge will consider 1) the earning capacity of each spouse, 2) which parent is the legal custodian of the children (if any), and 3) the existence of fault grounds such as adultery or cruelty. Consequently, even in states with community property, property may not always be divided 50/50. Instead, courts will consider the following factors to determine whether an unequal property division is necessary: One spouse may receive a larger share of the marital assets if fault-based grounds for divorce exist (such as adultery, cruelty, etc.). Loss of Continuing Benefit: Whether one spouse will incur the loss of compensation they would have received had the marriage continued. Disparity of Earning Capabilities: Whether disparities exist between incomes, earning capacities, and business opportunities that may impact property division. Health and Physical Conditions: Whether the physical health or condition of the spouses may impact the property division. Age Disparities: Whether there is a disparity between the ages of the spouses that could affect one's ability to work or receive retirement benefits. The size of the estate can have an impact on the distribution of property. The larger the estate, the more likely the court is to favor a 50/50 split. The likelihood that one of the spouses will receive a substantial inheritance. Gifts to a Spouse: After a divorce, gifts are typically converted to separate property. A spouse who obtains primary custody of children under the age of 18 may affect the division of property. Consult with a Divorce Lawyer Concerning Community Property Legal issues surrounding a divorce can be overwhelming in number. Property matters, alimony, child custody, child support, division of retirement benefits accrued during the marriage, visitation rights, and other legal matters must all be handled with care. Finding the appropriate divorce attorney is crucial. Contact a local divorce attorney with experience in your area today.

Community property issues can arise during divorce proceedings and after a spouse’s death. When spouses divorce or pass away, they are frequently left with the arduous task of dividing property and proceeds acquired during the marriage. This may include tangible assets (such as stocks, bonds, and legal title), as well as intangible assets (such as automobiles, furniture, paintings, and family homes) and debt.

In some states, property acquired during the marriage is considered “community” property and is frequently divided 50/50 in the event of a divorce. The manner in which states treat “community property,” also known as “marital property,” will determine what happens to debt or assets upon divorce.

Common Property Statutes

State laws govern community property, and not all states have such laws on the books. Community property laws in nine states (and Puerto Rico) govern the division of debt and property in a divorce. Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington, and Wisconsin are included in this group. In such states, property is typically divided equally, whereas in all other states, distribution is determined by a judge based on what is equitable or fair.

Alaska is distinctive in that divorcing couples have options.

Despite the fact that each state determines how property is divided upon divorce, the laws may vary slightly. For instance, some states, such as California, divide debts and assets “equally” (50/50), while others, such as Texas, divide them “equitably.” Even in community property states, courts in jurisdictions that apply the equitable distribution doctrine consider numerous factors, some of which justify unequal distribution of property or debt.

Because these laws affect property and other valuable assets, they can have a profound impact on the future of a spouse who is forced to share a portion of an asset that was previously considered separate property. In the absence of a prenuptial agreement between the parties, property distribution will be governed by the law of the state in which the couple was married.

In most cases, property acquired during a marriage belongs to both partners. This is particularly true in states where community property laws exist. Despite the fact that not all states have such laws, property acquired during the duration of a marriage is distributed equally upon divorce.

The following are examples of community property:

Earnings of each spouse during the marriage

Home and furnishings acquired with marital funds during the marriage (reword)

Investments and operations of a company generate interest income.

The mortgage and family home

Separate property, on the other hand, is that which was owned prior to the marriage, was inherited or received as a gift during the marriage, or was earned after the date of separation by either spouse.

These are examples of separate property:

  • Bank accounts that are held independently
  • Separately held inheritances acquired during a marriage
  • presents to either partner
  • Personal injury compensation
  • Any property acquired after the dissolution of a marriage is considered separate property

Courts have also categorized certain properties as “partially” or “quasi” community property. This includes assets that would have been considered separate property at the beginning or during the marriage, but have become marital property as a result of co-mingling or other circumstances.

