Three Problems With Pro Se Representation In Divorce Cases

Saving money is always a good idea, but there is a time and a place for cutting back on expenses. In order to make sure you do not take a financial misstep when coming up with a budget, you have to categorize your expenses into “needs” versus “wants”. The things you need to sustain a living fall into to “needs” category and include things like food and shelter. On the other hand, the things you can do without on a daily basis should be classified as “wants”. “Wants” include things like your daily coffee run or eating lunch out every day rather than brown bagging from time to time. When it comes to your legal needs, you should be sure and categorize the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney as a need. This is true regardless of the type of case you are involved in, because nearly every legal matter has the possibility to touch several areas of your life.

For family law and divorce cases you will especially want to enlist the services of an experienced attorney rather than try and go it alone. Three problems with representing yourself during divorce include:

  • Without the proper legal training and experience you run the risk of taking a procedural misstep or failing to make a motion at the right time. If you miss a deadline or do not abide by a Court order for lack of understanding, the Judge will not be sympathetic. While the law allows you to represent yourself, you should know that if you make that choice the Court will expect you to be as knowledgeable as a licensed attorney on every aspect of procedure and the law.
  • Representing yourself does not allow you to remain objective, and thus you can become too emotional to make rational decisions about what is best for your case. But an impartial attorney will be able to look at your case without a personal stake in the outcome and offer solutions that make sense.
  • When new legal trends surface you may not be aware of how they are applied to your case. This might cause you to lose out on valuable assets, or to receive less visitation with your kids than the law allows.

Our team works with you to develop your case and is ever mindful of the need to keep fees and costs at a minimum. That said, we do not compromise the level of representation provided and always work towards resolutions that are satisfactory. If you are thinking about divorce, call us to find out what you can expect.
For more information about divorce, contact our office 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.

Three Reasons And Three Things That Can Be Changed After Your Divorce Is Final

When a divorce case is filed, the end result is an Order (or Decree) that resolves all of the issues between the parties. This includes determinations about child custody, child support, visitation, property distribution, and any other issues unique to the case. The idea is that the divorce decree is the final word on the parties’ rights and responsibilities, and there should be no deviation from what is contained in the decree. However, there are instances where a modification is needed, and in order to seek a modification certain evidence must be presented for the Court’s consideration.

The circumstances under which a Divorce Decree can be modified include:

  • A change in circumstances, including a change in income of one of the parties. Most times the requested change in this area is for an increase or decrease in the amount of child support and/or spousal maintenance payments due.
  • A change in employment that impacts healthcare coverage, which would necessitate a request to modify the divorce decree with regard to which parent is responsible for maintaining coverage for the kids.
  • A change in the medical condition of one of the parties, which could mean the need to change custody of the children is needed.

In order to obtain the Court’s approval of a requested change, you will be required to present evidence of how the circumstances of your case have changed. This might include the need to prove that your ex is now making significantly more money, which means your children are entitled to a change in the amount of child support being paid. If you are asking the Court to make a change to the custody order, you will be required to show that the change you seek is in the best interest of your kids. This could mean that you have to provide proof of abuse, or some other harm to your child under the current order.

For more information about divorce, and how to make changes to your divorce decree, contact our office 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.

Do You Need a Social Media Clause in Your Divorce?

As social media takes on a bigger role in our lives, it’s not surprising that it may need to be addressed as part of your divorce.  There are several ways in which social media may need to be incorporated as part of a divorce.

 

Since anything you acquired during marriage is community property, your social media accounts may be included in that and you will want to make sure it is specified that you will each own your own accounts, as well as any content and photos you have used there.

In high conflict divorces, it may be a good idea to agree to a social media gag order, or to ask the judge to impose one. Because social media has such a big impact on professional lives now, having your spouse denigrate you in a public forum can be very damaging. Directing both spouses to refrain from commenting about the divorce or each can be a useful way to begin to defuse a very volatile divorce. It may be necessary to have this directive continue after the divorce has concluded as well.

