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.

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.

Can I refuse to sign the affidavit of paternity?

Question:

Can I refuse to sign the affidavit of paternity?

I am about to enter into a paternity case. I tested positive for a DNA test. What happens if I refuse to sign the affidavit of paternity at the court hearing?

Answer:

If you were confirmed to be the father of the child, the Judge will declare that you are the father. There will no longer be any need for you to sign an Affidavit of Paternity.

Good luck!

Patrick Sampair
The Sampair Group, PLLC

Offices Valley-wide:
Arrowhead: 17235 N. 75th Avenue, Suite E-100, Glendale, AZ
City North: 5450 E High St #300, Phoenix, AZ
East Valley: 1830 S. Alma School #114, Mesa, AZ

West Valley: 623.218.1000
Phoenix: 602.997.7717
East Valley: 480.636.1333

To read more of Phoenix child custody law attorney Patrick Sampair’s answers on Avvo and be sure to check out his child custody page, or if you have a question for Mr. Sampair ask him directly at: https://www.sampair.com/.

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.

How To Handle Your Child’s Healthcare After Divorce

The process of divorce can be particularly trying, but often the toll can be especially hard on the children. Generally both parents will be looking out for their child’s best interest, but it can be difficult to navigate the legal landscape that they find themselves in.

How to divide costs and provide or maintain healthcare coverage for your child can be difficult even in the best of situations, so it is important to have an experienced divorce lawyer to guide you through the process.

There are many factors to consider when choosing an attorney, such as experience, focus, and personal attention. As well, the thought of exorbitant legal fees can overwhelm you before the legal process even begins. The lawyers at The Sampair Group are well versed in Arizona family law and understand the needs that you may have during the difficult time of divorce. They also have flexible payment options to help reduce the stress on you and your family.

In Arizona, child support is based on the combined income of both parents, but there are many variables that can come in to play. Having a committed Phoenix family law attorney to explain the Arizona Child Support Guidelines will make the process easier for all parties, most importantly, the children.

Family law courts will order that a child’s medical and dental coverage is provided by the parents, but in many cases an arrangement between both parties can be made outside of court to arrange healthcare. A lengthy court process can draw out a healthcare agreement between parents longer than may be necessary, and there are many factors that weigh in when deciding how best to provide for children during a divorce. Consulting with a Phoenix child custody lawyer can help make the transition as smooth as possible and ensure that the needs of your child are met in the best manner available.

Divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences a person can go through; in the Scottsdale, Phoenix, and Glendale area The Sampair Group has compassionate family law attorneys ready to guide you through the process as easily as possible.

Modifying Your Child Support Order

Under federal and state law, parents have a right to request a modification of a child support order. Both parents must reach an agreement to modify the child support order. If there is no agreement between both parties, a judge can be asked to approve the change as long as it is explained why the modification need is justified and how the amount modification that is requested will benefit the child. In this court hearing, you must be able to show evidence that circumstances have changed since the existing order. Depending on the circumstances, the judge will decide if the modification will be temporary or permanent. A permanent modification order will remain in effect until child support is no longer needed, or if the order is again modified in the future. If you are unsure of whether you have valid reasons for a child support order modifications, contact a Glendale Family Law professional. Here are some examples of the types of changes that support a modification order:

Temporary

  • a child’s medical emergency
  • a temporary inability for the payer to be able to make child support payments, whether it be for a illness, temporary financial burden, medical emergency
  • temporary financial or medical hardship for the recipient parent

Permanent

  • either parent has lost their job or gets new employment with a decreased income
  • one or both parents remarry and the new spouse’s income increases the household income
  • the cost of living increases  for one or both parents
  • either parent becomes disabled
  • the child’s needs have changed (education, health, etc.)
  • child support laws have changed

 

Through Arizona Child Support Order Guidelines, when one parent files a Petition to Modify Child Support, the filing party will serve the other party with the petition, allowing for response from the other party, who may choose to do nothing or request a hearing. If the party that is served with the petition is a resident of Arizona, they have 20 days from the date served to respond. If they are not a resident of Arizona, they have 30 days to respond. It is then up to the judge to set a hearing date and decide how to proceed with the case.