Considerations a Judge Might Employ to Determine Property Division

A judge may consider several factors when determining how to divide property acquired during the marriage. A judge will consider 1) the earning capacity of each spouse, 2) which parent is the legal custodian of the children (if any), and 3) the existence of fault grounds such as adultery or cruelty.

Consequently, even in states with community property, property may not always be divided 50/50. Instead, courts will consider the following factors to determine whether an unequal property division is necessary:

  • One spouse may receive a larger share of the marital assets if fault-based grounds for divorce exist (such as adultery, cruelty, etc.).
  • Loss of Continuing Benefit: Whether one spouse will incur the loss of compensation they would have received had the marriage continued.
  • Disparity of Earning Capabilities: Whether disparities exist between incomes, earning capacities, and business opportunities that may impact property division.
  • Health and Physical Conditions: Whether the physical health or condition of the spouses may impact the property division.
  • Age Disparities: Whether there is a disparity between the ages of the spouses that could affect one’s ability to work or receive retirement benefits.
  • The size of the estate can have an impact on the distribution of property. The larger the estate, the more likely the court is to favor a 50/50 split.
  • The likelihood that one of the spouses will receive a substantial inheritance.
  • Gifts to a Spouse: After a divorce, gifts are typically converted to separate property.
  • A spouse who obtains primary custody of children under the age of 18 may affect the division of property.

Consult with a Divorce Lawyer Concerning Community Property

Legal issues surrounding a divorce can be overwhelming in number. Property matters, alimony, child custody, child support, division of retirement benefits accrued during the marriage, visitation rights, and other legal matters must all be handled with care. Finding the appropriate divorce attorney is crucial. Contact a local divorce attorney with experience in your area today.

blank
Written by Canterbury Law Group

Divorce Frequently Asked Questions & When Is The Right Time To File For Divorce

In Arizona, divorce refers to a legal “dissolution” of marriage. You will go through a procedure in court to formally end your marriage. If you are the one who goes to court for a divorce, you will be identified as the “petitioner.” The other spouse will be identified as the “respondent.” Divorce in Arizona is not the same as in other states. Here are some answers to common questions most people have about divorce in Arizona.

Can I File for Divorce Anytime?

Either you or your spouse must have resided in the state for a minimum of 90 days before filing for a divorce at a local Arizona court. That is a legal requirement.  If there are children, they must typically be in the state for 180 days to vest custody jurisdiction, depending on the facts of the case.

Do I Need a Divorce Attorney?

Technically, you can represent yourself in court. However, it is highly recommended to get your attorney from your local area, like a divorce attorney in Phoenix. If you choose to self-represent, the court will assume that you know all the laws and rules pertaining to your case. You will have to follow court procedures on your own. A judge may disallow you to take certain actions if you do not properly follow court procedure. No one at court will be able to give you legal aid because they are barred by law from doing so.

You can seek legal aid if you cannot afford an attorney for your divorce. You can also petition the court to have the spouse pay for your attorney’s fees if your spouse makes substantially more income than you do.  Every case is unique.  

Do I Need to Give a Reason for Divorce?

Not in Arizona. The state has a so-called “no fault” clause, which means neither party needs to give a reason for the divorce. Moreover, the romantic escapades of Husband or Wife will have no relevance in the underlying dissolution action.  The mere desire to get a divorce is enough. In the court, only one spouse needs to claim that the marriage is “irretrievably broken “to finalize a divorce. The only exception is if the spouses have previously chosen a “covenant marriage”. Then, the petitioning spouse must provide ground or reasons for the divorce under state law.

What are A.R.S. and A.R.F.L.P.?

You will see these acronyms in the papers your divorce lawyer in Scottsdale or elsewhere files. The letters stand for particular legal statutes, or laws, in Arizona. A.R.S. refers to Arizona Revised Statutes, and A.R.F.L.P. refers to Arizona Rules of Family Law Procedure. You can go to the Arizona court or state websites to get access to these legal documents and rules if needed.  Ideally, you simply hire counsel and let them do their job to advocate for your rights in the underlying divorce.

