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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Inheritance and Divorce

Learn whether a court can divide your inheritance in a divorce.

Not necessarily. For purpose of divorce, the law usually categorizes property as either “marital” or “separate.” As a general rule, marital property is subject to division between the spouses; separate property isn’t. This is true whether you live in a “community property” state (like California), which divides property on a 50-50 basis, or an “equitable distribution” state (like New Jersey), which apportions property based on what the court believes is fair under the circumstances.

Is My Spouse Entitled to My Inheritance in Divorce?

That depends on a number of factors, including where you live. Each state’s divorce laws will govern how to address inheritance, in community property states and equitable distribution states as well.

In the overwhelming majority states, an inheritance is considered separate property, belonging exclusively to the spouse who received it and it cannot be divided in a divorce. That holds true whether a spouse received the inheritance before or during the marriage. But in a state like New Hampshire, for example, courts may consider an inheritance to be divisible in a divorce (unless you can persuade a judge that it shouldn’t be).

Now here’s the rub—although your state may initially view an inheritance as separate property, your actions can change it into marital property. Sometimes that happens intentionally in what is called a “transmutation of property.”

An example of an intentional transmutation of property from separate to marital is where a spouse inherits a house, then puts the other spouse’s name on the deed. The spouses move in and share the costs of living there. In that scenario, if a divorce rolls around, the inheriting spouse would be hard pressed to convince a judge that the house was never intended to be marital property.

But let’s say the inheriting spouse never puts the other spouse’s name on the deed, and neither spouse lives in the house during the marriage. At some point down the road, however, the non-owner spouse contributes to improvements which increase the house’s value. At the time of divorce, a judge might determine that—although the house itself may not be marital property—the increase in value specifically due to the improvements is a part of the marital estate, and thus subject to division between the spouses.

The most common example of converting an inheritance to marital property is when the inheriting spouse “commingles” (mixes) the inheritance with marital assets. This can be intentional, but often it happens by mistake. For example, Uncle Zeke passes on and leaves you $10,000 in his will. After you and your spouse break out the bubbly and toast the kindly gentleman, you put the money in an existing savings account that’s in both your names, and which either of you can access at will. If you did that because you wanted to share the inheritance money with your spouse . . . great! Mission accomplished.

But if you thought that putting that money in the joint account was just for convenience, and that it would always remain yours alone, you may have put yourself behind the proverbial eight-ball. By commingling the inheritance with marital funds, you’ve likely converted it into marital property. You can make an argument to the court that this was never your intention, but you’ll have an uphill climb.

Can I Claim My Ex’s Inheritance Received After Divorce?

Sharing a spouse’s inheritance after divorce is a nonstarter, unless your divorce judgment specifically addresses that topic.

That said, there is a situation where an ex-spouse’s post-divorce inheritance could come into play. If you’re receiving spousal support (alimony) or child support, you might be able to petition the court to increase the support amount, based on that inheritance or any interest income the principal is making.

Courts usually allow modification of support—both up and down—for a variety of reasons, such as a job loss, a spouse or child becoming disabled, or a spouse’s substantial pay increase (again, depending on the laws in your state).

You’d first have to see whether your state views an inheritance as a potential basis for a modification request. If it does, you may have viable grounds to seek an increase in support. Of course, this is going to depend in large measure on how significant the inheritance is. Your best bet for success is when the inheritance has substantially enhanced your ex-spouse’s standard of living.

 

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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.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Different Types of Separation

What does the term “separated” mean? Discover the distinctions between trial separation, permanent separation, and legal separation.

When it comes to marriage, separation is not synonymous with divorce—even if you have a court-ordered “judgment of separation.” Separation is when you live apart from your spouse but remain legally married until you obtain a divorce judgment. While a separation does not terminate your marriage, it does affect your financial obligations to your spouse until the divorce is final.

Separation is classified into three types: trial, permanent, and legal. In the majority of states, only one of the three (legal separation) alters your legal status—but all three have the potential to impair your legal rights.

