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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.

The Benefits of Legal Mediation

In many cases, the decision for a divorce is mutual. For your and your spouse’s security, it is always recommended to have someone mediate meetings regarding how assets are to be divided. You never know when a dispute may arise and a mediator provides many benefits during the divorce process.

Swift Settlements
It can take a very long time to get a court date – sometimes up to a year. If the case is appealed, it might take another few years. Mediation often provides a more timely option for resolving disputers. Additionally, there is not a shortage of mediators who are ready and willing to assist parties who wish to settle matters quickly.

Less Intimidating
Being faced with attending court can often times be intimidating. There are many procedures and processes you need to remember to adhere by. In mediations, there aren’t any strict rules or procedure. This allows the parties to relax and find the best path to agreement. As a result, both parties leave happier and more satisfied with the conclusion of the mediation.

More Control
Negotiating your own settlement allows much more control over the outcome of a dispute. Decisions and agreements that are made are much more likely to be held up over time. If there is a dispute in the future, the parties are much more likely to utilize a cooperative outlet of problem-solving.

Customized Agreements
Concerns and disputes that are brought up by both parties are able to be addressed. This includes legal and non-legal issues. Mediated agreements often include psychological issues that are not necessarily a court issue. Every agreement is customized to your particular situation.

Financially Reasonable
In addition to providing a civil agreement between parties, hiring a mediator is very frequently a much cheaper option than going to court. If your finances are suffering in addition to your divorce, you and your spouse may want to consider a mediated meeting instead of lawyer and court fees.

If you find yourself in need of a mediator, the Phoenix attorneys at The Sampair Group can help. With the numerous legal issues that can arise within a family, you can trust our experienced attorneys to help you through this challenging time. Visit www.sampair.com today for a free consultation.

Get Your Finances Back on Track After Divorce

Divorce can put a lot of strain on your life, especially your finances. Here are some tips to getting your financial life back on track after your split from your spouse.

Evaluate where you are spending cash that you don’t necessarily need to be spending and think of ways that you can minimize overspending. These kinds of payments could be shopping habits you could change at the mall to save some cash, or even reducing your interest rates, which could make a significant improvement on your current income.

Decide what kind of property would be best for you to live in based on your new financial situation, and do your research. Determine how much you can borrow and how that will affect any other goals you have, such as saving for your children’s education or a retirement fund.

Do a financial stock intake and assess all debts and assets that are either yours or yours and your former spouse’s together. This includes all debts on bills that should have been changed to be in either yours or their name once the divorce took place, making only one of you financially responsible for them.

Boost your career. If your current job isn’t what you would like, now is the best opportunity for a change. You are beginning a new life, and with that should come a new job if you’re not happy with the one you currently have. Take some courses to freshen up your skills, update your resume and explore opportunities that you may not have been able to consider before.

Start building an emergency fund, and after a divorce you will need time to rebuild your financial resources. Even if it is just a little at a time, start putting money away that would be available toward emergencies, vacations, and anything extra that you are unable to use your job income for.

Breadwinning Mothers Risk Losing Custody After Divorce

Recent figures show that 42% of marriages end in divorce. In most cases of divorce, it is the mother that gets custody of the children, and the father receives visitation and parenting time rights. However, recent cases show that to be different, especially if the mother is the breadwinner in the family.

Many recent divorce cases have shown that professional women whose marriages are ending have lost custody to their ex husband. When the mother is a successful businesswoman and makes most of the money in the family, courts will often consider the children to be better off living with the father full-time, while receiving financial support from the mother.

While female breadwinners shouldn’t expect to be treated any differently than their male counterparts, it surely is difficult for any parent to know they do not have full custody of their children mostly because of their career and success.

When a couple gets married, it’s likely that both spouses have a job. Oftentimes, when children are born into a marriage, the workload for one of the parents decreases so there is more room for childcare at home.  Other family dynamics will often change, including priorities for each parent when it comes to balancing home and work.

It’s likely that many hardworking women predict how their situation would turn out if they were to go through a divorce, and they are often ill prepared for the potential outcomes of a divorce, especially when they factor in custody of their children.

