a-top-10-list-for-a-happy-holiday-even-in-divorce

A Top Ten List For A Happy Holiday, Even In Divorce

After a couple gets divorced, if there are children, their lives are still connected. There will be birthday parties, graduations, weddings, and holidays to share for the rest of their kids’ lives. Some divorced parents are able to pull off these occasions without conflict, while others are not as lucky. For those that are able to come together and continue to share the responsibility for their kids, life is much easier. In the spirit of the holidays, a few tips on how to have a happy holiday, even in divorce is in order.

A few tidbits of advice from a top ten list for making your holidays bright, for yourself and your kids includes the following:

  • Remain flexible, because plans are bound to change. If you are able to “go with the flow”, you will find yourself less stressed and better equipped to handle any disappointment your child may face from a changed schedule.
  • Keep you kids and your ex advised about the plans. When everyone is on the same page, things seem to go smoother. This is especially true if your plans include out of state travel, or the need to be at more than one place on the same day.
  • Avoid trying to “out give” your ex, while the temptation may be great to give your kids a better gift than your ex is able to, most times this tactic backfires. Children, particularly older children, are keenly aware of when their parents are “playing games” with one another and attempts to do so can result in resentment.

If you are giving it your all, yet your ex is particularly difficult, you may need to seek help from a family law professional to make sure your holidays go off without a hitch. In some instances a request for clarification of the holiday schedule is needed, or even an effort to enforce the existing order is required to make sure each parent gets the time they deserve. For help with your holiday visitation schedule, call our office. Our team of experienced family law attorneys will take the steps necessary to make sure the holiday visitation order is clear, and followed by each party.

For more information about divorce, contact us for an appointment today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your initial visit.

how-to-talk-to-your-kids-about-your-parenting-plan

How to Talk to Your Kids About Your Parenting Plan

Once you have a temporary or permanent parenting plan, it’s important to talk with your kids about it so they understand not only what the actual schedule is but the intent behind it.  If at all possible, it’s a good idea to talk to your children together as parents. This sends an important message that even though you are divorced or separated, you are continuing to parent together. This is also a good idea so that you can give your children one cohesive message. If you talk to them separately there will be differences in what you say as well as your tone.

Emphasize that the parenting plan is a way for them to spend lots of time with both of you. Even if you don’t believe it, tell them it is a fair way for everyone to share time. Explain the schedule, using the visual aid of a calendar for younger children. It can help to color each parent’s days a different color.

Remember that the details matter to your kids. They want to know when and where they are being picked up and dropped off. They want to know where they are sleeping. They want to know how this affects their homework, their chores, their sleeping arrangements, their after school activities, their screen time and more. If you don’t have all the details worked out it’s ok. Tell them what you do know and reassure them that you will figure the rest out as a family as you move forward.

Make time for your children to ask questions and be prepared that the questions will pop up at odd times in the coming weeks and months. Do your best to answer honestly without involving them in the conflict between their parents.

The Sampair Group is ready to represent you in your family law matter in Maricopa County. We are sensitive to all of your concerns and work with you throughout the case. Call us today for an appointment.

how-to-keep-peace-during-divorce

How To Keep The Peace During Divorce

Getting divorced stirs up a lot of emotions, and can turn into a hotly contested legal battle. Certain issues generally take center stage, with parties refusing to budge on their position. While it is important to safeguard your children and assets, it is also important to reach a final resolution of your case so you can move forward with your life. When trying to figure out what is best for you, it is not uncommon to look for guidance from friends and family as well as from your family law attorney. And, in an age where athletes and superstars are also seen as role models for many, sometimes it can be helpful to see how a celebrity couple handles the sensitive issues that accompany divorce.

One such couple is Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. The approach being taken by the power couple is to present their case to mediation rather than have it linger at the Courthouse. The Huffington Post reported on the case, and highlighted some of the benefits of keeping the peace while getting divorced as:

  • Avoiding lengthy litigation and the opportunity to “prove” which parent is better helps shield your kids from the negative impact associated with the “name calling” that so often accompanies this type of behavior.
  • Remaining calm helps the parties maintain good health and thus allows them to be better parents to their children.
  • Mediation remains private, which is a huge concern for celebrities.

If this type of forum appeals to you, it is good to know that it is also available to non-celebrity and superstar couples. One way your approach may differ from Ben and Jen’s though is that you should have competent counsel represent you during the process. Stars have a team of advisors at their disposal, and perhaps this is why the couple opted to participate in divorce mediation without the assistance of an attorney. But, for the average couple it is best to have legal representation even in mediation. Having an experienced attorney by your side will give you the comfort of knowing your interests are well-protected, and help ease the burden divorce can cause. We listen to your needs and then develop a plan that is most likely to meet those needs. Call our office today for more information, and for help with your case.

