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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Steps in the Scottsdale Divorce Process

The Scottsdale divorce lawyers at Canterbury Law Group have represented hundreds of clients in Scottsdale divorce cases. It is common to discuss the first steps in the divorce process during the initial legal consultation. Although every case is unique, there are certain stages in divorce that everyone can expect:

1. File a Petition – One must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, which is a public record that includes basic facts about you, your spouse and your children.

2. Spouse is “Served” – Once the Petition is filed with the Court, due process requires that the Respondent be “served” with the Petition along with a Summons to Appear. Once served, your spouse has 30 days to file a Response to the Petition.

3. Financial Support – Representing lawyers discuss if financial support is needed during the divorce case, including child support, maintenance and marital expenses.

4. Agree on Estate – Both parties partake in financial investigation, which involves determination of the value of the marital estate or “discovery,” which includes depositions, subpoenas, interrogatories and review of financial documents by accounting experts. If the assets and debts are agreeable by both parties, they may choose to waive formal discovery. If both parties cannot reach an agreement, the attorneys may choose to submit the issues in controversy to the Judge during a pretrial conference. Pretrial conferences are conducted in the Judge’s chambers.

The Scottsdale divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group have represented women and men, young and old, in their complicated divorce cases. To discuss your options in a Scottsdale divorce, call today to schedule a consultation.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Crowdfunding Site Adds a Divorce Registry

The divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group are authorities on the evolving trends of divorce. Not only do the Phoenix divorce lawyers observe the progression of legal issues, but they have also witnessed the changes in perception of divorce.

Today, divorce holds less of a stigma in our culture than it has in the past. For example, divorce selfies, in which couples post happy photos of themselves on social media to celebrate their split, and divorce parties, where a newly single person either throws or is thrown a party to celebrate the end of their marriage, are a few of the popular divorce trends we see emphasized on social media.

The Phoenix divorce attorneys have also noted that crowdfunding site, Plumfund, has created a new, dedicated divorce registry for marriage break-up expenses. With online fundraising being such a popular option to raise funds in modern-day society, this is an area that we expect to see even further expansion in.

Plumfund’s simplified online fundraising and gift registry platform has made creating a divorce registry easier and more convenient than ever. Simply create a Plumfund divorce registry and spread the word to the divorcee’s friends and family. The registry allows people going through a divorce or their friends and family to raise money for expenses such as new furniture, legal fees and child custody. All of the gift money is easily accessed through PayPal or WePay. All personal information is kept private and safe, and is never sold or rented to a third party. The divorce category launched this March, and there are currently 114 active divorce registries on the site.

No matter what the newest divorce trends are, divorce tends to be a difficult process for all involved. The legal team at Canterbury Law Group is dedicated to diligently and compassionately solving clients’ life changing problems. If you are considering divorce, call us today to schedule your consultation.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Determining the Value of your Marital Estate

The divorce lawyers at Canterbury Law Group often see a spouse beginning a divorce without any clue of knowing the true value of their marital estate. Many spouses do not even have account access or numbers to the earning spouse.Fear not. Even if you are completely unaware of your family finances, when you file for divorce the time to finally and accurately determine all marriage assets will have arrived. Your Canterbury lawyers will make sure this happens. It’s the law. It’s not up to him or her.

Because Arizona is a community property jurisdiction, generally speaking, spouses own equally almost all property and debt acquired during the marriage, regardless of whose name is on it. Also, half of each partner’s income earned during the marriage is owned by the other partner, as well as debts incurred during the marriage are debts of the couple together. Do not let your spouse bully you—or suggest “they will leave you with nothing” if you challenge them in the divorce. They are not just bullying, they are plain wrong—under the law.

The “discovery” phase of your divorce case is used to determine information, including assets and values from the other side. In Arizona, court rules require mandatory disclosure by each side of any information that may impact their case. Therefore, your spouse must voluntarily provide you all such information, even without a specific request. However, relying on your spouse’s good will in adhering to this rule is not enough in many divorce cases. If informal requests for financial details go unanswered, or you do not feel confident you are receiving accurate information, you do have alternatives in gathering this information. Your Canterbury lawyers will be critical in unpeeling the complex layers of your family estate—and locating assets, by any means lawfully allowed—to maximize your recovery at trial.