If you are a hardworking mother with a very time consuming career, the best way to avoid losing custody of your children is to come up with a efficient working arrangement that allows time and attention for your children from you.

At The Sampair Group, we will work with you and the conditions and specifics of your divorce case to get you the results you want, including child custody agreements. Visit us at www.sampair.com for a free consultation today.

Protect Your Business In A Divorce (Part 2)

Continued from Part 1

A divorce can have a significant impact on a business, and there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your business.

The first thing you should do is seek legal counsel. The Glendale divorce attorneys at The Sampair Group will work with you to make sure that your business is protected as well as all of your rights as a business owner.

As a business owner, planning ahead is extremely important. A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can be the determination for how the assets are distributed in the event of a divorce. These documents can be difficult to navigate through, but most of them should have the following requirements included:

  • The agreement must be in writing
  • It must be executed voluntarily and without coercion (having your fiancé sign a prenup the day before the wedding is a good way to invalidate that prenup)
  • There must be full disclosure (no hiding of assets) – this is another way to invalidate a prenup
  • The agreement cannot be unconscionable (this is also another way to invalidate a prenup). For example, if you’re making millions, don’t expect to get away with only giving up the silverware in the divorce, even if that’s what’s in the prenup.
  • It must be  executed by both parties, preferably in front of witnesses (or a notary)
  • Through a prenuptial agreement, each party can decide ahead of time (before a divorce is expected) how marital property will be divided.
  • If you don’t have a prenuptial agreement, it would be wise to get a postnuptial agreement (an agreement made after marriage). It won’t be as strict as a prenup would, but it would assist in making sure your assets and your businesses are protected.

If you don’t have either of these documents, hire a joint financial expert that can help value the business and determine ways to keep costs down. To avoid the sale of a business, discuss possible settlement options with your  lawyer, who can then discuss these terms with the legal counsel for your ex-spouse.

Have a team of smart personal advisors by your side as often as possible to help you double check all decisions before making them, especially if they include your business. They may be able to think more clearly than you are when it comes to making such decisions, since your mind will be preoccupied with the stresses of divorce.

If there are multiple business owners, the business partnership agreement or shareholder agreement can address a methodology of buyout or valuation of interest if a divorce is filed against one of the business owners. The court would likely respect this as it shows intent to minimize business disruption despite the personal happenings outside of it.

If you are going through a divorce and you are worried about how your business will be affected, The Sampair Group can help. Visit us today at www.sampair.com for a free consultation.

Protect Your Business In A Divorce (Part 1)

Divorce is never something that is expected to happen at the time of marriage, but it is a possible situation that you could find yourself a part of. The divorce process is complicated for everyone involved, but when you or your spouse is the owner of a business, things can get a little trickier.

When you own a business, it becomes one of the most valuable assets under your name. You’ve put countless hours of time, money and energy into it so it can grow and become a success. So of course, in the event of a divorce, wouldn’t you want to make sure that it is protected?

Depending on the circumstances and financial agreements of your marriage, and the guidelines outlined in your alimony agreement, your spouse may possibly be entitled to as much as 50 percent of your business in the event of a divorce.

First, it’s important to note the differences between separate and marital property. Not knowing these differences could result in you inadvertently doing something that may cause your property to land in the hands of your ex-spouse as marital property when it shouldn’t have.

Separate property includes:

  • Property that was owned prior to the marriage
  • An inheritance received by one spouse solely
  • A gift received by one spouse solely from a third party (not from the other spouse)
  • The pain and suffering portion of a personal injury judgment
  • If separate property is comingled with marital property, it can lose it’s status of being separate property.
  • All other property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property, no matter which spouse owns it or which name is on the title.