For more information about marriage and divorce, consult a qualified legal professional. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

does-divorce-children

Do Divorced Parents Spell Divorce For The Kids Too?

Some things are just expected, like spotting a Starbucks on every corner. The coffeehouse chain has seemingly taken over the world, at least in the world of coffee and coffee-like whipped drinks. Whether you are a regular or not, there are those that would argue Starbucks is one of the best things to come out of Seattle in a long time. On the other hand, the town is well-known for some other pretty amazing things, like its music history and the band that led the grunge movement, Nirvana. It is no secret the life of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain was cut short by his own hand, and that it happened when his daughter with ex-wife Courtney Love was not even two years old. Ever since the news broke that Cobain had taken his own life, both Love and daughter Frances Bean have been in the spotlight. Part of the hype around the two centered on the tumultuous relationship between Cobain and Love during their short marriage.
While it likely comes as no surprise that Cobain and Love’s marriage lasted just over two years, given their celebrity status, it may also come as no surprise that Frances Bean is now in the middle of her own divorce just 21 months after tying the knot. This news raises a frequent question, whether you are a celebrity or not, and that is whether children of divorce are themselves more likely to get divorced as well. Here are some common schools of thought on the topic:

  • When kids see their parents split, the example that is set has lasting effects. The way you resolve conflict with your spouse during your divorce shapes the way your children view conflict resolution as adults. It is best to set a good example, and behave in a way that you would want to see your kids behave. If you are having difficulty accomplishing this goal, it is perfectly fine to seek the help of a trained counselor or therapist. When you are able to resolve your differences without fighting, your kids will learn that divorce does not have to be a dirty word and that just because their parents ended their marriage, they are not destined for the same ending.
  • Kids are resilient and regardless of how much conflict there is during their parents divorce, it is just as important to maintain a good relationship with your ex after the divorce is final. Just as there are those that encourage amicable resolution and then lives apart after divorce, there is also the thought that being able to include your ex in significate events without fighting is just as important. Showing your kids you can get along with your ex will show them that even though marriages end, friendships and mutual respect can remain. This could help your children when entering relationships of their own, and may allow them to find solutions that do not include divorce.

The truth is that everyone is different, and you have to find ways to work through your divorce case that make sense for you. That said, one of the most important parts of a divorce with kids is finding ways to make sure your children’s lives remain as normal as possible and that the kids are not put in the middle of the case. Our job is to help you reach results that work for you, but that also leave your family emotionally healthy. If you have concerns about how your divorce will impact your kids and their future, call us for answers.

If you have questions about divorce, consult a qualified legal professional. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

three-ways-depression

Three Ways Depression Can Ruin Your Relationship

Let’s face it, not every moment of a romantic relationship is sunshine and flowers. Differences of opinion can lead to heated arguments, and the events of life can sometimes get in the way. But, when you are involved with a person who suffers from a clinical condition, you must work even harder to make your relationship work. One of the most debilitating clinical conditions is that of depression. And, it may be near impossible for a person with this diagnosis to have a healthy relationship.

Three ways depression can ruin your relationship include:

  • With true depression, not just sadness, a person will eventually give up on the things they love. This makes being with a person suffering from this condition hard to be around, and can leave a partner feeling unfulfilled. When both parties to a relationship are not getting the emotional nurturing they need, the relationship will not last.
  • It is hard for a person with depression to explain what is going on for them mentally and emotionally. This makes it hard for their mate to understand the condition, and giving up sometimes seems the easy way out.
  • The natural instinct of most people is to try and help those they love, but with depression the person suffering is unable to appreciate the offer. This can lead to feelings of rejection, which will certainly contribute to the end of any relationship.

The key is to understand this is not a personal attack on you, and sometimes the best thing you can do is to let a person find their own way. It takes patience, which is hard to come by when you are married but not feeling a part of a partnership. It is not our position that you divorce or leave your spouse when serious medical conditions arise, but we do understand the challenges relationships of this type present. And, it is important to keep in mind that the type of depression discussed here is not just a temporary sadness, it is a serious condition that requires medical attention. We can help you to develop a plan for your kids during this time, and help you to take steps to protect your assets. Call us for more information.

For more information about marriage and divorce, call us today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

collaborative divorce in arizona

Collaborative Divorce in Arizona

A collaborative divorce occurs when spouses are able to work out an agreement for the process they would like for their divorce. Couples that decide on a collaborative divorce are ones that wish to negotiate their way to a positive resolution instead of choosing to seek litigation. This kind of divorce minimizes the negative economic, social and emotional consequences that families will often experience during divorce court processes.

