Five Things To Know About Spousal Support

One of the greatest fears of those going through divorce is how they will support themselves and their kids on one income. In most families, both parents work and contribute to the financial well-being of their family. But with families of divorce, there is only one working parent at each house and this can make it hard to maintain the same lifestyle that was in place during the marriage. This is especially true if one of the spouses opted to stay home and raise the kids rather than pursue a career. When that is the case, the spouse that stayed home may be entitled to spousal support from their ex. The purpose of alimony is to get the non-working spouse back on their financial feet after the divorce, so they can reenter the workforce and find a job that allows them to provide support for their family.

Spousal maintenance is determined by statue, and there are five things to know about how it is calculated and whether you qualify; those five things include:

  • What is the income level of each party?
  • What educational needs will need to be met before the spouse asking for support will be able to seek employment? And, what are the employment prospects for the spouse seeking support payments?
  • How long was the marriage?
  • Was there a certain standard of living established, such that the spouse asking for support would expect to continue living in that fashion?
  • Is there a lack of resources available to the party asking for support, such that the party seeking payments is not able to care for themselves financially.

It is also possible to present evidence to the Court of any special circumstances that exist in in your case. Once the evidence is in, a decision will be made as to the amount of support paid, and the length of payment. We know how hard it can be to start over after divorce, and this can be made all the more difficult if you lack the financial resources needed to begin your life anew. We can help by examining the facts of your case and fighting for a fair award of support. Call our office today for more information.

For more information about 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.

The Impact of Divorce On Your Career

Any big stress in your life can have a potential impact on your career. Divorce ranks high among life stressors but it also directly impacts your schedule and mental acuity. Your divorce requires not only emotional energy, but lots of time off from work to meet with your attorney or mediator and days off for court appearances. This can have a detrimental effect on your career success. Keep it all together by following these steps:

  • Minimize time off. Find out if your attorney or mediator can meet with you on weekends. Save your personal days for court appearances which are always scheduled during business hours.
  • Talk to your boss. Be up front about what you are going through and be clear that you are dedicated to your job. Make it clear you will go above and beyond your duties by working at night, from home, or by taking on additional responsibility once your case has concluded.
  • Look the part. Be particularly careful to present an outer appearance of success, clarity, and dedication to your job at all times. Dress well. Keep your office space organized.
  • Control what you can and let go of the rest. You can minimize the impact on your workplace by taking personal calls away from your co-workers and having breakdowns in the bathroom alone, but you have no control over your spouse showing up at your office or your company being notified that your wages are being garnished for child support. You can’t control everything and no one expects you to.

When you are facing a divorce, you have many questions. Talk with an attorney who understands your concerns and is available to answer your questions. The Sampair Group services all of Maricopa County and our attorneys are ready to discuss your options with you today.

Do Assets Need To Be Divided During a Divorce?

Divorce is so complicated because it involves complex financial calculations and formulas. The actual ending of your relationship to each is quite simple. Divorce takes so much time and money because the assets and debts of the marriage must be divided and often there are important issues regarding children. You may wonder then if it is possible to divorce without dividing up assets. Understanding what can happen to your assets during a divorce is important.

In general, with certain important exceptions, any assets or debts acquired during your marriage by either of you are community assets and debts.They belongs to both of you and must be divided in the divorce. The ownership of community propertymust be addressed in your divorce (the exception to this would be if you have had a marriage of very short duration and have not had time to acquire any community assets or debts).

You don’t need to go to court to have this division occur. You and your spouse can create a settlement agreement on your own.Decide how you want to split everything up. If you agree, it’s a fairly simple matter for your attorney to draft the divorce papers and move your divorce through the courts quickly without undue delay. Even if you can’t decide on your own, an attorney or mediator can help you quickly divide everything so that your divorce can move forward without contest.

Some spouses keep things completely separate throughout their marriage, never putting two names on any asset or debt. Although these items are legally community property, this can simplify your divorce if you agree that each will own or be responsible for assets or debts currently in the spouse’s own names.

The Sampair Grouphandles divorce and family law cases in the Mesa, Phoenix, and Glendale areas of Arizona. Our attorneys are uniquely qualified to handle your case with attention to detail. Call our office to schedule a convenient appointment today.

How To Handle A Skipped Visitation

Your parenting time plan is designed to give both parents meaningful access to your child. This time is important not only for you as a parent, but it is essential for your child’s development to have real relationships with both parents. Learning what to do when visitation is missed or skipped is something you need to know as you move forward after your divorce or custody case.

If you are the residential parent and the other parent skips his or her scheduled parenting times, you may be frustrated by the schedule changes. While it’s important to be flexible with each about necessary schedule adjustments, if your ex is simply not showing up on a regular basis without rescheduling or letting you know, it’s stressful for you and your child. There is nothing you can do to force a parent to utilize his or her scheduled parenting time, except lay guilt trips about how disappointed your child is. What you can do is seek to modify the schedule so that visits are planned at times when your ex might actually use them. If visits continue to be completely missed, you can seek to have them completely removed from the schedule.