What Do I Do if My Spouse Doesn’t Want a Divorce?

Too bad.  It’s going to happen anyway.  In cases where a spouse is morally against the divorce from advancing, there is little they can do to stop the case.  At best, the objecting spouse can request the court order a mandatory reconciliation counseling session which typically only pauses the case for 30 to 60 days. If at the end of reconciliation session, the spouses have not come to an agreement to postpone the divorce, the proceedings will go forward. Conciliation meetings are free of charge and rarely derail a case.  

If you have children, then your proceedings will be subject to a wide range of family laws in Arizona. The legal aspects you should consider will depend on the type of custody you seek. For more information, you should contact an attorney in your area.  Your children are your most treasured asset and case strategy and approach to maximize your custody is critical and experienced legal counsel even more important in such instances.  

Divorce is frequently a lengthy and costly process. Court proceedings can take months to complete. Simultaneously, the spouses may not get along and may be going through a difficult emotional period.

Additionally, the spouses may be experiencing financial hardship as a result of the household income being split and the need to support two separate homes. Having a plan in place for when to leave a marriage can help a spouse minimize the financial impact of the divorce. The following are some of the financial factors to consider when planning an exit from a marriage:

Market for Real Estate

If the couple owns a home together, one of the most important factors to consider when deciding when to divorce is the state of the real estate market. To afford smaller, separate spaces, the spouses may have to sell the house and split the proceeds. In contrast, the spouses may agree that one of them should continue to live on the property while the other receives other marital assets to compensate for his or her equity share. This step is best taken when the value of the property is high for the spouse who will receive other property. The spouse who will remain in the home, on the other hand, may prefer to divorce when the real estate market is weak so that he or she will not have to give up as many valuables to the other spouse.

It’s All About the Kids

If the couple has minor children or children who will be financially impacted by the divorce, this is an important factor to consider. A divorce involving minor children is significantly more difficult than a divorce involving no minor children. Lawyers devote more time to preparing arguments about child custody. A parent may also be obligated to pay child support for many years to come. Some states allow child support obligations to continue after the child reaches the age of 18 and may even require financial support while the child attends college. However, getting a divorce while your children are older but still dependent has a financial advantage in that they may be eligible for student loans or grants that they would not have been eligible for in an intact family. Many of these programs only consider the income of the custodial parent when determining financial aid eligibility.

Job Situation

The spouses’ employment status is another important financial consideration. In an ideal world, spouses will divorce when they both earn enough money to support themselves. This, however, is not always the case. It’s possible that a spouse’s hours have recently been reduced. A spouse’s job may have been lost. A person’s job may have been lost due to a sudden illness. When a couple is going through financial difficulties, it’s common for them to have problems in their marriage as well. Waiting for both spouses to regain financial stability or realign their careers may be difficult, but it may be preferable, especially if one spouse is required to pay spousal support to an unemployed or underemployed spouse.

Due to the separation of the spouses and their finances, a divorce often necessitates a slew of changes. One or both spouses may need to purchase new homes, vehicles, or change jobs. The economy can have a direct impact on whether these changes are feasible. If a spouse has been out of work for a long time, it may be difficult for him or her to re-enter the workforce during a downturn.

Divorce can have a negative impact on a person’s credit score. After a divorce, if spouses have neglected their credit, it can have a negative impact on their lives. Good credit is frequently required to purchase a home, rent a property, open a credit card in one’s own name, and in some cases, to obtain employment. If the parties are in a happy place in their relationship even as they consider divorce, they may want to wait a year or two so that they can both work on improving their credit scores before adding the financial strains of divorce. Another option is to try to stay in the same house or drive the same car so that the spouse is not forced to rely on good credit right away.

