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.

Dividing Property in an Arizona Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, there’s no question that it can be a difficult process that causes both financial and emotional challenges. These issues often get even more trying if you are unable to come to some type of agreement about the primary issues that need to be resolved – especially the division of your property. Read on to learn more about this here.

Understanding Community Property

According to Arizona law, any debts and assets that are acquired by a married couple from the beginning of their marriage until the divorce paperwork is served is considered community property. This means that each spouse is entitled to receive half.

Technically, there’s no requirement for the court to divide all the property equally. Instead, the court will divide property “equitably” or fairly based on the circumstances. Even with this being the case, unequal divisions are extremely rare. Debt or property that is brought into the marriage by one spouse or funds or assets that are received during the time of the marriage by inheritance or a gift, is the property of that spouse as long as it has been maintained separately.

Even though this seems pretty straightforward, trying to figure out separate property from community property can often present a challenge. In some situations, separate property is converted into community property when the single owner of a home opts to change the title to community property. Also, the community property may obtain an interest in the separate or sold property of one spouse if improvements or mortgage payments are made by both spouses.

How is Marital Property Divided in Arizona?

There are several ways that assets may be divided in Arizona during a divorce. The two people getting divorced can come to an agreement, assigning certain assets to the other person, or even buy out the other’s share. Additionally, they can opt to sell the assets and then divide the proceeds that are earned.

Also, all of the debts that are incurred, which include credit cards, car loans and mortgages have to be assigned to one of the spouses and each of the marital debts needs to be paid off after the divorce has become final.

While the classification of a couple’s property is something that takes place automatically after the couple is married, they do not have to follow the laws of community property if they agree to a post- or pre-marital agreement. This provides that each spouse will maintain their assets separate from the other.

Additionally, there are several exceptions based on Arizona law that require community property to be divided equally. For example, if one spouse’s behavior (i.e. gambling or drug use) wasted the community property.

In the end, due to the complexity related to issues of property division in Arizona divorce cases, one of the best things a person can do is to enlist the services of a divorce attorney. At the Sampair Group we can help ensure that the entire process is handled fairly, regardless of the asset or debt situation that may be present. Contact us today at 623-777-3926.

Good Divorce Decisions Take Time

When you begin the divorce process you most likely want nothing more than to get the case over and done with so that you can move on. The divorce process may seem like it takes a long time and you’re itching to just rip the bandage off and get on with your life. Because you may be anxious to move forward, it can be easy to make quick decisions and then later regret your choices. As you move through your divorce, you will have to make decisions about what you will ask for or settle for when it comes to spousal support, child support, parenting time and decision-making, and property division.  These decisions will impact the rest of your life, so it is very important that you take the time to think them through and decide carefully. Follow these tips to ensure your decisions are good ones.

  • Talk everything over with you lawyer and make sure you understand all the consequences of each decision. Ask about alternatives and always ask what your attorney recommends you do.
  • Take the time to think through all decisions you are presented with. If you want to go home and mull it over, do so. There are times when you may be asked to decide something in a split second, particularly in the midst of courtroom negotiations. If you need more time to think about something, say so.
  • Listen to your common sense. Everyone around you might advise you about the best way to handle something, but in the end you are the one who has to live with it. Do what feels right to you. Most decisions in divorce can be made with knowledge from your lawyer applied to your own common sense.

The Sampair Group is ready to help you work through all of the decisions involved in your divorce or family law case. Schedule an appointment with us in the Glendale, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Phoenix area.

How To Change Your Estate Plan After Divorce

When a couple gets married there are certain things that each spouse relies on from the other. Planning for the future and making sure there are documents in place should something happen to one of you should be at the top of your post-married list, right after sending out the thank you cards for all of the wedding gifts. If you don’t come up with an estate plan right away, it is even more critical that you do so after you have children. It is important to have a written plan for who will care for your minor children and how your property will be disposed in the event you and your spouse die. Of course if you survive your spouse, many of these questions will be answered because as the surviving spouse you will have the responsibility for your children and for handling marital debt and assets. Getting divorced changes all of this, and if you want to make sure your final wishes are carried out you will want to take steps to plan for your estate as a single person.

Three things to be sure you have after getting divorced include:

  • A document that appoints who will be in charge of important medical decisions on your behalf, in the event you become incapacitated and unable to decide for yourself. When you were married the logical person to take on this task was your spouse, but now that you are single again you will want to appoint a trusted friend or family member to fill this role.
  • If you have a will, make sure that you change the beneficiary from your ex-spouse to your children or another person you wish to designate as the one to receive your estate in the event of your death. You should do this for life insurance policies and any retirement accounts as well. And, if you do not have a will, now is the time to get one, or to change a joint will with your former spouse to a will that covers only you.
  • Medical directives, such as a DNR or other document that details what actions you would want to be taken in the event of a life threatening injury or end of life illness.

