Three Ways An Uncontested Divorce Is Different From A Contested Case

It might be hard to believe, but not every divorce case is contested. There are those couples out there who are able to agree on all of the issues in their case without conflict, and when that happens the path to divorce is much different than it is for a couple is not able to reach an agreement; on any issue. If you are able to come to terms with your ex without fighting, we recommend that you take the steps necessary to reach an agreement and then make sure your rights have not been compromised by having a qualified family law attorney review the details. It is always in your best interest to have a skilled legal professional make sure all of the I’s have been dotted and T’s crossed, even if you believe your ex engaged in fair dealing with you over the course of your negotiations.

What you can hope to gain by having competent counsel on your side, even in an uncontested case are these three things, which can be noticeably absent in a hotly contested divorce case:

  • A faster resolution to your case.
  • Less stress and emotional turmoil throughout the pendency of your action.
  • The possibility that you may not have to appear in Court or that your Court appearances are limited in scope and frequency.

We understand that not everyone is able to come to an agreement on all of the things necessary for a final divorce decree to be entered, and are here to advocate for you. But if you are able to work out the details on some of the issues, you will find that your divorce experience is not as terrible as what you may have originally imagined. If you are able to talk civilly with your spouse about how to divide property and other issues such as child custody and visitation you will have a leg up when you place your case before an attorney for analysis. For more information about divorce, both uncontested and contested, call our office. Let us put our experience to work for you today.
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 Divorce Impacts Your Health

Divorce has an impact on more than just your living arrangements. All aspects of your life can be impacted by a divorce, from your finances to your job, to your health. Coming out of a divorce with your health and emotions unaffected is an admirable goal. When you are healthy, job performance is at a peak and the way you interact with your children, friends, and family is positive. Thus, it is important to know what impact divorce has on your health.

A report on some of the current divorce trends and where the future of divorce lies explores this interesting topic. Here are some of the results:

  • The negative effects, socially and emotionally, divorce causes results in a higher mortality rate; at 23% more!
  • While this figure shows the majority of people cope well with the end of their marriage or relationship, a small percentage (10-15%) significantly struggle.

The study revealed more information is needed in the areas of genetics, social behaviors, and the role outside parties play is needed to accurately predict possible future impacts on health conditions due to divorce. For now, the answer lies in counseling and therapy, as well as a divorce proceeding that is not hotly contested. When you are in the middle of a contentious divorce, the health consequences include stress and anxiety. These conditions can lead to elevated blood pressure and the possibility of severe depression. In order to properly care for your children, and to take care of yourself it is critical to take deep breaths and let a professional help you. We can help ease the burden of divorce by handling the legal aspects and making sure the results are equitable, which leaves you free to focus on what matters most; your family.

For more information about 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.

5 Things Not to Do During Your Divorce

Avoid making these mistakes as you are moving through the divorce process.

Getting pregnant. Having a baby with your spouse or anyone else will infinitely complicate not only your life, but your divorce.

  1. Refusing to see a therapist. There are lots of ways a therapist might be useful in your divorce. If either of you are on the fence about the divorce, marriage counseling can help you find clarity. A therapist can help you deal with the difficult emotions and decisions you face. A therapist can also be a crucial way to help your children find their way through the divorce.
  2. Making big purchases. Finances are an important issue in your divorce and most people find that divorce puts a bit of a squeeze on their wallet as they adjust to a new household budget. This is not the time to buy a brand new car, plan an expensive vacation, or buy an engagement ring for your new fiancé. Wait till things settle down and you have a good understanding of your new financial situation.
  3. Refusing to ask for what you are entitled to. Some people want a complete break with their spouse and don’t want to take any money from them in the future through child or spousal support. While it is understanding to want no financial ties, giving up these payments can cause you to struggle for many years to come.
  4. Keeping facts from your lawyer. To get the best representation possible, you need to be completely honest with your attorney. Everything you say is confidential and getting all the facts on the table will help you make the best decisions possible.

The Sampair Group provides divorce representation in Maricopa County, Arizona. Our attorneys offer years of experience and a welcoming attitude. Contact us today for an appointment.

Financial Impact of Divorce on Women

Divorce creates financial challenges for men and women. Anyone going through a divorce knows that it challenges your bottom line. However, a recent government study has shown that divorce hits women harder financially than men. The statistics show that a man’s household income falls 20% on average after a divorce, but for women the decline in household income after divorce is 41% on average, more than double the impact on men.

