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Three Ways To Break The Divorce News To Kids Without Breaking Their Hearts

Nearly every child of divorce can tell you the how, when, and where of learning their parents planned to divorce; but the “why” is usually missing. Most people, and especially children need to know why things happen in order to process the event and move forward. For kids, being provided an explanation as to why their parents are splitting can help immensely with the adjustment to post-divorce life. And, when the kids are able to adjust without significant struggle, it can make it easier for the parents to do so as well.

If you are looking for advice on how to tell your children you are getting divorced, here are three good ways to break the news that may not also include breaking their hearts:

  • Avoid a confrontation, or a heated discussion that is just a room away from where your child sleeps. If your kids overhear you arguing, they are likely to hear all of the emotion and regrettable words, which can live on well past the entry of the divorce decree. Instead of closing the bedroom door and having a discussion that could easily escalate, sit down with your kids and tell them what is going on together. This will show that you trust your kids enough to let them in on family decisions, and will also help give them a sense of security of their place in the family structure.
  • Avoid breaking the news around a holiday or birthday. If you decide to tell your kids about the divorce around Thanksgiving, they are likely to form a negative association with that holiday for the remainder of their adult life. While there is no good time to get divorced and to tell your children you are doing so, there is an element of timing to consider. Try to find a time that is not close to a holiday or other event your child enjoys. Doing so will help to make those times of the year less stressful on your kids for years to come.
  • Be honest with your kids about the facts rather than trying to sugar coat everything. The amount of information you provide your kids is up to you, and of course their ages are a factor in what is said. But the more you are able to tell your kids, while also letting them know some issues are off limits as adults only issues, the more prepared your kids will be to face life as a child of divorce.

Our team of qualified family law professionals is here to help you in any way you need before, during, and after your divorce. Call us today to find out more.

For more information about 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.

Five Ways To Determine What Is “Best” For A Child Of Divorce

Nearly everyone has heard the phrase “best interests of the children”. This is the legal standard used by Courts across the country during divorce cases when issues about kids are involved. The idea is that when orders are entered that impact a child of divorce, the order will be what is “best” for the child. Not surprisingly, parties to a divorce have a different opinion about what is best for their kids so it can be confusing to understand what is included in this test. The ultimate decision is different in every case, because every case and every child is different, but there are some common themes that run throughout this legal standard and having an idea of what the Court will consider will help you to prepare for the case.

The “best interests of the child” test, as set forth in the state statutes, includes the five things:

  • How each parent is able to provide for their kids including the financial emotional, and physical needs of the children. A good example of how this part of the test is used in real life is to look at whether a parent earns enough to provide basics for their kids, such as food and shelter. Another example would be to examine whether a parent is fit to provide the emotional support kids need.
  • How old the kids are, and what their emotional needs are for their age. Being able to care for an infant is much different than being able to care for a teen child. Parents must be able to show they are able to tackle the issues their children face.
  • The level of communication between the parents and whether it is civil is also important. A parent that is unable to maintain some level of civility with their ex may not be the best choice for primary custodian.
  • As children age and mature them may express a preference of which parent to live with, and if that child expresses that preference the Court will take that into account when deciding what is best for the child.
  • The bond already form between the child and parent, and how involved the parent is in the life of their child. For instance, if mom always takes the kids to soccer and cheers them on at every game then it would be best to implement parenting plans and enter orders that allow that activity to continue..

Contact us today to discuss the specifics of your case. We will help to make sure your children’s interests are protected while aggressively advocating for results that are satisfactory.
For more information about divorce, contact our office 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.

Three Steps To Coming Up With A Workable Visitation Schedule

As every parent knows, you can’t split a child in half. This means when a couple divorces, a workable child custody and parenting time schedule must be put in place. Gone are the days where mothers were granted sole custody with fathers being given visitation every other weekend, a few holidays, and a couple of weeks during the summer break from school. In today’s world, parents are sharing time equally with their children and participating in co-parenting activities at an increasing rate.

The Arizona statutes set forth the rules and procedures that are used in every divorce case. There are provisions regarding property distribution, powers of the Court, and all things relating to your kids. The laws are long and complex, but a quick three steps to coming up with a custody and visitation schedule that works includes:

  • Considering the preference of the child. This is appropriate when dealing with older, more mature children.
  • Taking a look at the ability of the custodial parent to provide for the financial needs of the kids.
  • Accounting for any special needs of the children, whether physically or emotionally.