After you get divorced you have to adjust to your new life, and part of this includes taking steps to make sure your estate plan is in order. It can be easy to forget about these things while in the midst of a divorce, but with our help we will make sure every issue is given the attention it deserves.

For more information about divorce and what changes need to be made to your estate plan, 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.

Making A Prenuptial Agreement Less Painful To Discuss

A prenuptial agreement can come in handy if you decide to end your marriage. A well drafted premarital agreement can provide answers to the most difficult divorce questions, such as asset division and where the kids will live. When you already know how many of the critical issues of a divorce will be resolved, it can make the divorce process less stressful. But, broaching the subject with your soon to be spouse is the hard part. Most people are offended when asked to sign a prenuptial agreement, and feel as though their betrothed does not trust them. This does not always have to be the result; talking about a prenuptial can be easy and it can actually strengthen your marriage.

Some tips on how to discuss the idea of prenuptial with your mate, without making it a painful discussion, include:

  • Keep your cool, rather than taking a defensive stance.
  • If religion is the driving force behind your request for a prenuptial agreement, be sure and make that fact known.
  • Include a premarital agreement in discussions about estate planning, as a way to ensure a sound financial future for you and your spouse.
  • Seek an outside opinion or advice, perhaps from a counselor or during premarital therapy.

Once the topic of a premarital agreement has been brought up, subsequent discussions are easier. And, once the decision to enter a prenuptial agreement has been made, it is critical that each party retain independent legal counsel. Having your own attorney will help to make this delicate topic more palatable, and easier to swallow. If you have questions about what to include in a prenuptial agreement, and how to make sure it is valid, call our office. We can help.

For more information about prenuptial agreements, 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.

 

 

How Divorce Impacts Your Taxes

Going through a divorce is one of life’s most unpleasant experiences, even in the friendliest of cases. Dividing one house into two takes emotional and financial strength. Because it is important to land on your own financial feet after your divorce case ends, knowing how your finances are impacted is one of the most critical aspects of most cases. Issues from alimony, child support, and taxes are just a few of the significant issues to consider when finalizing financial settlement in your divorce.

Knowledgeable family law attorneys will help you reach resolution on support issues within your case, and that could include how your income taxes might change. The IRS website contains helpful information in this regard, and provides some useful tips:

  • When reporting income you are required to report income from all sources, whether alimony counts as income is something your family law attorney will help you learn.
  • Child support is not considered income.
  • Your filing status plays a role in whether support payments are defined as income.

When divorce is initiated prior to an income tax return being filed, a determination as to whether the couple should still file together or separately must be made. The potential tax liability is an important factor in making this decision. Your family law attorney can give you the information needed to make an informed choice about your filing status.

If you have questions about divorce and taxes, 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.

How to Survive a Custody Battle

If you’re involved in a custody case that’s ugly or about to get ugly, it’s one of the most challenging things you will ever face. You will get through this though! Keep these tips in mind to keep your sanity.

  • Keep your kids out of it. As hard as it is to keep them uninvolved, it’s important. Hearing parents say negative things about each other is only going to hurt your child.
  • Keep a journal. A journal will help you not only track when parenting time is being exercised by you and your ex, but it also allows you to detail your involvement in your child’s life. This could be useful at your trial.
  • Find a way to blow off steam. You need an outlet for your emotions because there are going to be days when you’re going to feel very frustrated. Plan regular exercise, time with friends, and fun things to keep your head together through the tough times.
  • Try to find a settlement. Because custody trials are painful, work with your attorney or mediator to try to find a solution before you have to go to a trial.
  • Limit contact with your ex. Keep it all business – transferring your child and handling finances. Try to avoid confrontations and outbursts. They aren’t going to help since your situation is being decided in the legal arena, not in any blow up you might have with each other.
  • Stick to your temporary orders. Even if you think your temporary custody order is unfair, stick to it to show the judge you are reliable and law-abiding.
  • Don’t listen to well-meaning advice. Only you and your attorney know all the facts about your case. Friends and family may try to tell you what to do, but ultimately the case needs to be decided according to the law.

The Sampair Group is your choice for family law cases in Maricopa County. Call us for an appointment with one of our knowledgeable attorneys now.

Protecting Your Kids from the Impact of Divorce

As hard as divorce is for you, you know it is even harder for your child. As a parent, your instinct is to protect your child from the divorce as much as possible. Wanting to make life better for your child is a noble instinct, but you must first realize that it is impossible to completely shield your child from the divorce. He is going to be impacted by it and as a parent there is no way for you to stop that. What you can do is take steps to lessen the impact.