Separation of Trials

If you and your spouse feel the need for a break from the relationship, one option is to live apart while deciding whether to divorce—a process known as “trial separation.” Legally, little changes during a trial separation—all applicable marital property laws remain in effect. For instance, a court will consider the money you earn and the items you purchase during the trial separation to be property acquired by a married person. This frequently means that you and your spouse jointly own the property (depending on your state’s property ownership laws).

If you and your spouse separate but intend to reconcile, it’s a good idea to write an informal agreement outlining the separation rules. For instance, your trial separation agreement may address the following:

  • whether you’re going to continue sharing a joint bank account or credit cards.
  • how you intend to budget your expenditures
  • who will continue to reside in the family home
  • how you intend to split expenses, and
  • If you have children, discuss how and when you will spend time with them.
  • If you decide to divorce, you may be able to use this trial separation agreement as a template for a marital settlement agreement.
  • If you and your spouse agree that reconciliation is impossible, your trial separation becomes permanent.

Permanent Distancing

If you live apart from your spouse with no intention of reconciling but are not divorced, the law considers you to be permanently separated.

How Separation from Your Spouse Affects Your Rights

Depending on the local law, a permanent separation may alter the property rights of spouses. For instance, in some states, assets and debts acquired during a permanent separation are considered to belong exclusively to the spouse who acquired them. Once a couple is permanently divorced, each spouse assumes sole responsibility for any debts incurred. Similarly, spouses who divorce permanently lose their right to any property or income acquired by the other.

Why Does the Date of Final Divorce Matter?

Due to the fact that spouses’ rights to each other’s property and obligations to pay debts change significantly as of the date of a permanent separation, spouses frequently argue bitterly about the precise date of their permanent separation. For instance, if your spouse left in a huff and spent a month sleeping on a friend’s couch, but you did not discuss divorce until after the month passed, the date the separation became permanent may be unclear. That means that if your spouse earned a sizable bonus at work during that month, you may be able to argue that you are entitled to a portion of the bonus.

If you move out of the house and do not anticipate a long-term reconciliation with your spouse, reconsider going out or spending the night together just for the sake of old times. If you reconcile briefly, you risk changing the date of separation and becoming financially responsible for your spouse during a time when you believed you were solely responsible for your own.

After you have legally separated from your spouse and reached basic agreements regarding your joint assets and debts, you are not required to divorce immediately. You may choose to remain married for a variety of reasons, including avoiding disruption of your children’s lives or retaining insurance coverage. Or, in some cases, preserving the status quo is simply more convenient than pursuing a divorce. On the other hand, you may decide to divorce as soon as the paperwork is finalized, or when the required separation or waiting period in your state expires.

Is Separation Required Prior to Divorce in My State?

Certain states’ laws require spouses to separate before a divorce can be finalized. State laws governing required separations vary in detail—for example, many states require spouses to live “separately and apart” for a specified period of time before the court will accept a divorce petition (formal request), while others do not require separation until after the petition is filed. If you file before meeting the requirements for separation, the court may dismiss your case. Other states may require spouses to live apart during the divorce process.

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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.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Top Reasons for Divorce

Before you consider divorce, be sure to speak to the Scottsdale divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group to discuss your case and options. A divorce lawyer can act as both a legal counselor and sounding board during this life-changing decision. Although there are many variables and unique reasons for divorce, we have included the statistically top reasons people file divorce in the U.S.

  • 1. Lack of communication. A successful relationship requires constant communication. Distance in a marriage is created quickly if you don’t share your feelings.
  • 2. Finances. If money becomes a consistent topic of disagreement, the road to divorce is almost inevitable.
  • 3. Feeling constrained. Some feel that marriage is holding them back from achieving goals and taking opportunities. If your partner can’t support your dreams, then they may not support the marriage.
  • 4. Trust. Trust is one of the leading factors in having a successful relationship and marriage. Your marriage is unlikely to survive if you do not trust your significant other.
  • 5. Expectations from each other. When expectations aren’t met, it can put a huge strain on the relationship.
  • 6. Your spouse doesn’t understand / fulfill your needs and desires. Everyone has different needs and wants. A successful partnership requires going the extra mile to fulfill a spouse’s needs and wants.
  • 7. Religious and cultural differences. Religious beliefs and cultural values can cause conflict, which affects the way you live your life and raise your children. This situation is often a deal breaker.