1. Tax Returns. Personal, corporate and partnership tax returns can help in identifying property, accounts and assets sold during a given tax period. If your spouse is not forthcoming with copies of returns, or you believe the returns given to you are not the actual returns filed, you can request copies from the Internal Revenue Service.

2. Court Issued Subpoenas. A subpoena can be issued to a person or entity not a part of your lawsuit, including financial institutions and employers. The recipient of the subpoena legally has up to thirty days to physically produce the information requested. When issuing a subpoena to a financial institution, your spouse’s name and social security number is all that is needed in most cases to obtain information on accounts on which that social security number or name appears. Subpoenas to employers may work to obtain details including as history of pay, bonus information, employment terms and benefit information, such as retirement, pension, employee savings and stock option accounts. Bank statements and paystubs do not lie—your spouse can. By getting the documents up front, we can catch them in their lies.

3. Additional Legal Discovery Tools. If additional information is needed to determine the value of your marriage, there are other discovery tools that require responses given under oath:

  • Interrogatories – written questions to your spouse
  • Skip Trace investigations onto the “financial grid” to locate any assets linked to his or her social security number and date of birth. Assets at home, and abroad, can be located.
  • Requests for Production of Documents – written requests to obtain certain documents
  • Requests for Admissions – written questions to your spouse asking that he or she to admit certain facts as true
  • Depositions – oral question and answer sessions at which your attorney asks questions of your spouse while under oath, or an expert witness, or sometimes a third party in the presence of a court reporter, from whom a written transcript of the questions and answers can be obtained and the testimony is preserved for trial.

4. Outside Experts. In the unfortunate cases where a spouse is hiding assets or has engaged in pre-divorce planning, the hiring of third party specialists might be necessary in order to obtain the necessary information. Experts such as private investigators, asset location specialists and computer forensic professionals may be able to help you and your Canterbury team find the truth and get you paid.

When your family and livelihood are at stake in your divorce, it is critical to be prepared with a highly skilled team of litigation attorneys on your side. Canterbury Law Group was founded to provide no-nonsense legal counsel for Phoenix divorce cases at the highest level possible. We are an energetic and unified team of lawyers and paralegals deeply committed to your needs. Call now for an initial consultation. 480-744-7711.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Prenups in Scottsdale

Prenuptial agreements are very common amongst all ages and classes of Americans, as they can provide important advantages for both partners in a proposed marriage. Many people have an instinctively negative reaction when they hear the term “prenuptial agreement.” However, this is not reality. In fact, prenups are often used to plan for future affairs and arrange things legally in ways that are mutually beneficial to both spouses.

The attorneys at Canterbury Law Group typically suggest prenups for people in their 30s or older with any substantial assets, children or a former spouse. Prenuptial agreements are particularly useful for people who are entering into a second marriage. In the case of remarriage, one or both spouses may already have significant assets, and may want to arrange that blood related family members from the first marriage inherit property and assets in the event of divorce or death after the second marriage.

The family law attorneys at Canterbury Law Group work diligently to provide prenuptial agreement advice in Scottsdale. If you’re considering a prenup, here are four tips from our legal experts:

  • Plan ahead. Begin the prenuptial agreement process six months to one year before your wedding dates to ensure that both parties have ample time to review it. Last-minute contracts are harder to enforce.
  • Eliminate your emotions. The emotions of falling in love can alter reality, so be sure to work with trusted advisers on this legally binding agreement.
  • Make your agreement realistic and legal. The goal is to have a contract that is enforceable and provide each spouse with an understanding of what they will get if the marriage ends.
  • Research your state’s law regarding marriage and property. Marriage property laws are different from state to state. Ideally, you have a licensed attorney handle the entire process from start to finish so you can focus on the exciting wedding to come.

If you need prenuptial agreement help in Scottsdale, Arizona, then contact Canterbury Law Group today to schedule a consultation. 480-744-7711.

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