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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.

Make The Most Of Your Initial Consultation at The Sampair Group

At The Sampair Group, our Glendale family law attorneys provide our potential clients with the benefit of having a free initial consultation regarding your family law case.

An initial consultation allows us to meet with our client and discuss information regarding their case and the legal issues that are involved. After going over all of this information, our attorneys will be able to let the client know their legal rights, and the options they have for moving forward with a divorce case.

Preparing for a divorce consultation is very important. This includes preparing for the meeting emotionally. You may have to discuss some things with your divorce lawyer that you don’t necessarily discuss with others, including very personal details regarding your marriage and family difficulties.

Organize all documents regarding any assets that are between you and your spouse. This includes bank accounts, retirement funds, businesses, automobiles, and homes or property. Also included with these documents should be any kind of debts that you and your spouse share, such as mortgages, equity loans, bank loans, student loans and importantly, credit card debt. Showing all of these documents and discussing them in your initial consultation will allow your attorney to get an idea of your financial situation and how they can legally approach it.

Income is also something that should be a topic of discussion in your initial consultation. For your attorney, knowing the income of you and your spouse will help them determine how much child support or spousal maintenance will be paid or received after the divorce.

Always bring to any meeting with your lawyer copies of legal documents that you already have. This may include prenuptial or postnuptial agreements, divorce summons, orders of protection or domestic incident reports that you may be able to present for your side of the case. Always make sure that you and your lawyer each have copies of these documents, but make sure you keep the original copies for yourself in a safe space.

Always be truthful with information and answers to the questions and discussions that your lawyer may have with you. Being truthful and upfront will help your lawyer to be able to help more effectively with your case when they better understand your situation.

Meeting with a divorce attorney for the first time can be an uncomfortable situation, especially considering the emotions you are going through already. Gather whatever you can for the initial consultation and your lawyer will assist you with anything else you need if you are unsure. All information that you disclose to the Glendale divorce attorneys at The Sampair Group in a consultation is confidential. Contact us today at www.sampair.com for more information on how to schedule a free consultation today.

How Divorce Will Affect Your Car Insurance Rates (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1

If you are the spouse that wants to keep your name on the insurance policy after the divorce is finalized, call your insurance provider to remove your ex-partners’ name.

Once a divorce is finalized, the financial situations for each spouse will change dramatically. Once you are divorced and taking care of finances on your own, it would be a good idea to look at your coverage limits, costs and deductibles to determine if you can lower your rates to cover your individual requirements. Compare plans before making a final decision.

Make sure you know of certain discounts that may not apply to you anymore if you are not married, such as multi-car and homeowner discounts provided through your insurance company to married couples. On the other side of the spectrum, you may also be eligible for other discounts now that you are covered as a single person.

If you are moving to a new home/area after your divorce, change your zip code and address with your insurance company to keep your records up to date. You may also be eligible for other policy discounts now that you live in a different area and may have a different commuting distance.

If you have children that are driving legally at the time of your divorce, their name should be on the policy of their legal guardian. If the parents have joint custody, the children should be listed under the address in which they reside most frequently.

After a divorce you don’t necessarily have to split off from your former spouse to go on two different auto insurance policies. If you and your ex can make it work, you can always keep getting your discounts and multi-car coverage by staying on a group policy, taking into consideration the personal preferences of you and your spouse. This option could be complicated if there is disagreement between each spouse.

For more information on how divorce can impact your auto insurance coverage and policies, visit www.sampair.com for assistance from our Surprise divorce attorneys at The Sampair Group.

How Divorce Will Affect Your Car Insurance Rates (Part 1)

Divorce is an event in life that changes almost everything about how you live, whether it be personally or financially. Before your divorce, it is important to educate yourself on how divorce will impact your life, health, and auto insurance policies.

After a divorce, car insurance rates will usually increase about 1 to 1.5 percent. If you and your spouse had two separate car insurance policies, then there isn’t a lot of impact that is going to happen to your rates. However, if your car insurance policy was held jointly, there are certain things that must be taken care of in order to separate the policies and ensure that all assets jointly held are taken care of and divided fairly.

If the car insurance policy is jointly held, you cannot simply remove your spouse’s name from it without his/her consent.

If you and your spouse are still living at the same address after the divorce is finalized, the liability on the car insurance policy is still shared. One name can only be removed if each spouse is living at a different address than the other.

Either person on the insurance policy must get a new car insurance policy. This should be done immediately but before they are removed from the former insurance policy to ensure that there is not a gap in coverage.

Your credit information could also be impacted through your car insurance policies after a divorce. Car insurance companies will usually use credit score and history to determine rates. How you and your now-former spouse established credit could result in your rates rising or falling after the divorce is final. If joint credit was established, the rates would stay the same. If you and your spouse had separate accounts, your spouse’s credit habits will not longer impact your credit information, which could make a difference in your auto policy, depending on who was listed first on the policy.

For more information on how divorce can impact your auto insurance coverage and policies, visit www.sampair.com for assistance from our Surprise divorce attorneys at The Sampair Group.