If you are a women, this can sound devastating. Protect yourself in the following ways:

  • Ask for child support and spousal support. Some women feel uncomfortable asking because they feel it makes them dependent on their ex at a time when all they want is to move forward alone. Child support and alimony are crucial in rebuilding your financial life. Talk with your attorney about what you are entitled to.
  • Think about retirement now. Retirement assets are marital assets and you should make sure you get your fair share. Many women choose to take more liquid assets, but if you don’t start planning for your future now, you may never accumulate what you really need to retire comfortably. You also need to think about developing your own savings plan moving forward. Talk to a financial planner to create a sensible strategy.
  • Get what is owed to you. Make sure you actually get everything your divorce decree entitles you to, from furniture to lawn tools. If your ex doesn’t pay spousal support or child support on time, hold him or her accountable in court. If your ex is supposed to provide health insurance or pay for school expenses for your child, make sure it happens. Yes, it’s challenging to keep track of payments and upsetting to have to go back to court, but it’s the only way to ensure your rights are protected.

For help with your divorce or post-divorce modifications, contact the Sampair Group.

Additional Expenses and Child Support

Child support in Arizona is calculated using a formula that takes income and the number of children into consideration. There are additional adjustments that can be made to this amount before it is finalized.

The order must take into account how the parents share time with their child and reduce the amount of child support by the total number of days the non-custodial parent has the child within one year. This recognizes that when the child is with the non-custodial parent, that parent is meeting the child’s needs.

The order must include coverage for the child’s medical, dental, and vision coverage, which can be prorated based on the number of family members on the plan.

There are a number of additional expenses that child support orders may include and these include:

  • Childcare costs. The court will consider the federal child care tax for which the custodial parent is eligible. Childcare expenses must be reasonable in light of the parents’ financial situations (so, for example, a full-time nanny for parents who earn minimum wage would not be appropriate).
  • Education expenses. The court may include the reasonable and necessary costs of sending the child to public or private school, if the parents agree about the decision.
  • Extraordinary child costs. Children who are gifted or disabled often require additional services, and the court can add these costs to the order.
  • Older children. Arizona recognizes that older children usually require more expenditures as they become involved in extra-curricular activities, sports teams, and music education. Child support for children age 12 or older can be increased by 10% in response to these costs.
  • Travel expenses. If you and your ex live more than 100 miles apart, the cost of traveling to and from visitation or transfers can be added to child support.

The Sampair Group represents men and women in child support in Maricopa County. We understand how important having child support set correctly is for you and are committed to making the best case possible. Make an appointment with us today.

Is Divorce About Winning?

If you are just getting started on the path to a divorce, you may feel as if there will be a winner and a loser in the end. The good news is this doesn’t have to be the case. While there are a lot of emotions and even animosity surrounding a divorce and what the changes it represents, it isn’t about winning. It may be difficult to work together, but when two people can work together toward a common goal, the outcome is more likely to be agreeable and fair to both parties.

Common Goals

For the most part, especially if there are children involved, you both likely want the same things. For instance, you want your children to be able to spend time with you and enjoy the same quality of life they previously had. It can be beneficial if you can both sit down together and go over what your goals are so you can focus on them. When you have children involved in a divorce, it’s important to keep their health and emotional well-being in mind first and foremost. If you can both focus on that same common goal, you are much more likely to feel as if everyone has gotten what they wanted and will be able to adjust.

Protect Yourself

While it’s important to make sure the final outcome of the divorce is as fair as possible to everyone, it’s also critical to protect yourself in the process. A divorce will have an impact on many aspects of your life, including finances, lifestyle and the family dynamic. It isn’t just about reaching an agreement that will be suitable for both people now. It’s also important to think about the future and how these decisions will impact you and the rest of the family later in life. It’s important to keep things as civil as possible to protect your interactions later and reduce the amount of animosity between the two of you. However, this isn’t to say you shouldn’t fight hard for the things you really believe are rightfully yours. It does mean you should think carefully and pick your battles to avoid creating problems where they don’t need to be.

Competition Is Harmful to the Kids

Your kids need to be your first priority when it comes to the divorce process. If you are so focused on beating out your soon-to-be ex-spouse, your children will lose every time, regardless of which parent “wins.” Even if you keep your arguments out of the hearing and sight of your children, they will still pick up on the tensions and it will have an impact on their emotional well-being. They may feel as if they must choose sides and they aren’t likely to be prepared for that. In fact, it can cause some serious long-term effects that will require therapy to resolve and could even have an impact on your relationship with your children for the rest of their lives.

Avoid Court

When most people think of going to court, it typically doesn’t sound appealing. Not only is it a time-consuming process that will likely require you to take time off work, but it means you lose control of all of the decisions that will be made. If you don’t agree to things and put it before a judge, he or she will have the ability to make any decisions possible. While they are certainly looking out for the best interest of the children, odds are neither of you will be particularly happy about the outcome. For this reason, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of going to court to help you decide if it truly is the best solution to your issues.

No two divorce cases are alike, but in most situations, it’s best to decide things together and not make it into a situation where you feel as if you must win. While there are certainly cases that are best presented before a judge, many divorce cases can be more smoothly resolved when both parties decide to work together toward a common end goal.

Coping With the Other Parent’s New Relationship

Most people who divorce or go through a custody case at some point move on and enter into new relationships. As a parent, you may have concerns about how your ex’s new relationship is going to affect your children. It’s important to remember that in most cases, the new relationship just takes some adjustment and is usually not detrimental to your children. The best way to handle a new relationship is to set up some ground rules before either you or your ex get involved with anyone new.