If you are the nonresidential parent and your ex, the residential parent, is doing things to prevent you from using your scheduled parenting time, like constantly moving dates and times, or simply not being there for your pick up, you need to talk to your attorney. You can enforce the schedule in court and you can use these evasion techniques as a basis for asking for more time with your child, and possibly even a change in legal custody.

The Sampair Group has experience in difficult parenting time cases all across the valley. Make an appointment to meet the attorney that will help you with your case.

Is Divorce the Answer?

It is not unusual to have doubt when the decision to get divorced is made. There may be lingering feelings for your spouse that make it difficult for you to go through with the case, or perhaps you were not the one who filed and did not want the divorce in the first place. Whatever your feelings, it is critical to be sure divorce is the answer. The time and effort required to reach resolution on important issues such as support payments and child custody should only be undertaken if you are sure divorce is right for you.

If you are unhappy, there are some things to consider before making the final decision to get divorced. Some things to think about when trying to figure out if divorce is the answer include:

  • Are both parties unhappy, or is there a possibility to fix issues that are bothering only one of the spouses?
  • Have you explored all your options before deciding to file? If therapy is something both parties would consider it might be a good idea to go to a few sessions to figure out if the relationship can be salvaged.
  • Make health choices, both physically and emotionally. If you are in an abusive relationship, get to a safe place. This includes both physical and emotional abuse.

When you are comfortable with your reasons for getting a divorce, it is easier to proceed with confidence. In some cases the decision is clear, in others it is less so. Not all decisions are black and white, and making sure divorce is what you want is critical. We can help you talk through your concerns and make a decision that works for you and for your family. Call our office today to speak with one of our trained legal professionals.

For answers to your questions about divorce, consult 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.

What Is A No-Fault Divorce in Arizona?

Are you headed for divorce? Are you ready to file? If so, it’s important to know that in the state of Arizona, all divorce proceeding go forth as “no fault”. This means that no matter the circumstances, such as infidelity, the Arizona court does not take a side in the issue. Furthermore, this means that the judge won’t be hearing why you want a divorce, only that you seek one.

Sometimes an uncontested divorce gets confused with a no-fault divorce. The difference is that with an uncontested divorce, the other party does not object to moving forward with the divorce. In fact, the other party has 20 days to file a response. If they don’t, the divorce moves forward as uncontested, meaning the other party agrees to the divorce or has simply chosen to remain silent. Either way, the divorce will go through without fault blamed on either side.

No Fault Divorce Arizona

In the past, most divorces went forward with one party blaming the other’s actions as the cause of seeking a divorce. This is also referred to as grounds for divorce. However, in recent years, Arizona has become a no-fault state. As a no-fault state, a divorce in Arizona does not apply to a covenant marriage. This type of marriage makes up a small percentage of total marriages in Arizona and is defined by a legal obligation to agree to pre-marital counseling, along with a limited grounds for divorce, such as living apart for a year before filing for divorce. If your marriage does not fit under a legal covenant marriage, then your divorce will proceed as no-fault.

How Does No-Fault Divorce Work?

In the beginning, one party files a petition for a divorce and states the reason for the petition. Since Arizona is a no-fault state, the majority of these petitions are filed as stating the cause of divorce to be the fact that the marriage is “irretrievably broken” due to no fault by either party. From here, the other party will be served divorce papers and will be given 20 days to respond to the divorce petition. If the other party is served the papers out-of-state, they have 30 days to respond. If the other party does not contest the divorce, it will move forward in court.

Parties Agree to Divorce

In most cases, both parties will agree to move forward with the divorce. At this point, it is time to review settlement terms. This means that both parties must come to an agreement regarding the distribution of assets, child custody, debt assignment, child support, spousal support, and more. When both parties agree to a settlement, the divorce can move quickly. However, if the agreement in not sufficient for one side, the Arizona court will ultimately resolve this issue.

How Long Does a Divorce Take?

When both parties agree to a no-fault divorce and a settlement is reached, the divorce should only take a couple of months to complete. Although a no-fault divorce may seem simple, it is suggested you do not try to go through this time alone. Instead, use the reputable services of a divorce attorney to make sure your rights are protected during the entire process.

Contact a Divorce Attorney Today

If you are considering filing for divorce, contact The Sampair Group today at 623-777-3926. Our expert team of attorneys will help you file a petition for a divorce and help you reach a desirable settlement during the process.

Annulment Laws in Arizona

Having your marriage annulled is not the same as getting a divorce. A divorce ends a valid marriage while an annulment states that the marriage was never valid and, therefore, never existed. Annulments are not favored in Arizona and the case may be dismissed if there are no grounds for an annulment. While annulments are harder to get in Arizona than a divorce, they are not impossible.

There are several valid reasons for requesting an annulment: underage marriage, mental illness, bigamy, fraud, temporary insanity at the time of marriage, intoxication at the time of marriage, incest, duress, or one or both parties failed to consummate the marriage. While this list is not complete, these are the most common grounds for an annulment. Once the reason for annulment has been identified, it is recommended to utilize the resources of a family lawyer, like those at The Sampair Group, in order to properly complete the process.

