How Divorce Impacts Your Credit Score

Divorce is mainly comprised of financial transactions. Dividing assets and debts and setting up spousal and child support payments all are about money and as such they can all have an impact on your credit score.

Getting divorced by itself does not have a direct impact on your credit score, however the financial arrangements created by the divorce can impact it. For example, if you and your spouse have a joint credit card account and your spouse is ordered by the court to pay the debt and does not, you are still financially liable for that account and the lack of payment will appear on your credit report and negatively impact your credit score. Mortgages are another common way your credit score can be affected. The court could order your ex to be fully responsible for the mortgage. However, there is no easy way to get your name off that loan. If your ex doesn’t pay, your credit score will be negatively affected.

To protect your credit score, close all joint accounts as soon as possible, or at least freeze them so no further charges can be added to them. Remaining balances on joint credit cards can be transferred to sole accounts, but the court will need to order your ex to do this if he or she is unwilling. The best way to get your name off a mortgage is for your ex to refinance the mortgage into his or her own name.

Check your credit report every six months during your divorce and in the year after your divorce. Look for inaccuracies such as accounts that have been paid in full or closed still listed as active. Get a free credit report from annualcreditreport.com.

The Sampair Group provides experienced representation in all types of family law cases in in the Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix areas of Arizona. Call our office today to discuss your case.

Handling Your Stress Through a Divorce

One of the most stressful experiences a person can go through is a divorce. It’s not what you expected to happen and suddenly you find yourself heading to court. This turbulent time requires you to have coping skills that will help you confidently get through court proceedings while keeping your stress level manageable.

Not only will you feel better during the divorce proceedings when you manage stress, you will also have a chance to help determine the outcome of the case. A divorce can take anywhere from six months to two years or longer. During this time, you need to be on top of your game. If you haven’t started hitting the gym, now is the time. Exercise is proven to help reduce stress, which is turn helps you get control over your negative thoughts and emotions. It’s also important to understand the court proceedings before they happen, as well as all your options. For example, you can opt for mediation rather than going to court to help expedite the divorce and manage stress at the same time.

Read on to learn about some more tips and strategies to manage your stress during a divorce.

Prioritize your Health

To present the best possible you, especially during proceedings that include child custody, you need to prioritize your mental, physical, and emotional health. You need to be calm and cool at all times, especially when under pressure. You will need to make important decisions that will affect the rest of your life and your children’s lives. Avoid substance abuse. Self-medicating may seem to help stress at the moment, but it will drag you down and you’ll end up feeling more stress and anxiety than you previously felt. If you have a weakness for alcohol or drugs, seek professional support to help you through this time.

Ask for Help

The household still needs to be managed during a divorce. There’s laundry, housecleaning, grocery shopping, extra-curricular activities, homework, and plenty of other things that need to be done. When you’re going through a divorce and it’s only you to get these things done, your stress level will go up. That’s why it’s important to ask friends and family for help during this difficult time. Reach out to neighbors, friends, coworkers, church members, and anyone else you can think of to help keep routines and life going as normally as possible.

Create a Budget

Suddenly, your household budget is cut in half  and you have the added expense of divorce hanging over your head. You’ll need to pay for attorneys, child custody evaluators, private mediators, or any other professionals involved in the case. The judge can also order temporary spousal maintenance or child support. Additionally, the court can order one or both spouses to handle the bills, including the mortgage, electricity, and more. To keep your household financially healthy, create a monthly budget that includes basic living expenses, such as rent, food, telephone, utility bills, vehicle expenses, internet, and other expenses. Money is going to be tight, so be conservative with your spending. Divorce is stressful enough without having to be chased by creditors or having to declare bankruptcy.

Hurtful Testimony? Stay Composed

Your spouse or someone else may testify against you in a negative light, however, you must keep your composure during these testimonies. If you were to exhibit and uncontrolled outburst, this will look bad to the judge and undermine your custody dispute. Instead, leave it to your attorney to handle the matter in the right way. This will help determine the outcome of the case.

Have a Plan

If there is the possibility of domestic violence occurring during the divorce and/or child custody hearings, it’s important to have a plan to keep you and your family safe. If you believe there is a threat, consider an order of protection. Your attorney will help you obtain this. You may also want to consider staying with family or friends or moving to a new home, if possible.

Work with a Reputable Attorney

You need someone on your team to help be your voice during this stressful time. Someone to guide and support you. At The Sampair Group, we have handled hundreds of divorce cases, and we can handle yours, too. To help minimize the stress of a divorce, you need the right attorney. Give our team a call today at 6234-777-3926.

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.

 

 

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.

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.

The Benefit Of Therapy During Divorce

There are few things in life more stressful than getting a divorce. Your entire world changes when you get divorced, and taking back control of your life can seem like an impossible task. For many, the help of a trained counselor or therapist is necessary. When professional help is given, the benefits are immeasurable and your entire family reaps the rewards. Once you have put yourself in a position to move forward, your kids and loved ones begin to see the positive impact of therapy during a divorce.

