Written by Canterbury Law Group

My Wife is Keeping My Child Away From Me? What to Do?

My Wife Is Keeping My Child Away From Me

The relationship between you and your wife has reached the point of no return. The wife says she is going to leave, and the kids are going with her. Legally, can she do this? Can you stop her from following through with these actions? What can be done legally to help you? What course of action do you take if she leaves with kids in tow having not obtained your permission to do so? Primarily, she just cannot take the kids and depart. She has no more rights to the child or children than the father, this is even more so when there is no custody or divorce agreement in place.

What To Do When Your Wife Leaves With The Children

  • As a father you have certain rights and they need immediate protection in these circumstances. If you allow this to go on without any action, you are at risk of losing the rights you have when the custody and divorce case goes to court. You should immediately contact a family lawyer who will safeguard your rights.
  • Your attorney will immediately contact the attorney your wife has retained to commence work on an agreement. Avoid legal ramifications by deciding not to just show up and attempt to take the children back. Leave it to the attorneys. This contact from the attorneys will be documented and the courts will be able to tell, you did not just allow this to go on and that you want to maintain your involvement in the lives of your child or children.
  • A schedule for visitation needs to be created and adhered too as there is no doubt the time spent with our child or children will be examined during the divorce proceedings. If you want custody, be sure to be involved with the parenting decisions for the child or children and ensure you are there for them when they are with you. Avoid having them babysat. Instead, be a Dad and make sure the time you spend with them is quality time. Make sure no scheduled visits are missed, so it cannot be held against you. These are all things the judge will be reviewing.

Father’s Rights During and Following Divorce

Throughout the divorce process, you have certain rights as a father and your wife is not able to stop you from using those rights unless there are circumstances such as a substance problem or history of abuse. Examples of these rights include:

  • You wife cannot keep you from your children. And any attempt by her to do so needs immediate attention. You have the right to attend activities, events, sports games, graduations, plays, and so on. In situations where she is purposefully preventing you from doing so, tell your attorney right away and handle it through the legal process.
  • Should your ex-spouse remarry she may want your child or children to be adopted by her new husband. You have the right to stop this. No judge is going to allow this to occur if the father is meeting the agreed obligations and sticking to his visitation or custody agreements.
  • It is vital to provide the needed financial support to your child or children in order to protect your rights through the process. It is documentable evidence that you are meeting the financial obligations you have towards your child or children. Your right will remain in place by ensuring you stay current on these payments.
  • You have the right to share custody of the child or children with your wife during the divorce proceedings unless the courts have decided custody may not be shared. She is unable to force your hand on this issue unless you allow her to do so.
  • You have a right to have full involvement in the parenting decisions on behalf of the child or children, as their father. This ranges from religion, schooling, health care choices and so on. Disagreements will need to be worked out and it will demonstrate to the court that the pair of you can work for a common goal…doing what is best for the child or children.

Minimizing Problems With The Mother of Your Child Or Children During Divorce

If both of you realize conflict will be of no benefit to the child or children or yourselves during the divorce process, things should go a lot smoother. Disagreements are inevitable but serious conflict should be avoided at all costs.

  • By respecting the plans of the other person, problems should be minimized especially when it comes to things such as special events or trips. Discuss in advance any changes to schedules or pick up and collection times of the child or children. Open lines of communication are key.
  • You must remain consistent in your efforts. Being reliable and turning up when you say you are going to do so and following through with what you have said you are going to do, often helps to minimize other issues in divorce proceedings. This is an area where there is really no room for excuses so do not give her a just reason to become upset or frustrated with the situation.
  • You need to be able to communicate, clearly and concisely with your ex. If that is difficult, think about using an online service that creates and organizes schedules and you can leave each other messages on there. However, remember words said in text form can often be misconstrued as it lacks the subtlety of human intonation.

Source:  Baker, Nicholas, et al. “Can My Wife Take My Kids Away From Me? Family Law Rights.” Family Law Rights, 24 July 2016,

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!

*This information is not intended to be used as legal advice. Please contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your personal legal needs. 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Moving Out of State with No Custody Agreement in Arizona

Moving Out Of State With No Custody Agreement In Arizona

Can a Parent Move out of state without a custody agreement in Arizona? The short answer is no.

Courts in Arizona deciding whether a parent can relocate with their child or children have a duty to investigate if the move will harm the relationship the child or children has with the parent who is not relocating.

One parent often moves to another state following a divorce, be it for a new partner a new career or just a chance to start over somewhere else. Regardless of the reason, the move of the parent will have a significant impact on custodial issues.

