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What Is A Preliminary Injunction In A Divorce?

A preliminary injunction is a tool used in Arizona divorce law to ensure that both parties act in good faith during the legal process of finalizing a divorce. The injunction applies to both people and limits the things that they are able to do throughout the proceedings that follow so that neither person can commit an act that would preemptively undermine the final ruling by the court. It serves primarily to protect property, assets, and any children that the couple shares.

What Can be Protected by a Preliminary Injunction?

The following concerns can be addressed via the preliminary injunction, and both parties will be required to abide by the terms of the injunction.

  • The sale of property, such as the home, car, or personal belongings with value. This applies to assets that the couple shares and neither person may intentionally stop making mortgage or loan payments that would jeopardize these assets.
  • Traveling with children out of state. this injunction can make it a criminal offense for either person to take the children out of state. If either party wishes to take children out of state while the case is pending, they must obtain the written consent of the other parent or permission from the Judge.

  • Taking out new loans. Shared assets cannot be used as collateral on any new loans or mortgages. This protects both people from the potential negative financial impact of these actions.
  • Altering insurance policies. Any health, auto, life, or disability insurance coverage must not be allowed to lapse during the divorce proceedings.
  • Harassment. Any intimidation, violent behavior, or actions that can be construed as stalking or psychologically manipulative are included in this provision. If one of the parties violates the injunction, criminal charges can be brought separately.

Arizona Revised Statute Section 25-315(G)

In the state of Arizona, it is a crime to violate the terms of a primary injunction. It is important that both parties understand the terms of the injunction and how to seek an exception under special circumstances. If the terms are violated, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries with it a jail sentence of up to six months. It can also result in separate criminal charges and additional legal fees and fines, depending on the circumstances of the breach.

In addition to preventing the sale or transfer of ownership of any property or assets that the couple shares, a preliminary injunction will make it a criminal act to conceal any property. Ways that people attempt to do this can include signing property over to relatives and friends or giving property to others in the form of monetary gifts.

Learn About Your Rights with a Free Consultation

The Sampair Group represents clients throughout Arizona, in the Chandler, Glendale, and Scottsdale areas. If you are facing or seeking a divorce, contact us to schedule a free consultation. Give us a call or fill out our contact form to learn more.

image of stock options

How to Deal with Stock Options in an Arizona Divorce

Stock options are an incredibly complicated subject in even the best of times, much less during a contentious divorce. To ensure that your assets are protected and properly divested, keep on reading to learn more about stock options, what they are, and how they are handled during a divorce in the state of Arizona.

What Are Stock Options?

In the world of finance, a stock option is a contract that gives the owner the right, but not the obligation, to purchase or sell an asset at a specific price-point.  In the typical employer-employee relationship, this stock option is known as a grant. An option will be exercised at the moment that the employee in the relationship purchases the stock by following the options granted in the contract.

Options are granted for a litany of different reasons, but they always break down into either Qualified or Non-Qualified stock options.

  • Qualified Stock Options — A qualified stock option is also known as a statutory incentive stock option, otherwise known as the ISO. Taxes due on qualified stock options aren’t to be paid until the sale of the stock, when it was sold, and its corresponding tax rates.
  • Non-Qualified Stock Options — Taxing non-qualified stock options occurs after the value has been discerned from the established market, creating the income tax that is due when the grant is optioned.

Grants that are given, received, or exercised during a marriage will become a stock that has been exercised and as such will be distributed as a part of the community assets during the divorce.  These stock options can then be realized due to several factors about employment, financial compensation, or in exchange for a raise.

Consider how this might affect Silicon Valley employees investing heavily in startups, and we can quickly see how this becomes a point of contention during a divorce.

Distributing Stock Options During an Arizona Divorce

Arizona falls in line with many of the same state laws regarding divesting assets and stock options during a divorce. Like many other states, Arizona will distribute property resulting from the marriage only if that property was acquired during the marriage. Property that is available after the divorce has commenced is beholden to far trickier conversations.

Generally speaking, Arizona will treat stock options in much the same way that they do pension plans. As addressed through Brebaugh v Deane, 211 Ariz. 95, stock options must be further looked at to see the terms of their execution as well as when the grant would be paid out for potential future efforts, thus throwing a wrench into the entire conversation.

Unfortunately, there are no clear-cut answers when it comes to how a stock option will be dispersed during divorce proceedings. Depending on the court’s decision, and the case presented, the answer can go one of many directions. There are ways to maximize your chances at properly protecting your assets and that is through professional legal help.

The Sampair Group Is Ready to Help

To learn more about stock options and how they are distributed during a divorce, contact The Sampair Group for same or next-day appointments by telephone and video conference. The Sampair Group is made up of acclaimed family law attorneys who have represented thousands of Arizonans in their time of need.

