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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Steps in the Scottsdale Divorce Process

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Crowdfunding Site Adds a Divorce Registry

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

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

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

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

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

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Determining the Value of your Marital Estate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Prenups in Scottsdale

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

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

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

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

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

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Realities of the Divorce Process

The Scottsdale divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group handle complex divorce cases throughout Arizona, California, Nevada and New York. Their skilled litigation team provides no-nonsense legal counsel for family law cases at the highest level possible.

The law team at Canterbury thoroughly prepares clients while understanding that all cases have unique circumstances and laws vary by state and local jurisdiction. The Scottsdale divorce attorneys also prepare clients for the constant surprises that inevitably arise during the divorce process:

Length of divorce – Depending on your unique situation, divorce can take few months to well over a year, leaving issues that still need to be settled. The vast majority of matters resolve within one calendar year. More complex dissolutions with large asset bases and children, can take up to two years. At Canterbury Law Group, we help clients work out many divorce issues before entering court in attempt to eliminate or reduce long cases. The longer the case, the more expensive it is for both sides.

Court TV is not reality – Court TV may have constructed an unrealistic image of what court is like for the majority of divorce cases. In fact, most cases reach a settlement before needing to see a judge, or if you see a judge, it might only be for a few preliminary hearings and no trial if you elect to settle later.

Rescheduling is common – Expect your court dates to be rescheduled for other cases that take priority in your jurisdiction, such as criminal trials. You cannot insist upon a court date just because the court issued it. Rather, be prepared for rescheduling. Change is constant in a divorce proceeding.

Patience is needed – In most courthouses, your case will not be the only case scheduled for a hearing. Be prepared to sit and wait for other cases to be heard before yours. However, you must always be on time in the event the court is on time.

Everyone has an opinion – When you are going through a divorce, you will realize that everyone has an opinion. Ignore most of them because each case is unique, and no one can give you divorce advice better than your divorce attorney. Don’t rely on what you ‘hear’ or ‘read’ on the internet. Secure top legal counsel and let them steer you successfully to the resolution of your case so you can move on with your life. For more on divorce legal services, go to www.canterburylawgroup.com or call 480-744-7711.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Tips For Fathers Going Through Divorce In Scottsdale

The Scottsdale divorce lawyers at Canterbury Law Group represent both men and women in divorce proceedings. Through their extensive divorce experience, they have noticed that men often think they have fewer rights to the family home and / or children while going through a divorce. This is not necessarily true.

The legal team at Canterbury suggests finding a divorce attorney immediately if divorce is a remote possibility so you can evaluate your options are start preparing for the possible filing against you, or your own filing against her. Several tips should be considered when evaluating the divorce process:

  • Watch your words. If you’re dealing with an angry wife, take note of what was said but do not retaliate. React rationally and not in anger without giving your wife any ammunition to use later. Presume every conversation is being recorded on her cell phone.
  • Don’t move out of the marital residence right away. Leaving the house may become a strategic disadvantage later. The Mother has practical custody if Dad leaves and she may be in a stronger position to get the upper hand in a later custody battle.
  • Keep records. Keep careful records of everything that is said and done in relation to the divorce process including threats, insults, etc. Record your spending habits, money you give her and the kids and all expenses you pay for. Print out your bank records periodically so that you can show any large withdrawals made by your spouse.
  • Maintain communication with children. Often, the feeling the children have about their Father makes or breaks a custody case. Be a proactive father. Don’t ever talk negatively about their Mother in their presence. Your positive interactions with them will help with the process, and will also preserve a relationship for later when the post-divorce life begins.
  • Keep yourself well. Many fathers neglect their physical and / or emotional health during these stressful times, which may lead to depression and / or isolation. Keeping a healthy diet, exercising and avoiding harmful substances is always a good strategy, and even more important in times of anxiety. You need to be at the top of your game when you deal with these emotionally difficult experiences.

Find legal counsel soon. If you feel that divorce is inevitable, it is better to obtain a divorce attorney early on. Call the Scottsdale divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group to schedule your initial case evaluation: 480-744-7711.

 

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Steps in a Scottsdale Divorce

At Scottsdale-based Canterbury Law Group, our legal team is well versed in Family Law including divorce. Our litigators are often asked to describe the different stages of divorce. While each divorce is unique, here is a quick review of what you may expect:

The first step in the process is filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The person who files the Petition is identified as the Petitioner (or Plaintiff) and the opposing spouse is identified as the Respondent (or Defendant.) A Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is a public record that includes basic facts about you, your spouse and your children. The document is usually brief and does not contain a great deal of personal information.

Once the Petition is filed with the Court, due process requires that the Respondent be “served” with the Petition and a Summons to Appear. Once served, your spouse has 20 days to file a written Response to the Petition. Once a Response has been filed, the attorneys then discuss if temporary order or support is needed. Temporary orders of support may include child support, spousal maintenance and marital expenses paid by one spouse to the other while the case is pending.

Financial investigation is the next step. This portion of the case involves determination of the value of the marital estate or “discovery,” which includes depositions, subpoenas, interrogatories and review of financial documents by accounting experts. If the assets and debts are agreeable by both parties, they may choose to waive formal discovery. However, if either party disagrees with their spouse’s estimate of value or the amount of debt distributed to each party, formal discovery will be necessary. Rigorous asset searches are often performed to find any hidden assets in non-disclosed accounts, safety deposit boxes, or overseas accounts.

If both parties cannot reach an agreement, the attorneys may choose to submit the issues in controversy to the Judge during a pretrial conference. Pretrial conferences are sometimes conducted in the Judge’s chambers. The Judge’s pretrial recommendations are not binding but they do indicate how the Judge might prefer to settle the case. Pretrial conferences are often a critical motivation for reaching a final settlement without preparing for a full trial on the merits. Trials are expensive and unpredictable.

In the event an agreement cannot be reached through negotiation or pretrial conference, the matter is set for trial. A case is often set several months out. During the months before trial, your attorney will be preparing your case. Trials range in duration from half a day to perhaps a week, depending on the complexity of your case. There are no jury trials in divorce cases. The decisions are made solely by the Judge. A final divorce judgment and Decree will be entered at the conclusion of the trial. Those orders remain binding upon both spouses for the life of the order unless appealed by either party within a certain number of days.

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