A judge will decide and look at many different issues to decide custodial arrangements, if the parents are incapable of handling custody issues following the move. Without question these decisions are complex and it is vital you understand the circumstances that may impact your case.

Overview of Arizona Child Custody Laws

In any custody decision, the interests and wellbeing of the child or children is given top importance. Some of the factors taken into consideration include:

  • The physical and mental health of each parent.
  • The relationship the child or children has with each parent.
  • The ability of each parent to provide stability.
  • If there is a history of abuse or domestic violence with one or both parents.
  • The adjustment required by the child or children to adapt to their community and home.

Based on this the judge will determine whether joint or sole custody should be granted to one of the parents for the child or children. Parents can share legal custody even when the one parent has lone physical custody of the child or children. But that parent may be in a better position regarding the relocation of the child or children.

Understanding Relocation Rules for Arizona Parents

A relocation is defined as a move out of state or a move within the current state they reside that is greater than 100 miles away from the current location of the child or children. When parents share legal or joint custody, the parent making the move must give 45 days’ notice of such a move. The parent who is not moving then can petition the court to prevent the relocation of the child or children. In circumstances where a judge refuses to allow the relocation, it means the parent cannot move with the child or children but may move without them.

How Will a Judge Decide a Relocation Case?

The primary factor a judge will consider in these cases is how the move may have negative consequences for the child or children. Each side will be required to submit a statement of evidence for the judge to consider. The judge will then hold a hearing to decide. At the hearing, the judge may hear live testimony from both parents, relatives, teachers, friends, as well as any others with relevant testimonies such as guardian ad litem. The judge will look primarily at these considerations:

  • The reasons for the move.
  • Is the move designed to limit the visitation of the other parent?
  • Will the quality of life improve for the child or children following the relocation?
  • The future as well as the past and present relationships of the child or children with both parents.
  • The impact of one parent having less time and ability to have visitation with the child or children.
  • The sibling relationships of the child or children.
  • The community and home adjustment of the child or children.
  • If the child or children are mature enough, what is their preference?
  • Any other factors thought of importance enough to be included.

A good example of this in Arizona is when a trial court decided on preventing the Mother from moving out of state with her child as there was not a good reason for the move. In these circumstances, the woman’s new husband was looking for a job as a welder in the northeast United States. As the stepfather had no training or experience as a welder and no job to justify the move, the court decided it was unreasonable. In the end the court of appeals had the trial court rehear the case to consider other determining factors such as the effects on the child the move would cause.

The burden of proof is squarely on the parent of the child or children to establish the move is in the best interests of the child or children. While courts acknowledge the right of each parent to further their career and understand that may mean traveling, it has to be measured against the other parents right to keep a meaningful relationship with the child or children.

Source: Otterstrom, Kristina. “Child Custody and Relocation Laws in Arizona.”, Nolo, 31 Mar. 2017,

Speak With One Of Our Child Custody Attorneys In Scottsdale

Canterbury Law Group’s child custody lawyers in Phoenix and Scottsdale will advance your case with personal attention and always have you and your children’s best interest in mind when offering legal solutions. We can help with legal guardianshipchild relocationfathers rightsgrandparents rights, and more. Call today for an initial consultation!

We are experienced family law attorneys and will fight for you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation. Our firm will rigorously represent you, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation! 480-744-7711 or [email protected]

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

Written by Canterbury Law Group

My Wife Cheated On Me And I Want A Divorce

My Wife Cheated On Me And I Want A Divorce

Law offices across America often hear the refrain of: “My wife cheated on me and I want a divorce!” Thankfully in most situations we can help. Read on to learn the best way to negotiate through this difficult transition.

One of the most mentally and psychologically painful experiences one can endure is when you discover your spouse has been cheating on you. The pain can endure for months as you come to terms with the situation. Understandably many men think the only option from this point is opting for divorce.

When Your Wife Cheats on You and You Want a Divorce

Your first port of call should be to speak to an experienced attorney. At this stage, you do not have to decide upon a course of action, but you should be aware of the options that are available. Similarly, just speaking to an attorney does not mean you will get a divorce, it just allows you the chance to obtain legal counsel regarding your current position. The attorney will explain the step by step process, should you decide on a divorce. They can also explain issues such as child custody and the division of property. You will also be made aware your divorce can go one of two ways, uncontested and contested. In short, a contested divorce is where the other party will not agree with the terms of the divorce you propose, and an uncontested divorce is when the other party does agree.

Does Infidelity Matter?