With almost 40 years of legal experience, Attorney Patrick Sampair is ready to stand for YOU during your next legal battle.

 

image of divorced couple splitting property

How Does Community Property Get Split Up During a Divorce?

An Introduction to Community Property Division

Divorce can prove a remarkably traumatic and messy experience even when everything goes about as smoothly as you might realistically hope. The division of property that you and your spouse have shared for years, however, can seem especially tricky, often introducing fresh grievances or re-igniting old ones in the process. You may have additional problems dealing with Arizona’s adherence to the principle of community property division. Let’s examine this method of divvying up assets between divorcing spouses so you can gain a better understanding of how it works, what problems it might entail, and how to ensure the most satisfactory possible outcome.

Community Property vs. Equitable Distribution

Most U.S. states use a method known as equitable distribution to determine who gets what in a divorce case. In equitable distribution, the court has full power to distribute assets based on its interpretation of what’s fair to each party. Depending on such variables as which spouse earns the lion’s share of the household income, spends more time looking after the children, or both spouses’ potential earning power, the court may then award a spouse anywhere from one-third to two-thirds of the overall marital assets.

Nine states, including Arizona, currently break this trend by dividing marital assets according to community property rules. (In Alaska, however, community property is treated as an option, not a requirement.) This means that the marital assets are divided 50/50 regardless of the roles played by each spouse in the marriage. The court has far less power over the awarding of assets, although it does retain some say over what constitutes an equal split. Your share of the community property may include assets that you don’t especially want while depriving you of others that you genuinely prize.

Separate Property vs. Community Property: What Counts as Which?

Community property doesn’t place everything you and your spouse own into a single lump — instead, it applies specifically to items that you purchased during your marriage. Exceptions to this rule include property acquired separately as a gift or inheritance, as well as any property acquired following a petition for divorce that results in an actual divorce decree.

Certain assets are considered separate property, placing them outside the bounds of the divorce settlement. These include any real estate or other property you acquired before getting married, as well as any rent or other additional value generated by that property.

The First Step: Complete Disclosure and Initial Assessment

You and your spouse (with the aid of your respective attorneys) can iron out much of the confusion over your community property division before the matter ever goes before the court. First and foremost, both of you must disclose everything you own, from pets and jewelry to cash, cars, and homes. Attempting to shield any of your assets by excluding them from the community property inventory will only introduce costly, upsetting complications to your divorce. Once you and your spouse have listed every asset you can think of, you’ll need to figure an estimate of value to help the court decide what makes for an equitable division.

Business, Home, and Debt Division 

If you started your own business or purchased a business before your marriage, that business remains wholly yours as separate property. However, the court may decide to award your spouse a percentage of the business’s appreciation in value, or even an outright percentage of the business itself, if your spouse contributed to the business’s success either financially or through hard work.

A home purchased before marriage, with the deed in your name alone, remains your separate property, giving you the right to ask your spouse to vacate it. However, if you both hold joint title to the home and your spouse serves as your children’s primary caregiver, your spouse may actually be the one who continues to live on the property.

Community property includes debts as well as assets. Debts are typically considered the problem of both spouses equally, regardless of who incurred the debt or whether the debt was incurred before the marriage.

Don’t go it alone when pursuing a community property divorce. Contact our firm to speak to a skilled Arizona divorce attorney.

 

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 Be An Excellent Divorce Client

How you are as a client is just as important as how your attorney is as representation for you during such a difficult time. The Phoenix Family Law attorneys at The Sampair Group know that there is rarely a ‘nice’ divorce, and proceedings can create a great amount of stress on all participants. Attorneys and clients usually have a love/hate relationship during the legal battles of divorce. To prevent high stress and tension, which could lead to a bad relationship between a divorce attorney and their client, there are some simple rules of behavior that you, as the client, can follow so that you can both come out of this case with enough financial and emotional resources to start a new life.

Be Organized and Keep Record
When meeting with your attorney, be sure to have all questions you have for them prepared ahead of time. Make sure you have a goal and agenda for each meeting with your Phoenix divorce lawyer so that all topics are covered and you leave the meeting feeling confident that your problems are being addressed and taken care of.

Despite the anxiety and stress you are experiencing during the divorce, it will only feel worse if you are unorganized. You will also feel more in control if you keep track of your own records and everything that is going on instead of depending fully on someone else to do it for you. Documents should be labeled, stapled and assembled in an orderly fashion before you give them to your attorney. This will save them time and money and give them more time to focus on you and your case.

Keep a detailed diary of all significant events that pertain to your case, and share copies with your attorney. These can be used in preparing testimony for your case and addressing issues in a more effective way.