Income and Assets in the Future

Another factor to consider when deciding on the best financial time to divorce is the possibility of future income or asset acquisition. When deciding how to divide assets between spouses, many states do not consider the future. If a bonus, raise, or inheritance is on the horizon, it may be in the best interests of the spouse who will receive these additional funds to have the divorce finalized before receiving these funds. The other spouse may wish to postpone the divorce until these additional funds are received and can be divided.

blank
Written by Canterbury Law Group

Mother Not Letting Father See Child? | What Are My Options?

There are fewer contentious and high-stress events often causing extreme behavior in its participants than custody and divorce proceedings. A trend that has come to be known as “malicious parent syndrome” has been identified based on the original theories of the psychologist, Ira Turkat. In this theory, Turkat describes patterns of behavior that are abnormal during the process of divorce. It should be said that malicious parent syndrome is not currently identifiable as a mental disorder. However, it describes a behavioral type some people adopt in court cases and some proponents of Turkat’s theory are asking for further research and studies to be conducted.

The occurrence of this syndrome has been identified as when a parent who is going through a divorce or has been divorced has a desire to punish the other parent. This can take many forms but includes causing harm to their child or children or depriving their child or children and then attributing blame with the purpose of making the other parent appear neglectful of their child or children. Both fathers and mothers can be culpable. Traditionally this has been called “malicious mother syndrome” but in this article, we will refer to its more contemporary title: “malicious parent syndrome.”

Malicious Parent Characteristics

Initially, Dt. Turkat wanted to identify a condition where one parent acts with deliberate vengeance towards the other during or following the process of divorce. He identified four major criteria:

  1. Attempts to punish the other parent by using their child or children to alienate the other parent and involving the court or others in actions designed to separate the parent from the child or children.
  2. Looks to deny the child or children communication and visitation and limit the other parent’s involvement in extra-curricular and school activities.
  3. Tells lies to their child or children and may repeatedly violate the law.
  4. There is no other mental disorder that adequately explains the above actions.

Malicious Parent Examples

After examining cases where parents became vindictive in legal and clinical cases, the idea arose to identify a mental disorder or a syndrome. In some cases, this has included false accusations, arson or deliberately sabotaging parenting time. In one case of malicious parent syndrome, the children were told by their mother they could not afford food to eat because the father had spent all their money. In a different case, a parent repeatedly told the other parent bad information regarding school activities so the other parent could not participate fully in the school life of their child. The whole purpose was to cause harm to the other parent.

Malicious Act Consequences

Many behaviors of malicious parent syndrome have possible legal, civil and criminal consequences. Some acts can clearly be identified as criminal, for example, damaging the property of the other parent or attacking them physically. Making the other parent look bad by depriving the children of money or food may be an act of child abuse violating criminal and family laws. If a malicious parent lies when they are under oath they may also be charged with perjury in some instances.

Some actions may be violations of civil law. The denial of visitation rights to a parent can result in fines as well as adjustments to visitation and custody plans. Similarly, lying about the actions of the other parent that damages their reputation and results in loss or injury can constitute defamation. Custody arrangements and parenting plans can also be impacted. When a parent has been partaking in illegal, cruel or alienating behavior, it may come under consideration as a factor would there be proceedings to adjust or gain custody.

What Are My Options For Dealing With A Malicious Parent?

These are the primary courses of action you can take should you have been a victim of malicious parent syndrome:

  • Modification of support and custody agreements
  • Obtaining supervised visitation
  • The malicious parent seeks court-ordered counseling

Get Professional Legal Counsel for Your Paternity Issues

Obviously, parents want their children to have the best possible beginning to their lives and it can be very upsetting when you have to deal with a malicious parent. However, there are legal processes you can utilize that can provide a resolution to these issues. A Family Law Attorney can help in these dire circumstances.