If you have found yourself in a situation where you are unable to pay support because you have lost a job or your income has decreased significantly, do not wait to modify your child support order. Contact an experience Phoenix divorce lawyer at The Sampair Group for legal representation in any family law dispute.

How To Choose A Child Custody Arrangement That Works For You

Determining that divorce is the best answer to resolving your marriage issues is only the first of many hard decisions. Throughout the process there will be many issues that require resolution, and some will be more difficult than others. A divorce decides such things as property distribution, spousal support, who pays which debts, where the kids will live, how much visitation the non-custodial parent gets, and how much child support is paid. Hands down the most complex and contested issues have to do with money and kids. Figuring out a child custody arrangement that works for you takes time and thoughtful consideration.

The Marital and Domestic Relations law in Arizona is the relevant law for all things divorce and separation, including child custody. First and foremost the most important factor is to make decisions that are in the best interests of your children. Some of the things to think about when in this regard include:

  • How well you are able to work together with your ex on issues regarding your kids.
  • How well the parents work together regarding issues involving their kids.
  • The financial ability of each parent to provide for the kids in way to which they are accustomed.
  • The preference of an older child, if there is one.
  • Logistics, such as school or daycare drop off and pick up.
  • Whether your children are involved in any extracurricular activities that are geographically closer to one parent or the other.

Nationwide there has been an increase in requests for equal parenting time. This type of plan gives each parent equal time with the kids and works best when the parents live reasonably close to each other. Where equal parenting  will not work the Court will consider what options are available to give both parents meaningful parenting time. For instance a common plan is where the kids live primarily with one parent, and spend weekends and some holidays with the other parent. This might be best for your circumstances if you are relocating. The type of parenting plan that works best for you will depend on the specifics of your case. And, in cases of relocation you must seek approval of the Court to do so with your children in tow. To make sure the parenting plan arrangement in your case works for you and your kids, partner with a qualified family law attorney. Our team of family law professionals is here to to help you make the choice works best your family.

For answers to your questions about how to choose a child custody arrangement that works for you, 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.

Understanding the New Child Support Guidelines in Arizona 2018

On April 1, 2018, a new set of guidelines went into affect in Arizona regarding child support. As a result, the Child Support Calculator that is used statewide has received an update and the following revisions have been made:

No longer will the terms “father” and “mother” be used in the guidelines or in a child support order. These terms are now replaced with non-gender specific terminology, like “Petitioner” and “Respondent.”

There has also been an increase in the self-support reserve amount, which went from $1,115 to $1,456; this change stays in effect from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.

Also, now the final support obligation will round up or down automatically; this is pursuant to Section 14, which outlines guidelines for determining the child support order.

Furthermore, all child support-related forms that are in PDF format have been updated as well as the Parent’s Worksheet for Child Support Amount.

Lastly, the Income Withholding Order has been replaced with a new version.

If you have a current child support order against you and you would like to know how the new changes are going to affect you, please contact a lawyer. Depending on your circumstances, a change in the order to either increase your decrease your obligation may be necessary.

In the event that you believe you are paying too much for child support, even if the Arizona Child Support Calculator says you must pay a certain amount, a professional attorney can help present your case to a judge to see if the amount can be lowered. By presenting mitigating reasons as to why you should have the amount lowered, it is possible to secure an obligation amount that is more realistic and comfortable for you to pay.

If you would like to pursue child support for one or more of your children, it is important that you contact a lawyer who is familiar with these new guidelines. Having a professional lawyer in your corner who understands the new guidelines is a sure way to make sure you get all child support owed to you as well as any back child support.

Contact Us Today

If you would like to learn more about the new child support guidelines, please contact The Sampair Group today. We are ready to answer all of your child support questions, and in the event you have a child support case, we want to make sure you are being treated fairly regardless if you’re the one paying support or receiving it.

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.