Paperwork will need to be filed at your local courthouse before an annulment can continue. Your family lawyer will be able to help you correctly fill it out. A judge of the superior court will then review the case to decide if the reason for an annulment is valid. If it is, the marriage is then null and void. However, if the judge decides against an annulment, it’s not the end of the road. The party asking for the annulment can file a petition. Both parties will be summoned to court where testimonies will be heard in order to come to a conclusion.

Often, people think an annulment brings their paternity into question. In the eyes of the court, the child or children are seen as being born to two single parents if the marriage is annulled. Under Arizona law, the courts have decided that parents of children who are born outside of marriage have co-equal custody following the established paternity.

If you find yourself considering an annulment, the family lawyers at The Sampair Group can help. Any legal matter can be confusing and we would like to help you to better understand the annulment process. Visit www.sampair.com today for a free consultation.

Should We Stay Together For The Kids?

After many years of marriage, the stresses may seem to increase with each year passing. You and your spouse may be at the breaking point where you are pondering the idea of divorce, but knowing how it would impact the children may stop those thoughts. However, it is also important to wonder if staying together for the children is any better.

There is no clear answer to how to approach this situation, and each circumstance is different. It’s important to think about the children’s best interests. Are they better off in a home where their parents are constantly fighting and are unhappy most of the time or would they benefit more down the road if mom and dad were not together, but they were each happier?

Staying together “for the kids” certainly comes with risks. If you are miserable in your marriage, your family may be loaded with arguments, anger, frustration and pain. If you are a couple that cannot be civil or handle conflict rationally with each other, your child may learn these bad parenting skills and be negatively impacted by them.

Another risk that comes with staying married for the sake of the children is that your child may be neglected while you and your spouse are wrapped up in their own conflicts. It may be physical neglect, such as the parents completely check out of parenting, or it may be emotional neglect, and the parents may not show up together for the child’s important events or may try and alienate the child from the other parent.

If you and your spouse cannot co-parent effectively while living in the same household, you may want to rethink the situation and realize that co-parenting from separate homes may be what is best for your child.

There are times, however, when the child will benefit if the family stays intact, even if the parents are no longer in love with each other. Co-parenting under the same roof is better as long as each parent can stay civil and keep the children out of their arguments and conflict.

For more information on child custody and family law, look to the Glendale and Phoenix family law attorneys at The Sampair Group.

Custody and Your Child’s School

When you’re going through a custody case, you instinct may be to try to keep it quiet for as long as possible, in order to protect your child. It is a lot to deal with and if suddenly everyone your child knows is aware of it, it can be overwhelming. Although you might not be ready to tell the world, it is important to communicate with your child’s school about what is happening.

Because of the situation at home, your child’s behavior at school may be impacted. It’s a good idea to communicate with your child’s teacher so she is prepared to help your child should emotions surface at school. Children react in many different ways and your child’s teacher could be puzzled by a sudden behavior change if she doesn’t know what’s happening inside your family. It is also possible that your child may decide to open up to the teacher about the situation, so you want her to be in the loop. The school may also have resources for children going through divorce, such as counseling or support groups. Peer group meetings can be of invaluable help for your child so he can see that other kids are coping with the same issues.

Once you have a temporary or permanent order of custody, you will want to give a copy to the school, particularly if you want restrictions placed on whether your ex can pick your child up or take him out of school. They need to know who is the custodial parent and who has decision-making authority. If the non-custodial parents wants to stay informed with copies of notices, report cards, and parent-teacher conferences, the school may need a copy of the order to provide these as well.

When you need an attorney who will stand up for you, call the Sampair Group in Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Glendale. We’re ready to take your call.

What Is Contempt of Court?

You may have heard the term “contempt of court” and wondered what it is or how it might apply in your divorce or family law case. Contempt of court happens when a person under the court’s jurisdiction (such as you or your spouse, or even one of the attorneys in your case) does something that defies the court’s authority or is severely disrespectful to the court. It’s up to the judge to decide that someone is in contempt of court and the judge has broad discretion about making this call. Examples of contempt of court actions might include failing to pay child support, refusing to follow a parenting plan, failing to pay spousal support, or insulting or defying the judge.

In family court cases, a hearing is held when a court chooses to invoke a contempt order, giving the person accused of contempt the opportunity to present a defense. If the person fails to appear, a warrant can be issued and the person can be held in jail for up to 24 hours.

A finding of contempt can result in jail time, fines, or seizure of property. If the person found in contempt in a family law case is sentenced to jail time, a hearing must be held every 35 days throughout the jail term.

To avoid a contempt order, it is essential that you exactly follow all court orders in your case, appear in court at all scheduled times, and remain polite and civil during all proceedings. If you disagree with an order or are having problems meeting its requirements you need to talk to your attorney immediately so that you can avoid facing a contempt of court charge.

When you need help with a family law case, call The Sampair Group. We regularly represent clients in Mesa, Glendale, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and Phoenix in divorce and family law cases and are ready to provide the representation you need.