Don’t Annoy Your Attorney
Continuously calling and emailing your lawyer for non-legal problems related to your case can end up costing you, and will also result in a very annoyed attorney. Most attorneys charge by the hour not just for physical visits but also for phone calls, emails, and other forms of communication. If you must call for legal assistance, have all of your questions prepared at once so you are not calling every day with a different question or concern any time one pops into your head. Also, any non-legal issues may want to be address with someone other than your lawyer such as a therapist or family member.

Be Realistic
Have reasonable expectations that not everything is going to go your way. Listen to your attorney and the advice they have for you to resolve the issues surrounding your case. A good divorce attorney will work with you as a team to make the process as fair as it can be, and to work effectively with them you need to determine your unrealistic goals up front so there are no disappointments. Also be sure to remember and constantly remind yourself that divorce is a long process, and results will not be reached immediately. Be patient with everyone involved, especially your divorce attorney.

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. 

The Pros and Cons of Collaborative Divorce

Arizona divorce attorneyGetting divorced is a huge decision, and it is never a pleasant experience. However, it is possible to walk away with peace of mind and a sense of closure. This is the goal of collaborative divorce, which combines mediation with amicable decision making.

The idea is that every party has the opportunity to decide what is best for everyone involved, instead of each party looking to get as much as they can out of the other person. This process enables couples who decide to end their marriage to work together with lawyers and other family professionals in order to avoid having their divorce end up in court. Collaborative divorce facilitates resolving other families’ issues as well, such as disputes between spouses.

There are some disadvantages to collaborative divorce, however. Critics have stated that it is unethical because each lawyer would have divided loyalty instead of acting in the interest of their party. However, the American Bar Association’s Ethics Committee has ruled that collaborative divorce is not unethical so long as each party is properly informed during the process.

Another drawback is price, as collaborative divorce is more expensive than mediation. Mediation costs about $6,6000, whereas a collaborative divorce will cost about $20,000. Settlements by rival lawyers cost $26,830 and full-scale litigation costs a much larger sum of $77,746.

Mediation is not always the best choice. Meditation can be tricky, to say the least, if you don’t have your lawyer at the table to guide you throughout the process. Moreover, it can be daunting to go through mediation without a lawyer.

Collaborative divorce is not for everyone, but it is a very sensible option. This is especially true for couples who aren’t especially anger but are just ready to part ways. Most of all, collaborative divorce fosters cooperation, and allows couples to get on with life. The Glendale divorce attorneys at The Sampair Group will help you through the process. Visit www.sampair.com for more information.

Stay-At-Home Parents Going Back to Work After Divorce

divorce lawyer Mesa ArizonaBeing a stay-at-home parent and then entering back into the workforce after a divorce can be one of the most challenging things you experience after the split. Going back to work by some people that are so used to being a stay-at-home parent is sometimes seen as a negative thing, but often it is absolutely necessary, especially when it comes to finances. Returning to a full-time or even a part-time job can be quite difficult, but there are some ways to make this transition easier.

Don’t Limit Yourself
You’ve been out of the work force for a while now, so this is a good time to think about what kind of job you have always wanted to have. Don’t base it just off of what you have done in the past. A job in a different field than what is directly related to your past experience or degree could be much better for your new life.

Update Your Resume
Your resume should include all life experiences that are relevant to the workplace. If you have been a full-time stay-at-home mom for a while, do not underestimate the skills you have acquired. List any volunteer jobs you have helped with for your children’s schools, or outside of the school. Think of what you CAN do, not just what you have done. As always, remember to check once, twice, three times over your resume for any spelling or grammatical errors, and ask a friend to take a look at it for a second pair of eyes and opinion.

Dress the Part
If you have been a stay-at-home parent for a pretty good amount of time, it’s likely that they don’t have the wardrobe needed for job interviews. If your budget permits, buy at last one nice outfit for the job hunt. If not, check out consignment stores or ask a friend or family to borrow some attire until you can afford to build your own professional wardrobe.

Network
Get the word out about your job search. Tell friends, family members, and former coworkers that are in the job market. Call former supervisors and let them know you are searching for a job and they can possibly provide a recommendation or reference.

Returning to the job market out of being gone for a while can be intimidating, but with the right amount of work and confidence you can feel confident selling yourself and your skills, talents and abilities. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself whenever the opportunity is there.

Should You Stay or Should You Go? Things To Consider To Know If You Are Ready For Divorce

Glendale, Arizona divorce lawyerIf your marriage has been troubled for some time and you have considered divorcing your spouse, it can be a difficult decision to solidify, especially when it comes time to talking to your spouse about it. You may think you’re fully ready for a divorce, but there are some things you should consider before making any final decisions.