The team that accomplishes this goal for each spouse consists of three independent disciplines that work together as a team to integrate the legal, emotional and financial aspects of the issues that are being disputed. This team will consist of a Divorce Lawyer, a Divorce Coach, and a Financial Specialist. If there are children involved in the divorce, a fourth professional called a Child Specialist, will also take part in the process.

Couples that have differing views on issues such as property division, child custody or spousal support can choose to go through a collaborative divorce by also hiring a mediator to assist in resolving these issues.

In the collaborative divorce process, both spouses and their attorneys will sign an agreement that requires the attorneys to withdraw from the case if a settlement is not reached and court litigation is required. Since most collaborative attorneys will not represent clients in divorce court, each spouse may have to find a more adversarial attorney.

Through collaboration, contact between spouses is kept brief and manageable. Once an agreement on all issues is reached, the rest of the process includes simple, legal and uncontested procedures that do not require trial or litigation.

The collaborative divorce can be approached in many ways. The best ways to efficiently go through this process are:

  • you and your spouse can stabilize you situation through mutual agreements
  • you and your spouse exchange all information voluntarily
  • you and your spouse agree on legal procedures that cut down expense and simplify the process
  • you and your spouse negotiate a settlement that works for you
  • you and your spouse come to an agreement on how issues will be handled after the divorce

No matter if you use the collaborative divorce option during the entire divorce or just part of it, it will save couples money and time, and will be much less stressful than emotional and dramatic litigation. Contact a Glendale divorce lawyer at The Sampair Group today for more information.

social media and your divorce

Social Media And Your Divorce

In today’s culture, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media and professional networking sites and applications have become a big part of how people interact with each other. Profiles are constantly being updated with shared information about our lives, jobs, etc. When a husband and wife going through a divorce are sharing this information on social networks without considering the potential consequences, it can be detrimental to the already existing stress that comes with the breakup of a marriage. The divorce process is full of stressors including legal, financial, and emotional battles between both parties, and the use of social media doesn’t make it any easier.

Be careful about who you trust on your social media profiles. Not every “friend” is a friend, and sometimes a message you thought to be private turns out to be public information that can be used against you. When posting on your social networking profiles, keep in mind the mutual friends of you and your former spouse. Some of these friends might be on your side, but some of them can easily turn on you or use information on your profile against you when taking the side of your ex, all because of something you may have posted on Facebook.

Information exchanged via technology such as emails or text messages can possibly be subpoenaed and picked through as admissible evidence in court. In many cases, one or both parties of the divorce process will claim to not have enough money for child support, spousal support, or other payments, but their Facebook profile picture of them with a new boat or on a fancy vacation may prove otherwise. The credibility of any parties that do this can be called into question immediately.

Take a few minutes to reflect on the nature of your social media posts. It would be wise to not post anything on these profiles that you wouldn’t say in person to the whole world. Information on the Internet doesn’t ever just go away immediately if it’s deleted. Exercise caution, discretion and good judgment when updating your profile. Don’t be malicious or talk poorly about your ex, as this information can quickly be used against you.

Have a discussion with your former partner to formulate a sort of social media agreement. Such issues should be addressed like what kind of information should not be posted by either of you, can you post pictures of your kids, etc. Establish one kind of communication between the two of you, such as email, to create a lower risk of impulsive comments on various types of networks. One tweet or wall post can quickly generate irreversible damage and lead to much more conflict in a divorce proceeding than you expected. Many family law attorneys will also recommend to clients that it would be in the best interest of all involved in the divorce to shut down social media profiles at the start of the divorce process.

Divorce is hard enough, and a frequent online presence can cause big problems. It is important to discuss your online presence with a legal professional. Phoenix divorce lawyers at The Sampair Group will help you understand which information is worth protecting as you battle the issues in a divorce process. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

inheritance and divorce

Inheritance and Divorce

When going through a divorce, a big concern for either party may be how it will affect inheritance you have received before and during the marriage. Generally, equitable distribution and community property distribution in divorce cases do not apply to property that a spouse has inherited from a third party during a marriage, as it is considered that spouse’s property alone. However, there are some things both parties should know about how divorce can affect inheritance distribution.

When analyzing the inheritance, the key questions are the size of inheritance, when it was received, how it has been used and the financial needs of the family (both parties and any children) at the time of the divorce. Each case depends on the individual facts and circumstances surrounding the inheritance.

A judge will consider what property a party owns separately, and what can be considered marital property. Marital property will be split equally, whereas separate property will not be split, but can still be shared in certain circumstances.

In deciding the difference of the property ownership, the judge considers how, when, why and under what circumstances the property was received. They will also look at how the property is being held currently (who’s name the property is under). Also considered in the case is what each spouse contributed to the property and how much they each use it. (Example: If the property is in the wife’s name, but the husband is the only one who uses it and maintains it, just as he would if he were a co-owner of the property.)

