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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

Custody Tips for Summer Vacation

At Canterbury Law Group, our no-nonsense Scottsdale divorce lawyers fight to protect the future and well-being of children affected by divorce. We work diligently to secure a sound emotional and financial outcome for children of divorced parents.

Divorce can be a delicate and painful experience for all involved. Our Scottsdale divorce attorneys work tirelessly to ensure the children remain a priority throughout and after the divorce, and strive to remedy sensitive issues including custody arrangements and parenting plans with concern and attention, striving to reduce the possible future damage divorce can have on children and relationships.

If you have children that have been affected by divorce, it’s best to create a plan for summer parenting. You want your kids to enjoy summer rather than feeling the stress of divorce. Our Phoenix divorce lawyers offer tips to help with summer vacation arrangements:

1. Create a documented plan: Try to set a mutually agreed upon summer parenting schedule with your ex. If needed, a Court Order is a way to prevent problems that can occur due to co-parenting conflicts. The plan should specifically identify the summer vacation parenting schedule, as it may differ from the school year schedule.

2. Flexibility: While the Court Order can be an “emergency” plan for both parties, it is helpful if the parties can be reasonably flexible with each other regarding summer parenting time. This will allow your children to attend events and participate in activities that may fall outside of a parent’s court ordered parenting time. This also shows that the parents are willing to cooperate by being lenient and working together for the benefit of the children.

3. Plan for summer expenses: Parents should take into consideration the expense of summer activities that their children are involved in, such as summer camp. Refer to the original terms of your parenting time agreement regarding summer camp so you know the required financial contributions from either parent.

4. Eliminate the kids from any disputes: A proper parenting schedule is successful when the children don’t feel any tension between the parents. Although conflicts are bound to happen, this should be handled between the parents alone and away from the kids. Effective communication between the parents is one way to avoid disputes or conflicts altogether.

If you need assistance with your summer parenting schedule, contact the Phoenix divorce attorneys at Canterbury Law Group! We can help ensure the summer is enjoyable for all. 480-744-7711.

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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

Restraining Orders and Orders of Protection in Scottsdale

Survivors of domestic violence have several civil and criminal options to protect themselves from further abuse. If you’re looking to determine your legal options, the family law attorneys at Canterbury Law Group have extensive knowledge on orders of protection in Scottsdale and restraining orders in Scottsdale.

Our attorneys operate in many areas of family law, including helping clients obtain a restraining order in Scottsdale. If you’re considering getting legal help, here are common questions you might ask.

1. What is a restraining order? A restraining order is a court order intended to protect you from further harm from someone who has hurt you; to keep the abuser away from you, or to stop harassing you, or keep the abuser from the scene of the violence, which may include your home, place of work, or apartment. It is a civil order and it does not give the abuser a criminal record.

2. Who can get a restraining order? A victim of domestic violence can obtain a restraining order. A victim of domestic abuse means a person protected by the law and shall include any person who has been subjected to domestic abuse by a spouse, or any other person who is a present or former household member and where the victim is 18 years of age or older or who is an emancipated minor.

3. What does a restraining order do? If you are a victim of domestic violence, a judge can sign an order that requires the abuser to obey the court. The protective order is very specific in as far as what the abuser can and can’t do.

  • The abuser can be ordered not to have any contact with you, in person or by phone, text or emails at home, work, or almost anywhere you ask the court to put in the order.
  • The court can order the abuser to leave the house or apartment that you and the abuser share; even if it is in the abuser’s name.
  • Except in unusual situations, the court may grant you custody of your minor children. In some states, the court can also order the abuser to pay child support and support for you. The abuser may also be granted visitation with the child/children under certain conditions. If the children are in danger of abuse, let the judge know.
  • In some states the court may also order the abuser to pay for costs that resulted from the abuse, for example; household bills that are due right away, medical/dental treatment, moving expenses, loss of earnings. The judge can also make the abuser pay your attorney’s fees, and can make the abuser pay damages to you or other people that helped you or got hurt by the abuser.
  • The judge may order the abuser to receive professional domestic violence counseling.
  • The judge can order the police to escort the abuser to remove personal items from the residence, or shared place of business so that you are protected by the police during any necessary contact.
  • The judge has the power under the law to order anything else that will help to protect you, as long as you agree to it.

If you need an order of protection in Scottsdale Arizona, Canterbury Law Group can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. 480-744-7711.

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Child Custody During Summer Months

Canterbury Law Group handles various family law matters, including divorce and child custody. Family law is a complex legal area requiring measured and detailed strategy and execution as well as constant upkeep. If you have children with an ex, it’s time to consider future summer vacations and your custody agreement. At Canterbury Law Group, we have many ways to help you keep the legal peace with your ex and enjoy a great summer vacation with your kids.