Social media can also be a problem in a custody case. In this instance while it’s useful to prevent parents from mentioning each other on social media, it may also be necessary to seek an order directing a parent not to post photos of the couple’s children on social media if there are any issues with appropriateness. There may also be privacy concerns for children if their photos are constantly being posted, leading a judge to direct a parent not to publicly post photos.

When you need a law firm that is cutting edge and up to date on current issues in divorce and custody, turn to the Sampair Group in Glendale, Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona. Contact our office today.

 

 

Reduce the Expense of Divorce

Lawyer fees aren’t the only expenses to worry about when you have made the decision to continue with a divorce. It’s difficult to fully understand the cost of divorce until you are actually going through it. Before taking that major step, you should consider all of the financial implications and what you can do to reduce the drastic financial impact that divorce can have on you and your family.

Complexity
If you have no child custody issues and no assets to be split in the divorce, expenses will be reduced. Conflict and a more complex divorce with more issues means spending more money. If you have complex affairs that need to be determined, it would be important to contact a Glendale divorce lawyer for outside help throughout the process.

Conflict Costs More
The amount of conflict in your divorce will affect the cost. Conflict can lead to lack of trust, which results in spouses have difficulty making negotiations. The longer it takes for a couple to come to mutual decisions, the longer it takes for them to present the solutions to a judge, and therefore the longer it takes for the judge to come to a final decision. A high level of conflict means a low level of communication, and in turn it can waste time and money.

Location
The cost of divorce varies from state to state and some cities and states require a certain length of time for legal separation before a couple makes the official decision to begin divorce litigation and making financial settlements. Research your state laws, especially if you and your future ex live in separate states. Look into which state it would be more affordable to file for divorce in.

Type of Divorce
If the conflict and assets involved in the divorce are non-existent, there may be no need to pay for an attorney. Many states allow for do-it-yourself divorce proceedings without the assistance of representation if there are no serious legal conflicts that need to be resolved. If the divorce is uncontested, you may be able to agree on a settlement without the expense of an attorney.

For more assistance with the different ways you can work to reduce costs and conflict in your divorce, contact an experienced Phoenix family law attorney at The Sampair Group.

Celebrating Your Child’s Birthday After Divorce

Your child’s birthday is a day that is important to you, your child, and your ex. Deciding how to share time for your child’s birthday can be done as part of your parenting plan, or it can be something you work out in the future. It is often best to negotiate the birthday when you are working out holiday schedules. There are a lot of options to consider.

You and the other parent could alternate years for your child’s birthday. This would mean that one of you would not see your child on the actual birthday each year.  You and the other parent could also share the day, splitting it in half. It is also possible to share the day, or some of the day, together as a family. If one of you will not see your child on the birthday, you can bridge the physical gap with Skype or phone calls, saving cards and presents for when you can be together in person to celebrate.

How you spend time on your child’s birthday will change as he grows. Children who are elementary aged often have separate parties for friends and for relatives. You may decide that you both want to be present for the friends party. It is common for parents to have separate family parties so members of their own families can celebrate the birthday. Teens may be more interested in when they can be with their friends than when they can be with their parents for their birthdays.

Another issue to consider when it comes to birthdays are expenses. If you are having a child’s party at a venue, you might consider sharing the cost of the party with each other. Some parents give gifts together on birthdays or coordinate with each other to avoid duplicate gifts.

Call the Sampair Group for advice about your divorce or family law in the Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix areas of Arizona. Our attorneys offer compassionate and careful advice. Call us today.

What Is A Default Judgment?

One of the most basic legal concepts is that of due process. What this means is that all parties to a lawsuit are given notice of the action before any decision is made. This requires service of process on every litigant, so that they can enter an appearance in the case and protect their interests. If you fail to respond to a lawsuit, the Court has the authority to enter judgment as requested in the petition. Never rely on a statement from your ex that he/she will be fair or that you have previously agreed upon things and assume that party will follow through in the final Divorce Decree. The failure to respond to a Petition can have very serious and negative consequences. To avoid this harsh consequence, contact a knowledgeable attorney to make sure you answer on time and in full.