Continue to parent together. If you and your ex can work together as parents, show up at important events and functions, and communicate civilly in front of your child you will do a lot to make the divorce easier for your child. Co-parenting is essential as you move forward. It may not always be easy but it will always be worth it.

Listen to your parental instincts. If you think your child is having trouble, you are probably right. Step in early. If you see issues with school or grades popping up, get on top of them. If it seems your child is depressed or struggling emotionally, get him to a therapist.

Introduce new people gradually. While it is most definitely your right to build a new personal life after divorce, introducing dates to your kids can cause confusion and emotional turmoil. You don’t need to pretend you don’t have a life, but for the first year or so, it makes sense to be careful. Don’t introduce your children to new partners until the relationship has developed and become committed. And then don’t expect a ringing endorsement or any kind of attachment.

Call the Sampair Group for help with your divorce or family law case. We regularly represent clients in Mesa, Glendale, and Phoenix and are ready to provide the representation you need.

Making a Fresh Start After Divorce

Surviving your divorce takes strength and determination. When you emerge on the other side, you are ready for a fresh start and a chance to create the life that will make you happy.

The most important thing to do is think about what you really want. What are your goals and dreams? What will make you feel happy? It takes time to come out of the divorce fog and really see what will make you feel good about your life, but it’s definitely worth taking the time to consider all of your options. You might be ready for a big change like going back to school, finding a new job, taking up an exciting new hobby, or losing weight. This is a great time in your life to make drastic changes and explore options and new avenues.

You will need to take into account some practical considerations, and money is at the top of the list. Create a reasonable budget for yourself that allows you to cover all of your monthly and recurring expenses with your new household income.  Figure out exactly how much you need each month to pay your bills, then set aside some money each month for savings or emergencies and finally review how much discretionary income you have left to play with.

Dating may be part of your fresh start or you might feel you just aren’t ready to jump in yet. Listen to your instincts and take the time to heal your heart. Allow your friends to slowly lead you into the dating scene when you are ready and don’t forget to consider online dating.

Keep in mind that if you have children, this is a time of great change for them as well. While it is important for you to find your own way and make big changes in your own life, make sure your kids don’t feel bewildered by too many changes all at once. Strive to create some consistency, while at the same time allowing yourself the space you need to figure out where your life is going from here.

The Sampair Group is available to help you with your divorce, custody case, or post-decree modifications. Our highly experienced attorneys represent clients in the Glendale, Mesa, and Phoenix areas of Arizona. Make an appointment today.

Is Your Behavior The Reason For Your Divorce?

In any marriage there are a number of things that could potentially hurt the relationship to the point of separation and divorce. Avoid the following behaviors to improve your chances of a long-term, healthy marriage.

Ignoring Issues
Unexpressed feelings will only eventually build up over a period of time, turning small annoyances into very big resentments, which then leads to very heated arguments. The bigger the problem gets, the more likely each partner is to stop trusting the other, and calm communication becomes very difficult to have. To avoid this from happening, bring up and deal with issues as they come up. Confront them in a calm manner and work on them together.

Not Spending Enough Time Together
In order for a marriage to work, you need to give yourselves times to connect with each other. The less you do this, the more disconnected and distant your relationship will become. Prioritize outside factors that may be affecting your relationship, such as a job, friends, hobbies, etc., and be sure that you are working hard to make time for your partner. Go for a walk, agree to a date night, or just spend a couple of nights a week sitting around talking to each other. You may be surprised at how parallel your lives had become if other things from your busy schedule were getting in the way of your marriage.

Communication Problems
Being able to resolve issues effectively is a big factor in making a marriage work. But if you can’t approach your problems in a mature way, it’s not going to help anyone. Being passive-aggressive or slamming the door and leaving as response to an argument is not the way to go. This will give your partner the feeling of abandonment and they will feel as if you don’t care enough about the marriage to effectively handle issues that come up, no matter the nature of the conflict. To avoid this, both partners need to work together to resolving issues in a way that will meet the needs of both of you.

Invalidation
When an argument gets intense, a spouse may fall into the terrible habit of discrediting or weakening their partner as a quick reaction. Oftentimes, they will objectify their spouse or focus on only their negative characteristics as a way to destroy their self-esteem. Most partners react this way without thinking first, but that is no excuse for how it can negatively affect a person’s emotions both long-term and short-term. To avoid doing this, try and stay calm during all arguments, no matter how angry you may be. Staying calm with help you stay rational under the heat of anger and intense emotions.

Sometimes even avoiding these behaviors isn’t enough to prevent divorce. At The Sampair Group, our high conflict resolution attorneys take the time to get to know you and the circumstances of your case. Contact an experienced divorce attorney today for a free initial consultation.