1. Set Up a Vacation Schedule, And Stick to It. With the kids off from school, there’s plenty of time to plan for vacations and trips. However, it is essential to discuss you plans with your ex. It is typically beneficial to create a vacation schedule with your child custody lawyer, have your ex sign off on it and submit it to a family court judge. By doing this, both parties are clear on where the kids will be and it’s in writing with the court.

2. Be Sure You Don’t Violate Your Custody Agreement. Often, custody and / or visitation agreements have geographical limits, such as your kids can’t leave the state or country. If you’re planning a summer vacation abroad, you may need to have your agreement modified. If you and your ex have already created a vacation plan, it shouldn’t be too difficult to have your ex agree to a custody modification that allows for travel.

3. Use Open Communication. If you have to alter your vacation schedule, notify your ex spouse immediately. In fact, it is always a good idea to notify the other parent of your vacation plans or any change in plans. If you do not inform your ex of your travel plans, be prepared for possible legal action against you. The courts will want a detailed explanation as to why you wouldn’t give up the information and a judge will typically order a parent to divulge vacation plans for safety reasons.

4. Let Kids Communicate With Your Ex While on Vacation. Summer vacation doesn’t mean a communication ban from the other parent. Video calls with Face time or Skype may be a great way to allow your ex “virtual visitation”.

If you need assistance with modifying your child custody agreement for the summer, call us today to schedule a consultation. 480-744-7711. www.canterburylawgroup.com

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Criminal Conduct May Lead to Losing Marital Property

Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico and Washington are community property states, meaning assets acquired during the marriage are typically divided equally when a couple divorces. However, this is commonly misinterpreted in that both parties must be awarded 50/50 on all community property and debts acquired during the marriage. This is not necessarily the case.

“Arizona divorce judges have the unfettered discretion to “equitably” allocate the martial estate as the judge deems warranted in any divorce case brought before him or her,” says Craig Cherney of Canterbury Law Group.

A recent case in New York is making headlines because the judge found that the husband’s criminal misconduct against the wife was sufficiently egregious to justify stripping him of all rights to the martial estate and awarding 100% of the property to the victim (wife.) “The same can happen in your case, if there is egregious or criminal conduct by one spouse against the other,” says Craig Cherney.

More About the Case at Hand

A man serving 40 years in state prison for raping his wife is not entitled to share her pension or any other marital asset in their divorce, a Brooklyn judge has determined.

State Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Sunshine said the 2011 rape and other acts of violence and abuse by “Terrance T.” represent a rare instance where “egregious conduct” by one spouse toward another exempts the offending spouse from receiving any share of assets under equitable distribution.
Sunshine wrote that in a “civilized society,” the behavior of Terrance T. must be considered a bar under state Domestic Relations Law §236(B)(5) and §236(B)(6) to his receiving any marital assets from wife “Alice M.”

“The plaintiff, despite all she endured, compounded by the defendant’s steadfast attempt to interfere in her desire to move on, has displayed both courage and perseverance beyond what any human being should have to endure, and so is noted by this court,” Sunshine wrote in Alice M. v. Terrance T., 2015 NY Slip Op 51913(U).

To read more visit http://www.newyorklawjournal.com/id=1202746302596/Judge-Denies-Inmates-Bid-for-Marital-Assets-in-Divorce#ixzz3wsqARTwU

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Shared Holiday Time After Divorce

Divorced families with children may face some hardships during the holiday season because of parental custody and shared holiday time. At Canterbury Law Group, our Scottsdale divorce attorneys help navigate the difficult custody process with the ultimate goal to make the situation as clean as possible for everyone involved, especially the kids.

Here are some common ways that parents divide and share holiday time:

  • Alternate holidays every other year. You can assign holidays to each parent for even years and then swap the holidays in odd years. With this arrangement, you won’t miss spending a holiday with your child more than one year in a row.
  • Split the holiday in half. You can split the day of the holiday so that your child spends part of the day with each parent. This arrangement requires planning and coordination because you don’t want your child to spend holidays traveling all day.
  • Schedule a holiday twice. You can schedule time for each parent to celebrate a holiday with your child. For example, one parent can celebrate Christmas with the child on Dec. 23th and the other parent on the 25th.
  • Assign fixed holidays. You can have each parent celebrate the same holidays with the child every year. If parents have different holidays that they think are important, each parent can have those holidays every year.