In a divorce proceeding, entry of a default judgment for failing to respond to the case can include some results that are undesirable. This might include:

  • Property division awards that give you less than you deserve.
  • An unfair distribution of debt repayment.
  • Child support that does fit your budget, or meet your kids’ needs.
  • Child custody in a way that does not give you the amount of time you want with your kids.

It is not an option to ignore a summons. A thorough review by a competent family law attorney will reveal the deadline by which you must file an answer to the petition. Knowing your answer date puts you in a position to be able to fully develop your responses to the allegations made by the other side, and will give you a chance to file your answer on time. Experienced family law attorneys know how to figure out the answer date in your case and make sure that a harmful default judgment is not taken against you. If you have been served with divorce papers, act quickly to make sure you answer on time.  .

For answers to your questions about divorce processes, 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.

Help Getting Over The Anger Of Divorce

Let’s face it, getting divorced is not fun and can cause a host of emotions. Some of the more common feelings that go along with getting divorced are sadness, a sense of failure, depression, and anger. Any one of these feelings, if they linger too long, can be damaging to your future. In order to have a successful divorce, you have to have a successful post-divorce life. Part of this is done by reaching agreements or making persuasive arguments for what you want during the divorce case. But, part of this also comes from the personal growth that should come after the ink dries your divorce decree.

If you are having overwhelming feelings of anger or resentment after your divorce, these things can help you move past those feelings and put you in a positive mental state:

  • Write down what you are feeling. This is a tactic used by many counselors and therapists, and the goal is to get you to put your feelings down on paper, so you can have a visual reference to what you are feeling. Along with writing down how you feel you should also refer back to those writings with regularity. You might be surprised at how quickly your feeling change, or find a common theme that causes your anger. Once you know what to look for, it will be easier to deal with a situation when it arises.
  • Talk to a trusted friend or professional. Sometimes all a person needs is to vent, and get their feelings off their chest. If you allow yourself to keep your feelings of anger inside, they are likely to come to the surface in an inappropriate or dangerous way.
  • Figure out what causes your anger by looking for reoccurring events. If you know what causes you to become angry, you can avoid similar situations in the future.

Harboring deep feelings of anger or resentment can be damaging to your health, and can cause conflict in the relationships you wish to hold on to after divorce. In order to have a post-divorce life that does not leave you feeling anxious, it is critical to move past any anger you have about the case.

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.

19 Ways To Move On After Divorce…And More

The reality TV watching world was shocked as the summer of 2015 started, when it was revealed wholesome reality star Josh Duggar was the center of a scandal that involved claims he molested underage girls, some of whom are his sisters. The show that made the Duggar name a household term has since been cancelled, but people still can’t seem to get enough of the family. It seemed the world waited with baited breath to find out whether Josh’s wife would file for divorce, and now all the attention has turned to some of the Duggar sisters. This turnabout just goes to show that even in the midst of a storm, there are ways to move forward.

With no divorce pending for Josh and Anna Duggar, the TLC network is set to air a show starring two of Josh’s sisters. Jill and Jessa Duggar are slated to star opposite their husbands on a series that follows these two Duggar sisters and their families. Even though this story does not include a divorce, it does show how to move on after a difficult time in life. It is unlikely that the average citizen would be given this type of opportunity, but there other ways to pick yourself back up after what seems like devastation. Because divorce is seen as a devastating event by some, here are some tips on things you can do to regroup after divorce:

  • Reconnect with old friends.
  • Take a vacation, alone.
  • Discover a new hobby, or restart a hobby given up during marriage.
  • Volunteer your time to a local charity or organization that is in line with your personal beliefs.
  • Redecorate your house, taking care to pack away sentimental items for your kids from your years as a family, but also allowing yourself to start fresh with things suited to your personal taste.
  • Get a pet.