The Mother Of My Child Will Not Let Me See My Child Or Children

The main thing is to stay calm even though it is very frustrating and upsetting. You can call the police if you have a court order in place stating you have visitation with your child or children at that time. The police will fill out a report making sure you have a record of what is known as “Visitation Interference.” The police will not remove the child or children from their Mother even when you have visitation time that the court ordered as these are “civil matters.” An exception may be made if there is an imminent threat of danger or harm to the child or children. Then notify your lawyer that you did not get your visitation time as the mother could be charged with custodial interference governed by ARS 13-1302.

Source:

“What Is ‘Malicious Parent Syndrome’?” Findlaw, family.findlaw.com/paternity/what-is-malicious-mother-syndrome.html.

Speak With Our Father’s Rights Attorneys In Scottsdale

Our Father’s Rightschild custody, and guardianship attorneys in Phoenix and Scottsdale address your case with concern and personal attention, and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

We are experienced family law attorneys and will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. You can trust us to represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711.

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

blank
Written by Canterbury Law Group

How to Move Forward After a Divorce

If the time comes when you’re face to face with divorce papers, it can be a difficult time. You entered into your marriage with the hopes that it would last forever. Whether you’ve only been together for a couple of years or a couple of decades, a divorce can happen at any point in a marriage.

Once you’ve made it through the divorce process, one significant question remains – what do you do now? Depending on what your situation is like, that will help answer that question. However, there are a few general points that can help out anyone who just wrapped up a divorce.

Here are some steps to take to help you move forward after a divorce.

1. Mourn the Loss

Even if the divorce was your idea and no matter how long you were together for, you want to allow yourself some time to mourn the end of the marriage. There was something about that person that you initially enjoyed being around, and that can be difficult to let go. Before anything, allow yourself to have some time and space to gather your thoughts and go through the different feelings you may have.

2. Learn to Be Yourself Again

You may read that and think that you know who you are and you’re okay. Learning to be yourself again is more than that though. It also includes working through your feelings and getting used to being by yourself once again.

Depending on how long you were married for, it may take more time than others to rediscover yourself. Spend some time reminding yourself of what you love to do. Maybe you and your friends used to go out all the time, or you had a hobby you forgot about over the years. No matter what it is, embrace what you’ve forgotten.  Create a new here and now and future.

3. Accept You May Be Different

If you found through your rediscovering yourself that you don’t enjoy the same things that you used to before your marriage, which is okay. Part of the process after a divorce is accepting who you are today and that things will be different.

4. Do Something For Yourself

When you’re in a marriage, you live life with someone by your side. Sometimes that can get to be too much and make couples go their separate ways. If there is something you’ve always wanted to do but never did in your marriage, take some time to do it now.

Going through a divorce is stressful. Carrying that stress with you won’t help with anything. So, do something for yourself that makes you happy. Maybe it was a trip somewhere around the world or an exciting adventure your partner never wanted to participate in. Whatever it is, do something that will make you happy.

5. Take Life One Day at a Time

No matter how you feel after your divorce, take things slow for a while. You don’t want to find yourself in a situation in which you realized you’re not ready and you’ve moved too quickly. Take some time to do the things listed above, and wait until you are genuinely prepared to move forward.

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Be Alone

Being alone doesn’t mean you will never see anyone or that you will be isolated. Your just not in a rush to be coupled up. Society accepts singles, sometimes more than couples. This will give you plenty of time to rediscover yourself and work on you!

7. Consider Dating Again

The best way to move forward after a relationship is to start something new. This could be the perfect time to start dating someone new. Move forward without thinking that the new relationship has to be a permanent one. Just have fun!

8. Take On New Roles

Your partner probably handled specific roles in the relationship but now it is up to you to take on all of the responsibility. Don’t look at it like extra work, look at it as a new and exciting venture!

Further Reading

Source

Shaw, Gina. “After Divorce: 8 Tips for Reinventing Yourself.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/life-after-divorce#1.