Marital property includes all assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage, including:

  • Pension plans; 401(k)s
  • IRAs and other retirement plans
  • deferred compensation
  • stock options
  • restricted stocks and other equity
  • bonuses
  • commissions
  • country club memberships
  • annuities
  • life insurance (especially those with cash values)
  • brokerage accounts – mutual funds, stocks, bonds, etc
  • bank accounts – checking, savings, CDs, etc
  • closely-held businesses; professional practices and licenses
  • real estate
  • limited partnerships
  • cars, boats, etc
  • art, antiques
  • tax refunds

Arizona is a Community Property State, meaning that both spouses are considered equal owners of all marital property, resulting in a 50-50 split.

Read more in Part 2

7 Divorce Mistakes That Could Cost You

Just as emotionally draining as divorce can be, it can be equally as financially draining.  Aside from legal fees, there are other things that must be considered when it comes to the costs involved in divorce, including a new home and a new life. Avoiding these mistakes could certainly save you a pretty penny in the event of a divorce.

1. Making decisions when you are upset or over emotional about the divorce. If you are extremely upset because of the events happening around you, try your best to not make any hasty decisions purely out of anger or sadness. This could lead to making bad decisions, including financial ones.

2. Not getting legal advice. Having a Glendale divorce lawyer on your side will help you determine which financial pitfalls you can avoid and how to get the most out of a divorce settlement. Without a lawyer, you may miss some of the ways to financially navigate your divorce.

3. Failing to think strategically. Determine what things are worth fighting for, and consider how much you’re willing to pay to hold onto your assets. Make sure you’re legal fees don’t end up costing more than what you’ll actually be getting in return.

4. Being disorganized. The more organized you keep your financial documents, the easier it will be for you to access that information when you need it.

5. Not working with a tax person. A tax accountant and financial planner will help minimize the amount of tax you will have to pay during the divorce process. Working with these kind of professionals will prevent any tax liabilities that you may not have noticed at first.

6.  Not disclosing financial information. In order to get an appropriate settlement, you need to provide the court with full disclosure of your finances. Trying to conceal or dissipate assets can end up costing you in the end.

7. Not having a will. While it may be a morbid topic to think about, having a will is an important practicality to ensure that your loved ones are provided for in the event of your death. This is especially relevant if you have children with your ex spouse.

For more information on how to avoid financial pitfalls that could severely impact your finances during the divorce process, contact a Glendale divorce lawyer at The Sampair Group today. Visit us at www.sampair.com for a free consultation.

Appealing A Divorce Court Order

Divorce DecreeIn most divorce cases, there’s always going to be at least one of the parties involved that is unhappy with the terms and conditions of their divorce decree. If one spouse feels that the rulings by the judge were unfair or fraudulent, or if they feel a mistake had been made, that person can appeal the order.

Under Arizona law, you have the right to appeal a divorce court order, but there are conditions you must follow.

Your course of action for responding to your court order and wanting to file an appeal depends on specifically what went wrong. You have the options of either appealing the decision of the family court to a higher authority (the Arizona Court of Appeals) or you can ask the family court for a new trial altogether. The latter option means that the court will vacate or throw out the original divorce judgment to schedule for a new trial.

Just because you are unhappy with the terms because they didn’t rule in your favor doesn’t give you authority to file an appeal. You must be able to provide specific grounds and legally acceptable reasons to present to the court when asking them to grant your appeal. You can work with a Glendale divorce attorney to find ways to establish that the judge made a legal error in your case, such as considering evidence they shouldn’t have or neglecting to accept testimony that could have supported your side.

In Arizona, you have 30 days to file to appeal your divorce judgment. This time limit starts on the day that the court files your judgment and it becomes a matter of record, versus the day when the judge actually signs it. To initiate the action, you must file a Notice of Appeal, and then your divorce attorney must filed a Record of Appeal and appellate brief, outlining where you suspect the judge made an error in your decree ruling.

The appellate court will then review this paperwork, as well as your ex-spouse’s paperwork if they respond to your appeal, which they likely will. A written decision will be issued, and in most cases you will not have to physically appear in court to argue your case.

If the Court of Appeals determines that a mistake was made in your case, they will remand the case back to the judge who made the error so they can reconsider the decision originally made. This doesn’t necessarily reverse the court’s decision, but gives the judge a second chance to reconsider the decision they made.