–          Agree to wait to introduce your children to new love interests until the relationship is serious. It can be confusing and upsetting for children to meet a variety of dates. Waiting until the relationship has become serious also means the new partner has a vested interest in developing a healthy relationship with your kids.

–          Discuss overnights with each other. Some parents are comfortable with new partners staying overnight when children are in the home. Others are not. It’s important to discuss this before it becomes a problem. You may end up agreeing to disagree, but it is still worth having the conversation.

–          Agree to keep “Mom” and “Dad” names exclusive. If either of you should ever remarry or enter into a long-term committed relationship, it can be helpful to have an existing agreement that your child will never call a stepparent or live-in partner by your parenting names. It might seem inconceivable to you now, but if you ex remarries someone with children, there can be a tendency to encourage everyone in the house to call the stepparent by the same name.

Call the Sampair Group to discuss your child custody case. We are located in Maricopa County, Arizona and are ready to work with you. Make an appointment today.

How Divorce Impacts Immigration

The United States is full of residents that are allowed to live here because they are married to a U.S. citizen. With the national spotlight on issues of immigration, and our State’s close proximity to the border, it is important to understand how immigration status might be impacted by divorce. Specifically, what happens to the immigrant when he or she is divorced from a citizen? Will the non-citizen have to leave the Country, and if so what happens to the kids? The concern is real, and the following summarizes some of the common issues that arise in cases where one party is not a U.S. citizen.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) monitors residents that are not also citizens. Some of the concerns about marriage between a citizen and non-citizen are:

● Was the marriage solely so the non-citizen could remain in the Country?

● Is the couple living together?

● Were any children born of the marriage?

Once married, a non-citizen can begin the process of petitioning for citizenship. When divorce is imminent though, this may all change. The authorities may review the legitimacy of the marriage and thus the ability of the non-citizen to gain citizenship. If there are children involved your entire strategy may need an overhaul. For competent representation in this type of special case, contact a qualified family law attorney.

For more information about divorce and immigration, 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.

Termination Of Parental Rights

Sometimes an unfortunate consequence of some divorces is that one of the parents becomes absent. In some instances there is a parent that decides not to take an active role in the life of their child after divorce. When that happens the remaining parent may seek to have the parental rights terminated. Doing so is a serious undertaking and is not an issue the Courts ever take lightly. Termination of parental rights can have severe consequences for the remaining parent, so it should not be done unless there is complete certainty in the decision to take this step.

When the following factors are present in your situation you can seek to have parental rights terminated:

● The other parent has abandoned the child meaning that that parent has not provided reasonable support or maintained regular contact with the child..

● The other parent is unable to perform parental responsibilities because of mental illness, substance abuse or any other reason and there is evidence that the problem will continue for an indefinite period.

●  The other parent is deprived of civil liberties as the result of a felony conviction for a crime which is of a nature as to prove that parent’s unfitness as a parent.

● The parents have relinquished their rights to a child to an agency or have consented to adoption.

We have helped others through this difficult process and can help you too. A careful examination of the facts of your case is required in order to present the best evidence to the Court. Making sure your child is protected from harmful situations and has a safe place to live is one of the most important aspects of any family law matter. Doing what is in the best interests of your child and what works best for your family is our goal. We work with you to develop strategies that get you to workable solutions.

For more information about the important issue of seeking to terminate parental rights, 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.

Who Gets The Family Pet?

For some couples, their pets are their children. There are just as many households that count their “fur babies” as well as their biological offspring as children. When a couple with strong bonds to their pets gets divorced, the issue of “pet custody” arises. It may sound absurd, but this can be one of the most litigated areas of a divorce case. Sometimes pets are used as leverage to get other things in a divorce, but in most cases the desire to keep possession of Fluffy is very real.

The law considers pets personal property, and so treats them as such during a divorce. But, a growing number of Courts are beginning to recognize the importance of the family pet, and are making decisions based on factors not typically considered when dividing property. Some of the issues considered when custody of a pet is placed before the Judge includes:

● Which party provides the bulk of the care for the pet, such as taking the pet on walks and cleaning up after potty time.

● Whether there are children in the home, and, if so whether the animal has formed an attachment with the kids.

● Which party is in the best position to provide food, shelter, and any medical needs that may arise.

We understand the emotional attachment to pets, and also how your children can be affected when a pet is no longer in the home. Perhaps the best explanation as to why Courts consider typically “human” elements, such as who is close to the pet, when deciding pet custody issues is that the decision impacts family members as well. Because the Courts consider the best interest of your children when making decisions about child custody, it is possible that an issue about pet custody overlaps. Let our trained family law professionals help you resolve all of the issues of your divorce, including what happens to the family pet.

For answers to your questions about pets and divorce, consult our office. Put our valuable experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.