In some cases both parents are equally qualified to provide care for the kids so the Court might enter an order of joint custody. Doing so will eliminate the need for payment of child support, since both parents are giving equal time to the children. When joint custody is not a possibility, liberal visitation is typically granted. When the parties work together to make decisions regarding important issues for their kids’ welfare the result is a happier, healthier child and a more harmonious living environment for everyone.

If you have questions about child custody and visitation, consult a qualified legal professional. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix, Scottsdale, Paradise Valley and the West Valley today to schedule your appointment.

Two Ways To Establish Paternity

In a growing number of instances, children are being born out of wedlock. More and more couples are deciding to forego marriage, but to live as if they had tied the knot. For some, this includes having children. When the couple stays together and raises the kids as a family unit, fewer problems arise. But, when a couple with a child separates after having not been married, several legal issues can develop.

One of the most common issues that arise when an unmarried couple with a child splits is that of paternity. To establish paternity, the following two methods are frequently considered acceptable:

  • Having the father execute a form acknowledging paternity at the hospital, when the child is born.
  • Giving the child the last name of the father, and publicly acknowledging the child as the legitimate offspring of the dad.

While doing both of these things is a step in the right direction, the simple truth is that without a legal determination of paternity, a father may be giving up parental rights. To get this process started, a petition to establish paternity must be filed with the Courts. Thereafter, evidence is presented in support of the petition and the Court will enter an order as to paternity. The case should include a request to determine issues such as custody, support, and visitation. This is the only way a father can be assured he has the legal authority to exercise his rights as the child’s dad. Take action to protect your rights as a father by calling our office for help in obtaining a judicial determination of paternity.

For more information about establishing paternity, 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 Top Three Reasons You Should Consider Co-Parenting

When a couple with kids gets divorced, the focus should be on what is best for the children. Most kids benefit from having both parents play an active role in their lives, and this can be difficult when the parents are no longer married. But, there are things that can be done to make sure mom and dad are both important parts of their kids’ lives, even if they are not still husband and wife. Regardless of the custody and visitation arrangement, a good co-parenting plan can help make sure your children’s needs are being met.

The top three reasons you should consider co-parenting after your divorce include:

  • Kids feel more emotionally secure when both parents take part in their lives.
  • When parents work together for the benefit of their children, fewer conflicts arise.
  • Co-parenting increases the likelihood that both parents will remain an active participant in their children’s lives.

From the time your kids are born, it is important to establish a routine. We all know babies thrive when they are on a schedule, and it also helps the parents when making plans. The need for consistency does not change just because parents get divorced. We all like to know what to expect, and kids are no exception. Successful co-parenting also gives kids the chance to see their parents working together despite their differences. This can give children a role model, and sets a good example for your kids to follow. If you have questions about how to develop a co-parenting plan that works for your family, call our office.

For more information about how to co-parent, 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.

 

 

Four Reasons To Pay Child Support

When a couple gets divorced the result is often two households that need financial support. When children are involved it is customary for one parent to pay child support, so that the financial support that is needed to maintain the needs of the kids are met. But frequently, child support goes unpaid and the parties can find themselves back in court in an attempt to enforce the child support order. The well-being of your kids should be reason enough to pay child support, but in some cases a little more incentive is needed.

Any issue regarding children can easily become one of the most contested parts of a divorce case, but here are four good reasons to pay your child support as ordered:

  • Failing to pay could result in an action that lands you in jail for nonpayment. If you are having difficulty paying support now, think of how much more difficult it is from behind bars. If you are incarcerated you are not able to go to work, and this means that not only do your financial obligations to your kids suffer, but your entire budget takes a hit.
  • Failing to pay could result in loss of your driver’s license, which will leave you without the ability to get to where you need to go. The domino effect of the loss of the right to drive can be felt in every aspect of your life, but can be avoided simply by paying child support as it becomes due.
  • Failing to pay may result in a lien being placed on your home, which will not be removed until the back due amount is paid in full. A lien impedes your ability to refinance or to sell your home, which can hold up important real property transactions to which you are a party.
  • Wages and bank accounts can be seized or garnished if you do not pay your child support. This results in less of your paycheck in your pocket, which impacts your ability to effectively budget your salary.

