What To Do About Child Support Garnishments

If you have children and get divorced, it is likely one of the parents will be ordered to pay child support to the other. Taking care of children during divorce is one of the Court’s greatest concerns, and if support payments are not made there are remedies for collection of past due amounts. One of the most popular ways to enforce a child support order is through a garnishment. If your wages are garnished in order to satisfy a child support obligation, the result can be financial hardship due to receiving a lower paycheck than normal. You may also have to appear in Court, and this can be costly as well. So, what do you do if your wages are being garnished for payment of a child support obligation? The first step is to consult with a skilled family law attorney, and learn how to get back on track.

Payment of child support is court ordered, and thus no further court action is generally taken for a wage garnishment when the support falls behind. Some of the ins and outs of child support garnishment include:

  • The amount that can be taken out of your check is limited, this means that you have the chance to question the amount withheld but also means that the past due amount will be paid off over a longer period of time. It is best to work out an agreement on past due child support rather than have your wages garnished, so you retain an element of control over your finances and budget.
  • The maximum amount that may be held out of your pay is a whopping 50%!
  • If your employer fails to respond to the garnishment, they can face fines for not responding. Thus, most employers promptly reply and hold money out of your paycheck. This means you cannot rely on your employer to “cut you a break”.

You must address the issue head on and reach a result quickly in order to avoid financial destruction. If you are behind on support payments, call our office for help. We will work with you to come up with a strategy that allows you to keep most of your disposable income in your pocket while also keeping up with your child support payments. In some cases this may require a request that the Court enter an order changing the amount of support awarded, and making this request requires a showing of changed circumstances. Common examples of how your circumstances may have changed include loss of job or a lower paying job. For more information, call our office.

 

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today. We have helped others through the process of divorce and are here to help you too.

Three Ways Depression Can Ruin Your Relationship

Let’s face it, not every moment of a romantic relationship is sunshine and flowers. Differences of opinion can lead to heated arguments, and the events of life can sometimes get in the way. But, when you are involved with a person who suffers from a clinical condition, you must work even harder to make your relationship work. One of the most debilitating clinical conditions is that of depression. And, it may be near impossible for a person with this diagnosis to have a healthy relationship.

Three ways depression can ruin your relationship include:

  • With true depression, not just sadness, a person will eventually give up on the things they love. This makes being with a person suffering from this condition hard to be around, and can leave a partner feeling unfulfilled. When both parties to a relationship are not getting the emotional nurturing they need, the relationship will not last.
  • It is hard for a person with depression to explain what is going on for them mentally and emotionally. This makes it hard for their mate to understand the condition, and giving up sometimes seems the easy way out.
  • The natural instinct of most people is to try and help those they love, but with depression the person suffering is unable to appreciate the offer. This can lead to feelings of rejection, which will certainly contribute to the end of any relationship.

The key is to understand this is not a personal attack on you, and sometimes the best thing you can do is to let a person find their own way. It takes patience, which is hard to come by when you are married but not feeling a part of a partnership. It is not our position that you divorce or leave your spouse when serious medical conditions arise, but we do understand the challenges relationships of this type present. And, it is important to keep in mind that the type of depression discussed here is not just a temporary sadness, it is a serious condition that requires medical attention. We can help you to develop a plan for your kids during this time, and help you to take steps to protect your assets. Call us for more information.

For more information about marriage and 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.

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.

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.