If inherited assets are held in joint names or used for the benefit of both parties and/or for the family, they will likely be considered joint assets when being divided by the court.

If assets were inherited shortly before the divorce proceedings began, they are less likely to be included in the matrimonial assets for division, depending on if there are other assets in the marriage sufficient enough to meet future needs of the couple or family.

One of the main considerations by a judge is the needs of the family, especially those of minor children. If the only way to meet those needs is by transferring inherited assets or assets deriving from them to the other party, the court will do so.

Inheritances and separate property are very big reasons for why couples should look into prenuptial agreements and always have an experienced Phoenix divorce lawyer on their side. There are many rules that apply to parties dividing property in the event of a divorce or separation case, especially when children are involved. Consult the advice of an experienced attorney at The Sampair Group today to discuss the circumstances of your case and what your legal options are.

make coparenting work

Make Co-Parenting Work

Whether or not you get along with your ex, co-parenting can be difficult and cause tension that may or may not already have existed. Here are some tips to making co-parenting work without hostility, and more importantly, without negatively affecting your child.

  • Don’t criticize the things you cannot control. Learn to accept that your ex’s parenting style or skills may be different than yours. It’s easy to spend a lot of time and energy being aggravated by the things they do or don’t do, but accepting the things you cannot change will save you a great deal of stress, both emotionally and physically. Instead, channel this energy into spending quality time with your children.
  • If you have any angry feelings, keep them to yourself or express them privately to a therapist or close friend. When you are with your kids, do not express your frustrations. Showing the kids you are angry at your ex can cause confusion from the children and can be unhealthy for them to be exposed to. Kids tend to pick up attitudes that you may not realize your expressing.
  • Be sure to cooperate with each other as much as possible to avoid any resentment or argument. Be consistent in your parenting styles by communicating and compromising on ways to punish or reward your child for certain behaviors so that the child doesn’t think they can get away with something with one parent that they may not be able to with another without consequence.
  • When it comes to following a visitation schedule, always be responsible in maintaining the plan of visits. If changes need to be made, discuss it with the other parent in advance.
  • Do not make your children the middle form of communication. Sending messages through your children can hurt the child and confuse them. All communication should only be done between parents.
  • Even if it is your time with the kids, make a point to invite the other parents to events that involve the child, such as sporting events, holiday gatherings and birthday parties. Inform your ex in a timely matter so it doesn’t appear to be a last-minute thought that they weren’t a part of before.

Co-parenting and other elements of child custody cases can be stressful and confusing. An experienced Glendale divorce lawyer at The Sampair Group will look at the unique circumstances of your child custody agreement and work with you to reach the best possible outcome. Contact us today for a free consultation.

termination of parental rights

Termination of Parental Rights

Termination of parental rights permanently ends the legal parent-child relationship. Once these rights are terminated, a child may be adopted without parental consent.

Termination of parental rights may be voluntary, based on the informed consent of the parent, or it may be involuntary, a result of court proceedings brought against the parent.

In Arizona, courts will only involuntarily terminate parental rights in extreme situations, such as the child being in serious emotional or physical danger, and the termination of the parental rights is in the best interest of the child.

A parent is deemed unfit if any of the following conditions apply:

  • Abandonment of the child
  • Sever or chronic abuse or neglect
  • Long-term illness or deficiency of the parent
  • Long-term alcohol or drug induced incapacity of the parent
  • Abuse or neglect of other children in the household
  • Felony conviction or incarceration
  • Failure to establish paternity
  • Murder or manslaughter of a sibling child
  • Felony assault of child or sibling
  • Sexual Abuse
  • Failure of Reasonable Efforts

There are circumstances, however, that are not considered valid grounds for termination. Some parties that have been through a divorce seek to terminate a parent’s rights because they do not pay child support or do not follow the visitation schedule. These are not sufficient grounds for a termination of parent rights proceeding.

If parents decide to place their child or children for adoption, it is considered to be voluntary termination of parental rights.

Under Arizona law, the right to file an action for the termination of parental rights goes to any person or agency with an interest in the welfare of the child. The action can be filed as long as the person taking the action has sufficient grounds to base the claim. The people and agencies that often petition for termination of parental rights are relatives, foster parents, physicians/nurses, Arizona Child Protective Services, and child welfare agencies.

If you are thinking of relinquishing your parent’s rights or have been served with an involuntary termination proceeding order, it is best to get legal advice from a Phoenix Family Law Attorney at the Sampair Group. The experienced child custody attorneys at Sampair represent individuals throughout the valley with locations in Phoenix, Glendale and Mesa.