Every case is different, with its own set of unique facts. This means that what you need from a therapist is much different than what any other person needs. While the results are different for everyone, some of the most common benefits of therapy during divorce include:

  • Giving you the tools necessary to establish and maintain healthy boundaries you’re your ex-spouse.
  • Learning how to deal with feelings of depression, remorse, and anxiety.
  • Helping you to avoid unhealthy emotional responses, such as drinking or gambling.

It is important to choose the right counselor, because the way you interact with your therapist is critical. You must feel comfortable enough to be completely honest, and give yourself the freedom to talk openly. Divorce might be the end of your marriage, but it is not the end of your relationship with your children and you can move forward towards a bright future. Being able to put your needs first will help you be a better parent, friend, and employee. When you are emotionally happy and healthy, being able to handle the stress of unpleasant situations becomes a little easier. We work hard to make sure you understand how the divorce process impacts your state of mind, and how you can learn to face the end of your marriage without emotional fallout. Call us today for more information.

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.

Five Things The Court Considers When Awarding Spousal Support

When a marriage ends, each spouse deserves a fresh start. It is hard to get this start if you do not have the financial ability to support yourself or your children. Asking for spousal support (often times referred to as alimony) is one way to help you find your financial footing, and live an independent life. In order for the Court to determine if support is appropriate, and in what amount, several factors are taken into consideration. It is important to understand what the Court reviews, so your case can be prepared with evidence that is favorable to your request, whether you are seeking support or are the one being asked to pay.

The Court determines spousal maintenance by reviewing certain criteria and asking questions about the case, such as the following:

  • Is there a possibility for the spouse who is asking for support to support themselves without aid?
  • What type of lifestyle are the parties used to living? After a divorce, the parties are entitled to enjoy a similar lifestyle, which may require financial support from one spouse to the other.
  • Are there any educational needs that must be met prior to the spouse asking for support being able to support themselves?
  • What is the income of each party, and how does it differ? This includes looking at whether one of the spouses stayed home in order that the other further their career, and how the income of each party was impacted by this decision.
  • How long were the parties married?

If you have other factors that are not included in the above, the Court will listen to those as well. Once a decision is made it will be either for a set amount to be paid monthly or a lump sum to be paid all at once. If you are awarded monthly payments, the Court will also fix and end date to the payments. Our goal is to help you reach results that meet your needs, and the needs of your family. Call us today to find out what to expect when seeking spousal support, or when being asked to pay alimony.

For more information about divorce and spousal support, 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 Ways to Get Over Your Divorce

It takes time to recover from a divorce. Even though the legal papers may be signed and finalized, it may take longer for you to feel as though you’ve really worked through all of the emotions involved in the divorce. Here are some ways to help you move forward.

  1. Write a letter to your ex. Detail every single thing he or she did wrong. Spill out all the blame and pent up emotions. Rant, rave, and say everything you’ve held inside all these months. Then delete it. DO NOT SEND IT. Pouring out all of these feelings and giving them words will help you process how you feel and move past it. There is nothing to be gained by giving the letter to your ex and in fact doing so would probably make things worse.
  2. Forgive yourself. Deep inside you might be blaming yourself for the end of your marriage, or for actions you took during the divorce. It’s over and it’s time to grant yourself immunity. You did the best you could at the time and you’re moving on.
  3. Make a list of the ways in which your ex was wrong for you. Seeing this list will help you process that the divorce was necessary. It will also help you think about what you really need in a relationship and a partner.
  4. Change your environment. Change up your living space so that it is at least slightly different from the way it was when you were married or while you were going through the divorce. Use this as a signal for a new era in your life.
  5. Smile. Make yourself smile. Studies show that the actual act of smiling makes you feel happier.

When you need a law firm to help you with a divorce or post-decree modifications, the Sampair Group can help. Our attorneys serve the Mesa, Phoenix, and Glendale areas of Arizona. Call us now so we can help you.

5 Signs of Impending Divorce

1. You Think Of Life Without Your Spouse
During marital problems, one or both spouses may have thoughts of how much better life would/could be if they were divorced. If you are constantly thinking about divorce, it’s a sign that you feel stuck and don’t see any solution to your marital problems.

2. Disconnection
If you’re no longer spending time together and you feel relief when your spouse isn’t around, it’s a sign that you have disconnected from each other and are both already disengaged from the marriage.

3. No Conflict Resolution
A lack of effective conflict resolution can be detrimental to a marriage. Not being able to resolve differences without avoiding disagreement and conflict can lead to a loss of respect, which can increase distance and cause withdrawal between spouses.

4. Disaffection
Emotional disengagement is usually accompanied with a lack of affection or complete disappearance of it. If you have separated from each other emotionally, it’s likely that you don’t feel much love for each other.

5. Increased Focus Outside of the Marriage
Once a marriage gets disconnected enough, each spouse will start focusing less on the marriage and more on outside activities. This could include immersing themselves in the lives of their children, working late nights at their career or pouring themselves into future careers.

Going through a divorce is a confusing and stressful time. Contact an experienced Phoenix divorce attorney at The Sampair Group for more information.

Who Can Serve Divorce Papers in Arizona?

If you have filed a motion to open a child support, paternity, or custody case, it’s then your responsibility, rather than the courts, to provide notice to the child’s other parent. Due to the significance of this type of proceeding, it is no shock that there are strict rules related to how the other parent […]