Consider the three most common reasons for divorce to determine whether or not your marriage can be saved.

Adultery or having an extramarital affair

When one person seeks fulfillment of their physical or sexual needs outside of the relationship, this can spell the end of the relationship. It’s extremely difficult to regain trust after a partner feels betrayed.

Extramarital affairs cause between 20% and 40% of marriages to fail and end in divorce. This is one of the most frequently occurring reasons for divorce. The reasons people cheat are not as black and white as our rage would have us believe.

Along with differences in sexual appetite and a lack of emotional intimacy, anger and resentment are frequently cited as underlying reasons for cheating.

Oftentimes, infidelity begins as an apparently innocent friendship. It begins as an emotional affair and develops into a physical one.

Infidelity is a leading cause of divorce. Apart from living apart for more than a year and subjecting your partner to cruelty, this is also one of the legal grounds for divorce (mental or physical).

Financial difficulties

Money makes people amusing, as the proverb goes, and it is true.

If a couple is not on the same page about how their finances will be handled, it can result in disastrous consequences.

Why is financial incompatibility a leading cause of divorce? According to divorce statistics, a “final straw” reason for divorce is a lack of financial compatibility, which accounts for nearly 41% of divorces.

Everything from divergent spending habits and financial goals to one spouse earning significantly more money than the other can wreak havoc on a marriage. Additionally, differences in the amount of money each partner brings to the marriage can result in power struggles between the couple.

Money has a profound effect on everything. It has an effect on people’s lives. Clearly, money and stress appear to be inextricably linked for many couples.

Financial difficulties are one of the leading causes of divorce, second only to infidelity as the primary reason for divorce.

Inadequate communication

Communication is critical in marriage, and an inability to communicate effectively and quickly results in resentment and frustration on both sides, negatively affecting all aspects of the marriage.

On the other hand, effective communication is the bedrock of a healthy marriage. When two people share a life together, they must be able to communicate their needs and understand and attempt to meet their partner’s.

Yelling at your spouse, not conversing enough throughout the day, and making derogatory remarks to express yourself are all unhealthy modes of communication that should be abandoned in a marriage.

Additionally, when couples stop communicating with one another, they can feel isolated and lonely and eventually lose interest in one another. This can result in the relationship’s demise.

Poor communication is one of the leading causes of divorce in 65 percent of cases.

While practicing mindful communication to correct age-old marriage mistakes can be challenging, the effort required to improve and save your relationship is well worth it.

Whether you are considering filing for divorce or you’ve already been served with a divorce petition, it is critical to speak with an attorney immediately to assess your legal rights and take the necessary steps to protect them. Delay may result in limiting your options. Every situation is unique and our attorneys are well equipped to provide you with the tools to make the best decision that suits your particular situation. Hit the ground running on your marital dissolution and consult with the legal professionals at www.canterburylawgroup.com or call 480-744-7711.

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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.

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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.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

6 Ways to Help Your Kids Cope Through a Divorce

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

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

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

Inform the Kids of the Divorce

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

Let Them Speak

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

Be Their Support System

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

Keep Your Emotions in Check

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

Be Kind to Each Other

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

Reassure They Are Loved

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

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Three Leading Causes of Divorce

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

Financial Secrets

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

Solution

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

Weak Communication

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

Solution

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

Not Enough Savings

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

Solution

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

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Reasons to Finalize Your Divorce and Save Money

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

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

Move Fast To Control Taxes On Alimony

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

Tax Benefits Of The Family Home Are Changing

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

Kids Are No Longer As Great A Tax Deduction

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

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