Canterbury Law Group

The Canterbury Law Group is an experienced divorce lawyer in Scottsdale. We can protect and advise you regarding: Divorce and property division, child custody, child support, child visitation, marital home and real estate matters, allocation of investments, retirement savings, and pensions, personal possessions, valuables, vehicles, closely help businesses, alimony and spousal maintenance, and debt division. To find out how our divorce attorneys can help your matter, schedule your initial case evaluation today.

blank
Written by Canterbury Law Group

What Rights Does A Father Have To See His Child?

blank

Fatherhood comes with many responsibilities and rights. It is important to understand your rights especially when it comes to child custody proceedings. Read more to learn about your rights and how to protect them.

There is a big difference between a married father’s rights and an unmarried father’s rights to see his child. What rights does a father have to see his child? A married father shares equal custody rights (legal decision making and parenting time) to see his child vs an unmarried father who has no custody rights unless he can establish paternity. A married father shares legal and physical custody of their child. Legal custody includes welfare, health, educational, and legal decision making involving the child.

The Rights Of The Unmarried Father

Traditionally, fathers who are unmarried have found the field of parental rights difficult to navigate because there was a lack of laws in their favor to establish and enforce their rights. However, times have changed, and it is no longer easy for a biological mother to prevent the biological father from creating a legal relationship with their child or children. In today’s world, there are now many options for fathers to assert paternity through the legal system.

Paternity is a legal determination establishing the biological father of a child (or children).   Paternity can be established by filing an “acknowledgment” statement with your state’s department of vital records. To make it valid and binding, it must be signed by both parents. Should the mother of the child (or children) make an objection to your claim of paternity, it can be established once you have a filed a paternity suit in your local court. A judge will consider the paternity case and make a determination regarding the biological father of the child or children. The court will order a DNA or blood test to determine biological fatherhood. A judge can also make a determination on custody or visitation rights as part of the paternity suit process.  If the DNA matches, the paternity case proceeds.  Without a DNA match, the case will be dismissed because you are not the Father.

Married Father’s Rights to His Child

According to Arizona Law, married fathers share equal custody rights, also known as legal decision making, with the mother of their child. In you are a married father in Arizona, you are automatically presumed to be the biological father of the child. This means you do not have to establish paternity in order to participate in major decision such as religious training, education, or medical treatment. Sharing equal custody also means you could be responsible for child support and more in the event of a divorce.

A Fathers’ Custody Rights

Once your child (or children) are born, the court will make a presumption you are the father, if you were married to the mother at the time of the birth. If you have established paternity, you could get custodial rights to your child even if you were unmarried at the time of the birth of the child. Legal custody of a child gives the parent the authority to do the following:

  • Right to make decisions about the welfare of the child.
  • Right to make decisions about the medical care of the child.
  • Right to make decisions about the religious upbringing care of the child.
  • Right to make decisions about the education of the child.

The term “physical custody” refers to the living arrangements of the child (or children.) As a Dad, you are equal in this regard as Mothers do not have any additional entitlement to the custody of their child (or children) absent a showing of questionable parental fitness.

A Joint Parenting Plan agreement may be arranged between the father and the mother of the child (or children.) Otherwise, the court can decide this on your behalf. A Judge will turn the schedule of parenting into a binding visitation and custody order that must be followed by both parents. If the terms of the agreement are not being maintained, you may ask the court to intervene. This is taken very seriously as the parent who does not obey the terms of a custody order can face fines, even jail time as well as be held in contempt of court.

Child Support Payments

Fathers who have primary custody of the child (or children) have the same rights to receive child support as mothers who have primary custody of the child (or children.) Even in circumstances where a parent is interfering with visitation rights, child support must still be paid on time. When a parent is preventing you from visitation with your child (or children) it is time to consult a family law attorney.

If My Child’s Mother Remarries, What Are My Rights?

Typically, your rights as a biological parent take priority over the rights of a stepparent. Think very carefully, if the stepparent of your child (or children) desires to adopt the kids. Generally, adoption will end your rights as a parent. Visitation previously ordered by the court will no longer be valid. The new parents will have no obligation under current law to allow you access to your child (or children.)