If you are having trouble paying child support, the answer is to seek a modification of the order. Likewise, if support is not being paid to you as required, the proper course of action is to file a motion with the court. Whether you are seeking a modification or an enforcement of a child support order, we can help. Call our office for more information.

For more information about spousal support, contact us for an appointment today. Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today to schedule your initial visit.

 

 

The Top Three Reasons You Should Consider Co-Parenting

When a couple with kids gets divorced, the focus should be on what is best for the children. Most kids benefit from having both parents play an active role in their lives, and this can be difficult when the parents are no longer married. But, there are things that can be done to make sure mom and dad are both important parts of their kids’ lives, even if they are not still husband and wife. Regardless of the custody and visitation arrangement, a good co-parenting plan can help make sure your children’s needs are being met.

The top three reasons you should consider co-parenting after your divorce include:

  • Kids feel more emotionally secure when both parents take part in their lives.
  • When parents work together for the benefit of their children, fewer conflicts arise.
  • Co-parenting increases the likelihood that both parents will remain an active participant in their children’s lives.

From the time your kids are born, it is important to establish a routine. We all know babies thrive when they are on a schedule, and it also helps the parents when making plans. The need for consistency does not change just because parents get divorced. We all like to know what to expect, and kids are no exception. Successful co-parenting also gives kids the chance to see their parents working together despite their differences. This can give children a role model, and sets a good example for your kids to follow. If you have questions about how to develop a co-parenting plan that works for your family, call our office.

For more information about how to co-parent, 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 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.

Do You Need a Social Media Clause in Your Divorce?

As social media takes on a bigger role in our lives, it’s not surprising that it may need to be addressed as part of your divorce.  There are several ways in which social media may need to be incorporated as part of a divorce.

 

Since anything you acquired during marriage is community property, your social media accounts may be included in that and you will want to make sure it is specified that you will each own your own accounts, as well as any content and photos you have used there.

In high conflict divorces, it may be a good idea to agree to a social media gag order, or to ask the judge to impose one. Because social media has such a big impact on professional lives now, having your spouse denigrate you in a public forum can be very damaging. Directing both spouses to refrain from commenting about the divorce or each can be a useful way to begin to defuse a very volatile divorce. It may be necessary to have this directive continue after the divorce has concluded as well.

Social media can also be a problem in a custody case. In this instance while it’s useful to prevent parents from mentioning each other on social media, it may also be necessary to seek an order directing a parent not to post photos of the couple’s children on social media if there are any issues with appropriateness. There may also be privacy concerns for children if their photos are constantly being posted, leading a judge to direct a parent not to publicly post photos.

When you need a law firm that is cutting edge and up to date on current issues in divorce and custody, turn to the Sampair Group in Glendale, Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona. Contact our office today.

 

 

Rules for Divorce Parenting

Getting through a divorce is challenging for the entire family. Help your children adjust to the first year (typically the most challenging) by following these rules.

  • Don’t say bad things about your ex in front of your kids. This can be hard to do, but it is the most important thing you can do for your children. They need to have a healthy relationship with the other parent. Your job is to support them as they continue that relationship. Do not assume that because the children are not in the room, they cannot hear you if you do say something negative about the ex. Children are very intuitive and hear everything.
  • Be consistent. Because there are likely so many changes happening in your child’s life right now, consistency is important in parenting. Kids need to know what to expect and what is expected of them. Make this clear and stick with it.
  • Be open and honest, but not too honest. Encourage your kids to talk to you about what they are thinking and feeling. Answer their questions with honesty, but use age-appropriate honesty that is not too revealing. Your kids will ask about reasons for the divorce. General, non-accusatory answers work best, but they need to be honest at their root.
  • Try to co-parent. Children benefit when parents work together. It’s not always possible and it won’t always be perfect, but the effort matters.
  • Be true to yourself. It can be easy to lose sight of your own needs, but it is important to establish and work on your own happiness. Doing so makes you a good role model for your kids.
  • Be observant. Keep your eyes and ears open as your kids adjust. There will be bumps in the road, but if you are at the ready with love, compassion, and support, your children will survive and thrive.

Custody is one of your primary concerns in your divorce. The Sampair Group handles custody cases with skill and years of experience in Maricopa County. Call us for an appointment with one of our knowledgeable attorneys now.