Some holidays have special considerations because both parents usually want to spend time with the child on or near the holiday. We have the following recommendations for such situations.

  • Your child’s birthday: You can schedule a short visit for the parent who doesn’t have the child on the birthday, give both parents birthday time in the schedule, or the parents can alternate having the birthday.
  • 3 day weekend holidays: These holidays include Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. Parents can alternate the 3 day weekends, split the weekends, or give the Monday holiday to the parent who already has the weekend.
  • Mother’s Day and Father’s Day: Usually your child spends every Mother’s Day with the mother and every Father’s Day with the father.
  • Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving weekend: One parent can have Thanksgiving Day and the other parent can have the weekend, you can give both parents time on Thanksgiving and on the weekend, or parents can alternate having Thanksgiving and the weekend.
  • The Christmas holiday season: One parent can have Christmas Eve and the other parent can have Christmas Day, one parent can have Christmas and the other parent can have winter break, you can make New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day into one holiday and the parents alternate having it.
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Written by Canterbury Law Group

Obtaining Your Legal Time Off

At Canterbury Law Group, we receive many seasonal calls regarding employees and time off. Under federal law, an employer typically cannot make work-related decisions based upon an employee’s religion. Therefore, an employer has to give its workers some time off from work to exercise their religion and celebrate holidays. Employers may face crucial legal problems for refusing time off.

Example – There are many religious-based holidays that may interrupt the usual work schedule. Popular holidays are Christmas and Chanukah, and many employees find it easy to enjoy these days. However, sometimes, an employer doesn’t agree with a certain religion or holiday, which becomes a problem.

Recently, a former sales manager of a Bath and Body Works store in Connecticut filed a discrimination lawsuit under Title VII. She claims she was terminated because she took vacation time to celebrate the Wiccan New Year. According to lawsuit, her previous management at the company allowed her to use her vacation time for this holiday for the last six years, but new management opposed. The employee claims she was directed that she would need a new career if she took the time off. When she returned, she was immediately terminated. The employee is suing for back pay and other money damages.

The Law – Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII) is the major federal discrimination law. This means that it is illegal for employers to treat workers differently because of certain characteristics, such as sex and race. It also bars discrimination based upon religion. Therefore, employers can’t make it harder for employees of a certain religion to get hired and / or promoted or give them better or worse working hours than workers of other religions. They also can’t terminate workers based upon their religious beliefs.

Violating Title VII may bring large fines and other costs associated with the case. An employee who is improperly refused time off or fired because of his religion may be able to get his job back and get paid for the time he was out of work.

Use Caution – Employers need to be careful when it comes to refusing time off for religious-based holidays. Vacation time can’t be refused simply because the employer doesn’t believe in the holiday or religion. However, legitimate business reasons are another story. For a retailer, the holidays may be the busiest time of the year, and so a full workforce may be required. A holiday may also happen to fall at a time when a large project needs to be completed. In these situations, it is possible to limit an employee’s time off.

If you are an employee or employer and have questions about legal time off, call us today to schedule your consultation at 480-744-7711

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Written by Canterbury Law Group

5 Tips to Make the Holidays Brighter for Divorced Families

The law team at Canterbury Law Group realize that managing separation and divorce often feels magnified as the holiday season approaches. Many people feel overwhelmed by the stress and strain of trying to maintain the status quo, when in reality, their entire world seems to be collapsing. The Holiday season serves as a constant reminder of past festive and happier times and is contrasted by the current feelings of loneliness and despair.

Although there are no overnight solutions to cure holiday blues, there are steps you can take to help the season be merrier.

  • 1. PLAN AHEAD – Schedule fun and stress-free events with your loved ones. If the holidays tend to be too painful and the divorce reminders are everywhere, consider an out of state vacation that allows you to “escape” the painful triggers.
  • 2. ESTABLISH NEW FAMILY TRADITIONS – While you may want to maintain some of the past traditions, it’s a good idea to create new rituals with family and friends.
  • 3. REASSURE KIDS THAT THEIR HOLIDAYS WILL CONTINUE, BUT IN A NEW WAY – Rather than focusing on the sad elements, get your kids excited about the new traditions. Be sure to let your children have part in what your family will do to celebrate. And now, they get “two” holidays each season (one with Mom and one with Dad).
  • 4. ASK IF YOU ARE ACTING “IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD” – Decide in advance how the holiday time will be divided. Reassure your kids that you will be OK while they are with the other parent. Keep the arrangements as simple as possible.
  • 5. MAKE A SCHEDULE – Make a list of everything you need to do for the holidays and a target date to accomplish your goals. This will help you to feel more in control and less stressed.
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