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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Does Divorce Impact Social Security Benefits?

Credit and Divorce

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

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

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

How long must a couple be married before receiving benefits?

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

How much Social Security does a divorced spouse receive?

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

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

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

Can You Continue Receiving Social Security Benefits After Divorce?

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

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

How Are Social Security Benefits Divided Upon Divorce?

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

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

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

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

How Divorce Affects Benefits for Survivors

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

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

How Remarriage Affects Benefits for Survivors

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

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

Name Modification on Your Social Security Card

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

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

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

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

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

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Credit and Divorce

Credit and Divorce

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

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

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

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

Types of Credit Accounts and Financial Obligation

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

Personal Accounts

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

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

Advantages/Disadvantages

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

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

Shared Accounts

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

Advantages/Disadvantages

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

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

Account titled “Users”

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

Advantages/Disadvantages

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

What Happens to Your Credit If You Divorce?

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

Will a divorce save assets from creditors?

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

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

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

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

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

Early closure of joint accounts

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

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

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

2. Obtain Your Credit Score Through a Credit Reporting Agency

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

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

3. Separate and Transfer Credit Card Obligation

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

4. Include a clause on indemnification in your divorce agreement

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

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

Obtain Expert Legal Assistance With Your Credit and Divorce Concerns

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

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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

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

Arizona Breastfeeding Laws & Visitation Rights Breastfed Babies

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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!

Source

  1. “Breastfeeding in Public: Making It Work!” ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES, Arizona Department of Health Services , azdhs.gov/documents/prevention/nutrition-physical-activity/breastfeeding/breastfeeding-in-public.pdf.

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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Written by Canterbury Law Group

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.

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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.

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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

Four Tips to Help When You Want to Ask for a Divorce

No matter how much work you put into a marriage, some ultimately will end in divorce. You’ve done everything you can. The two of you have sought out help and done what is asked. In the end though, no matter what you do, the two of you can’t seem to get along.

If the word divorce is going through your mind, it can be a scary topic to discuss. How do you bring it up to your partner without causing a war? There’s no easy way to ask someone for a divorce. With a little bit of preparation and empathy, however, you can bring up the topic without causing too much stress on your partner.

Your divorce attorney in Scottsdale is here to help you with all of your legal matters when ending a marriage.

Prepare Yourself

The first thing you want to do is prepare yourself for the conversation. It would help if you were confident in your decision and that it is the best option for both of you.

Ask yourself why you want a divorce in the first place. Use this reason as a way to explain it to your partner. Then, try and put yourself in his or her shoes and come up with different questions he or she may have. The more answers you have, the better you can explain the situation clearly to your partner.

Talk in an Appropriate Environment

There are a time and a place for having a conversation about divorce. Timing is crucial when delivering this type of news. Of course, there is no perfect time for having a conversation about divorce. There are though, times that are more appropriate than others.

You wouldn’t’ want to bring up a divorce if your partner recently underwent a stressful situation or had some kind of trauma. That could make an already stressful situation even worse.

Choose a place that is private and where there are minimal distractions and stressors. The more calming and comfortable the environment is, the better chance you have for the discussion to go more smoothly.

Own Your Decision

Unless this isn’t the first time the word divorce has come up, your spouse is likely to feel caught off guard. How you deliver the message will determine the rest of the conversation.

You want to own your decision. Be clear that you have made up your mind and that this is what you want. Be firm as you talk, yet gentle and empathetic towards your partner. Being rude and getting upset will only make things worse.

Get Professional Help

After the divorce conversation, there will be many emotions between the two of you. The best way to handle them is for each of you to seek out professional help. Speaking with a divorce coach or a counselor will help you deal with your emotions and heartbreak so that you can move forward with the process in a healthy way.

There is no easy way to ask your spouse for a divorce. However, they cannot force you to remain married if you want out.  Either spouse can seek divorce at any time.  However, you can prepare yourself for the conversation. Keep your partner’s emotions in mind when delivering the news. Try and put yourself in his or her shoes so you can understand how they might react. The more peaceful the conversation, the better off everyone will be.  They deserve care and respect, they were once your life partner.

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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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