Since the advent of no-fault divorces, it means infidelity no longer has to be proven. However, the judge may take it into consideration if the acts of infidelity have had a negative financial impact on you. They may also consider the impact the infidelity has had on the child or children of the parents.

Property Division and Infidelity

Regardless of your wife cheating, it does not disqualify her from a property settlement. As Arizona is a state with a community property law, anything you acquired during marriage must be split evenly. The same applies to a division of debts, some will be considered separate and others will be considered community debts.

Alimony and Cheating

It is a fact, a wife who cheats will still ask for alimony in many cases. However, a court may offer her less alimony as it is based on financial need, if, for example, she has already moved in with her partner from the affair. You need to let your attorney know if the affair partner (or indeed any other party) is living with your wife before the divorce becomes finalized and of course, once the divorce is final.

Child Custody

A judge is always going to act in what they consider to be the best interests of a child or children involved in the divorce process. Sadly, courts will not always think your wife is a bad Mom, even if she has cheated on you. The only way something of this nature would come into play would be if her infidelity threatens the wellbeing of the child or children. For example, engaging in acts that can be described as sexual in nature around the children.

Sadly, many relationships can never bounce back after cheating. The damage is irreparable. But we are here to assist you in dealing with the relationship fallout following infidelity.

Source: “My Wife Cheated On Me and I Want a Divorce.” Maples Family Law, 17 Jan. 2019,

Need an Affordable Divorce lawyer in Scottsdale?

The Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice when you need the best divorce lawyer in Scottsdale or Phoenix, Arizona. Our experienced family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome in your situation.  Proven trial lawyers in family court, you can trust the firm to represent you fully so you can get on with your life. Call today for your initial consultation.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Arizona Breastfeeding Laws & Visitation Rights Breastfed Babies


If you are searching for Arizona breastfeeding laws or visitation rights for breasfed babies, this article might help. A recent news article about a judge ordering a breastfeeding mother to switch to baby formula to facilitate visitation for the father has reinvigorated an old debate. In a custody hearing in Maine, a father petitioned that his visitation rights were being violated because the mother is still breastfeeding the child. The estranged couple has a six-month-old baby that the mother is still exclusively nursing. The father wants overnight visitation rights on the weekends, but the mother refused on the account that she needs to breastfeed the baby.

The mother claimed that she couldn’t pump enough breast milk to arrange bottle feeding the baby when the infant is the father. So she claimed that the baby should be with her on the weekends. The magistrate court disagreed.  In the custody hearing, the judge sided with the father and said that keeping the baby for breastfeeding is “not a reason to prevent [the father’s] visitation,” and it could be “considered deliberate alienation” of the father. The court recommended overnight visits that would have the baby fed formula milk.

There are some other details to the case, but the core argument involving nursing mothers’ and fathers’ visitation rights has been percolating for some time. Pediatricians recommend breastfeeding babies for up to 12 months. There’s ample scientific evidence to suggest that babies should be breastfed to ensure their health and psychological well-being. The court cannot dispute these biological factors. However, when arranging parenting time for estranged spouses with infants, breastfeeding could become a hot-button issue.

While the case was adjudicated in a different state, it’s a common question that pops up in family court in Arizona as well. Arizona does not have specific laws with regards to how to handle parenting time for a breastfeeding child. In most cases, babies are kept with mothers so they can nurse on time. If the father wants to visit, then the visits are arranged for two or three hours in a manner that doesn’t disturb nursing. However, these arrangements can change due to court recommendations on what’s best for the child.

Ideally, the best way to handle a father’s visitation with regards to a nursing baby is for the estranged parents to discuss parenting time civilly. It’s strongly advised to obtain Family Law help in Scottsdale to devise a sensible parenting time plan in accordance with court recommendations, parents’ wishes, and, above all, the well-being of the newly birthed child. Fathers who want to spend time with nursing babies should first discuss arrangements with the mother, possibly with the help of a third-party mediator.

Of course, not all estranged parents would be able to sit down together and come up with a neat parenting time plan. In that case, going to court will be the last solution. However, judges decide visitation rights for fathers with newborn babies on a case by case basis. It’s unlikely and rare that a mother would be ordered to switch to formula if she doesn’t want to or is somehow unable to. As the law is not clear on this, only your lawyer will be able to present you with the best legal solutions for the situation.  And you never know, the Arizona judge to whom your case is assigned may end up agreeing with the judge from Maine.