 Frequently Asked Questions To Your Attorney

  • I have already acknowledged paternity as I was convinced, I was the father of my girlfriend’s child. It turns out I have discovered I the child is not mine. I want to get a divorce but need to know if I will have custody rights for a while I have raised as if he were my own child?
  • I want more time with my children. How can I get this?
  • I am being prevented visits by the Mother of my children, what should I do?
  • The other parent has custody but wants the child to move in with me. Once the child has moved in, do I need to keep paying child support to the other parent?

Sources

Fathers’ Rights: You’re a Parent Too! www.lawyers.com/legal-info/family-law/paternity/shes-your-child-too.html.

Read More About:

Child Visitation Rights For Fathers

What Are The Chances Of A Father Getting Full Custody?

Child Custody Battles Between Unmarried Parents

Child Custody Rights For Mother’s

Family Law & Child Custody Information

Tips For Fathers Trying To Get Custody

Tips For Fathers Going Through Divorce In Scottsdale

Understanding Parenting Time Under Arizona Law

Child Custody Laws In Arizona

Speak With Our Father’s Rights Attorneys In Scottsdale

Our Father’s Rights, child custody, and guardianship attorneys in Phoenix and Scottsdale address your case with concern and personal attention, and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions.

We are experienced family law attorneys and will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. You can trust us to represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711.

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

blank
Written by Canterbury Law Group

4 Tips for Handling a Divorce While Working

Going through a divorce can affect all aspects of your life. It can be mentally draining, financially challenging, and even seep into your work life. Although you try your best to leave life at home at the door and enter into your professional mindset, if you’re going through a divorce, it’s likely going to be brought into the office at some point.

It’s important that you know how to handle a divorce while you are working. By getting ahead of the game and preparing for anything, you’ll be able to better manage each curveball or tough day that may come. To help prepare you, here are a few tips from your divorce lawyer in Scottsdale for handling your divorce while working full time.

Inform Your Boss

You don’t want to leave your boss in the dark about anything going on in your life that could affect your mental health and daily work performance. Since divorce can be mentally draining, it could interfere with your daily tasks at work. From phone calls to meetings and even court dates, those will all interfere with work at some point.  Be honest and transparent with your employer.

Inform your boss that you are going through a divorce. This is a life-changing event that your boss can help you with on the working end of things. No one says you have to pour your heart out and go into detail about what happened. However, informing him or her of the situation, that you may require some schedule flexibility to attend any court-imposed obligations, all while you are still committed to your own work responsibilities.

Speak With Any Officemates or Teammates

If you work closely with a co-worker, whether it be on projects or sharing an office, you should also inform them of what is happening in your life. Preparing them for any mood changes, more phone calls, and unexpected appointments, or having to take a mental health day, they will be able to handle the situation more delicately.

Anyone you work closely with, you don’t want to leave them in the dark. By letting them know of your pending divorce, you can lean on them if needed. If you fall behind, they’ll have a better understanding of what is going on and be able to help you out.

Speak With HR

Going through a divorce will likely affect work because of your insurance and retirement plans. All of this information will come from your HR department. Once you know the divorce is happening, sit down with HR and go through the details of any plans and coverages that will need changing later on or retirement account balances that may need to be split with your spouse.

Keep Personal Feelings at Home

Although you’ll likely have conversations here and there about the divorce and how you’re feeling, you should keep your personal feelings at home as best as you can. This means that you should avoid any negative comments of your spouse and anything that could make people feel uncomfortable. If you do not want to go into detail, make sure your coworkers know that you prefer to keep things private.

Do not let your pending divorce take over your work. Think of your job as an escape from the stress at home. However, there will come a time when the divorce process may interfere with work. By keeping on top of things and informing your boss and coworkers of what is going on, you can help make the process go as smoothly as possible.  Transparency and truth, tempered with your discretion and professional judgment, is a careful balancing act.

blank
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.

blank
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.

1 2 3 4