You Want A Divorce, But Are Unsure If It’s The Best Decision
A divorce impacts an entire family, especially if there are children involved. It impacts people, your lifestyle, marital investments and more. There are no guarantees for how your divorce is going to play out once you make the final decision, so it’s important that you are not deciding that divorce is the only option if you are being emotionally driven or driven by your ego.

You Don’t Want The Divorce, But Your Spouse Does
Being in this position will make you feel helpless and out of control. There is a lot of emotional devastation that can come from hearing that your spouse wants a divorce but you do not. It’s not easy to confront problems in a marriage, especially when you are hurt by your partner with this kind of news, but you need to acknowledge what you are holding onto. Is it actually a good marriage, or an illusion?

You Still Have Feelings For Your Partner
Even if you want a divorce, it doesn’t necessarily mean you have lost all emotional feeling for your spouse, but there are underlying issues that have led you to this decision. Before you decide to divorce, it would be best to try and work on your relationship with your partner and see if some effort can make it better.

For more information regarding divorce and family law, look to the Sampair Group. Contact our Glendale divorce attorney’s at www.sampair.com.

Telling Your Spouse You Want A Divorce

Glendale, Arizona divorce attorneyIf a couple becomes unhappy in their marriage, sometimes the final decision, while a very tough one to make, is to file for divorce. In some situations, however, it may only be one spouse instead of both that wants to take the route of divorce, and telling your partner that you want to file for one can be intimidating. Avoiding your feelings and the situation altogether are only going to make things worse, and it is important to take some important and proper steps to telling your partner you want out of the marriage.

Timing is Important
Timing is everything in this kind of situation. This isn’t a conversation you want to bring up in the middle of dinner or right when your spouse walks into the house after a long day of work. And you definitely shouldn’t bring up this kind of topic during an argument, as it will only fuel the fire and make the situation much, much worse. Choose a time when both of you are calm and relaxed and make sure there is plenty of time for the conversation – you have no idea how long this is going to take. Turn off your cell phones and make sure there are no distractions.

Know What You Want To Say
Have a pretty solid idea of what you want to say before the conversation happens. How you tell your spouse you want a divorce and what you say can make all the difference in a conversation like this. Be calm, direct, kind and confident in your decision and don’t give your spouse any false hope that you may change your mind. Be sure to not blame your spouse or point out any of their perceived failures or deficiencies.

Give Your Spouse Room For Their Feelings
You have no idea how your spouse is going to react. So it is important to stand your ground in the face of what could very well be some intense emotional attacks toward you. They may try and talk you out of your decision, but it’s important to give them time to talk and discuss their feelings without your interruption.

Keep The Door Open For More Discussion
A discussion about divorce isn’t going to be easy, and it certainly isn’t going to get completed in just one session. Give your spouse some space and time to absorb the information they have just gotten from you and discuss the details of the divorce at a later date, not on the first time. Reassure your spouse that you want a fair divorce and you want it to be as peaceful as it can be, especially if there are children involved. Their best interest should always come first.

For more information regarding divorce and family law, look to the Sampair Group. Contact our Glendale divorce attorney’s at www.sampair.com.

5 Divorce Regrets You Can Try And Avoid – Before A Divorce Happens

It’s often true when people say that they didn’t know what they had until it was gone. Hindsight is 20/20, and that couldn’t be truer after divorce. Unfortunately, you aren’t able to pinpoint the problems in your marriage until after it is too late and one of you has already filed for divorce and started the divorce process.

Studies have shown that these are some of the most common regrets of their marriage that people realized after they got divorce:

Not showing enough love and care.
It’s the little things that go a long way, and many people will realize after a divorce that they should have maybe put a little more effort into the little things, such as showing love, support, and helping to keep things interesting in the relationship even just by holding hands or complimenting your spouse.

Making money matter the most.
Money is a big source of conflict that can lead to divorce. Before letting it become a problem, talk money more often, and not just when it’s important such as tax time or when bills are due.

Not letting go of the past.
In order to maintain a healthy relationship with your spouse, you need to let go of the past. This includes getting over your jealousy of their past relationships or something from your own childhood that is causing issues in your marriage such as difficulty trusting others, your spouse included.

Playing the blame game.
Try your best to resist the urge to blame your spouse for every problem in the relationship. If there is a problem, ask your spouse for their perspective and discuss the problem in an effective way together.

Communication problems.
Lack of and problems with communication are very common reasons for marriages going into a downward spiral. Practice active listening in your marriage and listen to what your spouse is trying to say to you while effectively communicating back with them that you are listening.

Sometimes practicing these things will prevent you from having to reach the point of finding yourself in divorce court, but there are some problems that just cannot be fixed and action needs to be taken for the best interest of everyone involved in a marriage. For the best legal representation in family law and divorce, The Sampair Group can help. Visit us today at www.sampair.com for a free consultation.