Arizona Breastfeeding Laws

Many mothers wonder about breastfeeding in public. First, it is perfectly legal to breastfeed in public. In Arizona, the law clearly says a mother is entitled to breastfeed her child in public and is not subject to indecent exposure laws.

A.R.S. 41-1443

A mother is entitled to breast-feed in any area of a public place or a place of public accommodation where the mother is otherwise lawfully present.

A.R.S. 13-1402

Indecent exposure does not include an act of breastfeeding by a mother.

Your baby has the lawful right to eat wherever you are. Having an upset, hungry, crying baby will call more attention to yourself than breastfeeding your baby!

What clothing do I need for breastfeeding?

Nursing in public is easy. You don’t need a special type of clothes. You can wear a loose fitting shirt or top that you can lift from the bottom. When the baby latches, let the bottom of your shirt cover your breast. Your baby’s head and body will cover the rest. You can practice in front of a mirror until you feel more confident about nursing your baby in public.

Do I need to use a nursing cover?

Some mothers are a little more comfortable nursing under a cover, but you don’t have to. You can breastfeed at your discretion without a cover as described above, but it is fine to use one if it is going to make you more comfortable. Your local WIC clinic may be able to supply you with a privacy cover, or a lightweight baby blanket is also perfectly fine.

If I’m in a public place, where am I allowed to breastfeed?

You can breastfeed anywhere you are, like the corner market, dentist’s office, or even the drug store. If you feel uncomfortable and need privacy away from home, you can find a dressing room, a fast food restaurant booth, or a nursing/ lactation room that will give you the privacy you want.

What if someone complains and doesn’t approve?

If you are in a public place and asked to stop breastfeeding your baby, ask for the supervisor or manager in charge of the establishment. A lot of people are uninformed, but the manager should be able to educate their employees about breastfeeding. You should feel confident that your baby’s needs are being met and be proud that you’re breastfeeding and providing your baby with the nourishment he or she needs!


  1. “Breastfeeding in Public: Making It Work!” ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, Arizona Department of Health Services ,

Family Law Consultations in Scottsdale

The Canterbury Law Group should be your number one choice for when you need a family law attorney. Our experienced attorneys will work with you side by side to achieve the best possible legal outcome. You can trust Canterbury Law Group to represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation!

*This information is not intended to be legal advice. You can contact Canterbury Law Group today to learn more about your unique situation.

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How Much Does Collaborative Divorce Cost?


On average collaborative divorce costs $7,500. Collaborative divorce costs ranged from $5,000 to $10,000 per spouse in the US for 2019, according to Equitable Mediation. However, Canterbury Law Group has navigated many divorce collaborations for less than $10,000 in legal fees per spouse.  This is a far cry from the tens of thousands of dollars that other couples will inevitably spend in contested divorce litigation in a court of law, not to mention the high emotional cost in traditional divorce cases.

*Disclaimer – These collaborative divorce fees are always changing and this is not an actual quote. If you need an experienced collaborative divorce lawyer in Arizona, contact Canterbury Law Group today to start your initial consultation.

How Much Does Collaborative Divorce Cost in Arizona?

On average, Arizona collaborative divorce costs about $10,000 per spouse.

What is Collaborative Divorce?

Unlike traditional litigated divorce cases where both sides are dug in, and legal meters are running full bore each month, collaboration is quite the opposite.  A team of family law professionals is assembled and there is a group push towards resolution.  Usually completed after 3 or 4 group meditation sessions, and within 60 to 90 days, you will have your divorce in hand almost overnight compared to your friends and colleagues slogging their way through a multiyear litigated divorce costings them tens of thousands of dollars.  Do not be penny wise and pound foolish.  Society has evolved in all facets of life—including divorce, why keep doing things in a time consuming and expensive way, when instead you can go through a transformative process of collaboration where only you and your spouse make the big decisions, and not a stranger in a black robe.  Collaborate, do not litigate.

Learn more about Collaborative Divorce In Arizona

Affordable Collaborative Divorce Lawyers in Phoenix & Scottsdale, Arizona


Canterbury Law Group should be your first choice for when you need the best collaborative divorce lawyers in Arizona including Phoenix and Scottsdale, Arizona. Our experienced Arizona family law attorneys will work with you to obtain the best possible outcome.  You can trust us to represent you fully, so you can get on with your life. Call today for an initial consultation!