You can also take advice from a trusted friend or family member, or consider going to visit a counselor. Many times a fresh perspective is all you need to help get through a rough patch, and before you know it you are back on your feet. We can help by making sure the terms of your divorce enable you to start fresh, without dependence on your former spouse. For help, call our office today.

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

Can A Prenup Help You Avoid Divorce Court?

The idea of signing a prenuptial agreement is distasteful to some, but can end up helping avoid divorce or significantly altering the path a divorce case takes. Prenuptial agreements can help couples prepare for dissolution by setting forth how assets will be divided, and what debts will be paid by which spouse. If you have substantial financial holdings, knowing what to expect if you divorce can put your mind at ease and allow you to focus on your relationship rather than on your bank balance. For some couples this level of comfort allows them to build a stronger relationship, and in the event the marriage does end it can really help speed up the divorce process.

Case in point is that of celebrity couple Kaley Cuoco and Ryan Sweeting. Reports revealed the pair had what could be considered an “iron clad” prenuptial agreement. The agreement is said to address several key issues, and most importantly the following:

  • Issues of spousal support.
  • Issues of asset and property distribution.

These two issues seem to be the largest sticking points, especially with celebrity couples, who tend to have large bank accounts and multiple properties. When an agreement is clear as to division of assets and property, the guesswork can be removed from the case, making getting to a final resolution a much quicker process. Of course not all agreements are valid, and if you have been asked to sign a prenuptial agreement or are considering presenting one to your betrothed, it is wise to have an experienced family law attorney assist. There are legal requirements that must be in place in order for a prenuptial agreement to be valid, and if any of these requirements are found to be lacking the entire agreement could be disregarded. Perhaps one of the most important requirements is that the parties voluntarily enter the agreement, without coercion or undue influence. If the distribution is blatantly unfair, it might be inferred that one party did not agree to the document willingly. In order to protect your assets and your future, and to give yourself the peace of mind that comes with having a “blueprint” for divorce, call our office for help. We will review your case carefully, and draft documents that protect your interests. Having a solid prenuptial agreement in place will not eliminate the need to appear in Court, but could make the proceeding less intensive and thus get you to a resolution faster.

For answers to your questions about marriage and divorce or to find out if a prenuptial agreement is right for you, consult one of the trained family law professionals in our office. Let us put our valuable experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

 

 

How Divorce Can Impact Your Finances

More than just where you live changes when you file for divorce. Along with establishing two homes for your children and a fair division of property, you also have to figure out a new financial plan for your future. When a couple is married, their finances are usually shared, with expenses for daily living coming out of a joint account. At divorce, this all changes. Financial independence is a big part of divorce, but it goes beyond just standing on your own two feet. There are significant issues that must be addressed regarding your financial plan, and if something gets overlooked it can be difficult to make a change later.

Tips on things you can do to lessen the financial blow divorce deals, take a look at the following suggestions:

  • If it makes more sense to sell an asset you were awarded in the divorce, so that you can avoid using credit to make ends meet, do so now rather than waiting until it is a necessity. The last thing you want after a divorce is to face financial hardship.
  • Be sure to make changes to important financial and estate planning documents, such as bank accounts and your will or trust.
  • If you have a 401(k) or other retirement account, make sure your divorce case makes provision for removing your spouse as the beneficiary. You should take the same steps regarding your life insurance policy.

In order to make sure you are taken care of financially, don’t settle for less than you deserve in your divorce. While the Court will make an award that is fair, you do have the right to advocate  for your interests. Our team of family law attorneys has experience negotiating fair divorce terms, and can also argue your position to the Court. When you are aware of your rights and responsibilities, adjusting to a new financial position is much less painful.  This includes knowing what to expect by way of child support and/or alimony, whether you are on the receiving end or are the one making the payments. Call us today to learn more.

If you have questions about divorce and money, 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.