If you want to file an appeal and a motion for a new trail, you cannot do both at the same time. The Court of Appeals can only make a decision after the family court has closed your case officially. After your judgment if entered with the court, you have 15 days to file a motion for a new trial. The 30 day statute begins when the court decides your motion, and the resulting order is filed with the court. If denied a new trial, you can then file an appeal.

It is imperative that you read the final decree of your divorce before signing anything and making terms and conditions official. For legal assistance during your divorce case, contact a Glendale divorce attorney at The Sampair Group. Visit us today at www.sampair.com for more information and a free consultation.

Military Divorce in Arizona

Comparable to a typical civilian divorce, an Arizona military divorce involves several different and unique issues since state and federal laws and rules apply.

These laws are in place to protect the rights of military personnel and civil laws, combining Arizona divorce laws and military laws.

Military Divorce Protection
In Arizona, there are laws that protect active duty members from being held in default if they fail to respond to a divorce action. This prevents the personnel from being divorced without their knowledge, especially if they are not in the country and serving in a war.

Serving an Active Military Spouse
An active duty spouse must be personally served with a divorce summons and a copy of the divorce action. If this does not happen, the Arizona court cannot have jurisdiction over the active military member. If the case is uncontested, the active duty spouse may not have to be personally served as long as they sign a waiver acknowledging the divorce action.

Requirements/Grounds
In order to file for a military divorce, the military spouse or their spouse must reside in Arizona, or either of you must be stationed in Arizona. The grounds for military divorce are the same as civilian divorce.

Property/Benefits
Division of property in a military divorce follows the same laws along with normal Arizona property division laws. Under these laws, the federal government has enacted the Uniformed Services Former Spouse’s Protection Act (USFSPA) that governs how military retirement benefits are divided and calculated in the event of divorce. This act governs the direct payments of a portion of the portion that military retirees will pay to their former spouse. Federal law will not divide the retirement funds unless the marriage lasted 10 years or longer while one of the parties was active duty military.

Child/Spousal Support
In the state of Arizona, child and spousal support cannot exceed 60 percent of a military member’s pay and allowances. Amount of child support to be paid is determined by regular Arizona child support guidelines.

If you are an active military member or your spouse is active military and you are seeking a divorce, contact the Surprise divorce lawyers at The Sampair Group. Visit us today at www.sampair.com for a free consultation.

Tips for Successful Divorce Mediation – Part 1

MediationIn many cases of divorce, especially if the marriage lasted for an extended period of time, it may be necessary to seek mediation. This will provide an opportunity to discuss and settle upon the details of the divorce. Mediation provides an easier and more productive way of going through a divorce rather than allowing the courts to make the final decision.

Mediation may be the best decision, however it is not always the easiest emotional thing to go through. You and your ex spouse will be expressing your needs, concerns and wishes to a mediator, who then works with both of your to come up with mutually agreed upon terms for the divorce and other family law matters.

Here are some words of advice to follow if you have found yourself facing mediation with an ex spouse. Following these tips can contribute to a smooth divorce mediation process, and a better outcome in the long run for you, your ex spouse, and any other family members or children involved.

Be Cordial And Polite
If there is an abundance of fighting and screaming between you and your spouse during the mediation process, it will prove to be unproductive. Be prepared to act cordial and polite and actively avoid any yelling, name calling or bantering.

Do Not Issue Ultimatums or Deadlines
Giving your spouse an ultimatum could irritate your spouse further, resulting in them walking out of mediation or refusing to continue. Issuing threats or deadlines is not the productive solution. Work with your mediator to discuss the issue back and forth and create a plan that works for both you and your spouse and is mutually agreed upon.

Prepare To Share Information
During the divorce proceedings, the lawyers for both parties will request information regarding finances from the other party. Do not refuse to share any of this information, as it will make you look guilty of hiding something. You are more likely to be offered a better settlement if you provide full disclosure of your finances from the start, even before it is requested.

For more information on the experience of a divorce mediation and how to keep yourself legally protected through divorce litigation, contact an experience Glendale divorce lawyer at The Sampair Group today.

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