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Get Your Finances Ready for Your Divorce With These 6 Tips

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

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

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

Gather All Necessary Documents

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

Don’t Start Overspending

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

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

Leave Large Financial Decisions for Later

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

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

Make a note of Your Assets

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

Ask for Help

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

Start Budgeting

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

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

Written by Canterbury Law Group

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.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

Wanting to Be a Lawyer? These Qualities Will Help You

With every job, certain traits and qualities will help you succeed. Whether it be schooling, training, or having a natural position ability, the more merits you possess that are specific to your job, the better you can be.

A lawyer is no exception to this. There is more to just knowing the rules of law to be a successful lawyer. Your divorce attorney in Scottsdale has some advice for those who are wanting to become a lawyer.

Excellent Communication Skills

A lawyer must be able to deliver high-level communications. Good lawyers are also excellent listeners. Part of the job will be to stand up for your client, sometimes speaking for them. Public speaking skills will help aide any time you are in front of a judge, jury, or entire courtroom.

Your communication skills do not stop at verbal communication. Being able to clearly and persuasively write will be a strong asset too. There will come moments when you must draft challenging legal documents. Those documents must be as concise and easy to read.

Research Skills

There will be a lot of research happening behind the scenes before you really begin moving forward with your client. Why? Because you should know the ins and outs of the entire situation, including past examples from old cases.

The more research you can do, the better it will be for your legal clients. Having good research skills will help this process go quicker and smoother, and ensure you are getting accurate and concise information.

People Skills

No matter how much you excelled at school, you need to have people skills to be a successful lawyer. Your job revolves around people’s day to day lives. You may have to speak on behalf of a client, be face to face with the opposition, or just having to stand up in front of a large crowd.  Having good people skills will benefit you as a lawyer.

Problem-Solving Skills

Having excellent problem-solving skills is vital for a lawyer. There will come moments when you may need to be creative in finding a solution or the answer you need. Being able to think on your feet and quickly assess a situation and find a solution will be critical for a lawyer.


A good lawyer sticks with it until the end, no matter what, even if it ends up being a losing battle. The job can get exhausting after a while, but a successful lawyer is in it for the long haul.

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.

Written by Canterbury Law Group

5 Divorce Mistakes to Stay Away From

Sure, every divorce has unique attributes that make the experience different for each person. Having said that, there are a myriad of mistakes we find to commonly observe during a divorce. If you’re even considering divorce, divorce attorneys in Scottsdale recommend the following critical advance checklist to help you avoid these unnecessary issues.


Settlements That Assume Status Quo

One of the main goals of a divorce is to establish an “equitable split” of assets, which requires an understanding of your current situation and true market valuation of all your assets. At times, this necessity to focus on the present state of affairs can result in an analysis that doesn’t take into consideration potential future events. Unfortunate events can occur at any point after a divorce and may include things like job loss, disability, health changes or asset depreciation.

Complications can always arise when it comes to paying for college when a settlement agreement focuses too heavily on the maintenance of the status quo. For example, if college costs are to be split based on salary, what happens if/when you or your spouse lose your job? Unforeseen future events can put you in a difficult situation and pay for a large expense (e.g. maintenance, college tuition) you hadn’t previously planned for.

When negotiating your divorce settlement, remember to consider what might not be the same in the future. You will want to speak with your attorney or financial adviser about considering these potential changes.  There are many moving parts and you should trust seasoned legal counsel to navigate you through the process.

Unrealistic Lifestyle Expectations

Divorce means there is no longer one household, but two households.  The standard of living is likely to drop for both parties post-Decree.   Difficult decisions about who should keep the house, or if it should be sold, have emotional, practical, and financial implications for both parties for years to come. Housing is just one of numerous lifestyle decisions faced when a divorce takes place. Unfortunately, too many divorcees expect to live a similar lifestyle in divorce, including for their children. This is a false reality—both parties are still making the same money, but now two roofs and two sets of bills must be paid.  Quite often, there is simply not enough money to go around for anyone to live the same, let alone better after the divorce.

Avoiding The Details

Facing the logistics of a divorce can be exhausting, especially if it’s a complicated situation (which it usually is). Lengthy legal proceedings require you to reveal the details of your life. At the same time, you’re asked to gather a large amount of data and information to support negotiations, and this usually doesn’t end just because the divorce comes to a close.  Get ready to gather documents and disclosures the likes of which even your worst mortgage refinance would have ever taken.  It’s a reality and part of the process.

Lack of Financial Literacy

One of the main reasons these rampant mistakes occur during a divorce is that both parties lack even a basic financial education. Modern financial literacy is generally learned through experience rather than in school. Take time to educate yourself so you don’t run into problems.  Better still, hand the entire process over to a seasoned professional who has handled hundreds of divorces before yours ever began.

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