Alongi Law Firm, PLLC

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Maricopa County Family Law Blog

Reset finances by discussing a postnuptial agreement

One way that some couples in Arizona have decided to reset their finances is by discussing a postnuptial agreement. This legal document is similar to a prenuptial agreement. One major difference between these two agreements is when they are signed. Prenuptial agreements are signed prior to marriage, and postnuptial agreements are signed during marriage.

Signing a postnuptial agreement does not mean that a couple's relationship is doomed to failure. Some have found that it adds clarity to their finances. It has allowed some to correct the mismanagement of finances, particularly when one partner does not handle money well.

Divorces peak in the beginning of January

Legal professionals in Arizona and other states have started calling January "Divorce Month." Statistics from a study conducted in 2016 at the University of Washington confirmed that divorce filings went up in the month of January from the year 2001 to 2015. Additionally, searches for the word "divorce" or "divorce party" go up during January in search engines and online platforms.

There are a couple of things that may behind the upward trend in divorces during the month of January. First, many couples are under a lot of stress because of travel or spending time with family during the holiday season. They may have the thought that they never want to spend the holiday season again with their spouse. Second, starting the new year and hoping to make positive changes means that some decide that divorce is their best option. Even if divorce is on a person's mind during December, most people decide to wait until the holidays are over before breaking the news to their children or family members.

Divorce may alter a person's retirement plans

Marital dissolution will almost always require division (or some other solution) for retirement assets. Furthermore, if the plan (such as a 401k) falls under a particular federal law ('ERISA'), you will likely need a special, extra order called a "qualified domestic relations order" ('QDRO'). The QDRO will allow funds to be transferred without either individual incurring financial penalties. Not all plans require this level of attention, but many do.

It is also possible that money in a retirement account remains where it is until months or years after the divorce becomes final. It is important to note that a retirement account may not be split evenly, and the exact split will determine on several factors, especially if the parties negotiate a different way to divide their property and debt so the retirement plans can be left alone.

Where will your family pet go after a divorce?

Over the course of your marriage, you and your ex probably collected several shared assets. So, when your marriage ends, part of the divorce process is determining which items you share and which items belong solely to you. And when it comes to family pets, it can be difficult to determine who gets to keep them.

 

How long will you pay child support for?

There are many issues to resolve in a divorce. As a parent, you must also resolve how often you will see your kids but also how much you will pay to them in child support. Chances are that you've never experienced this process before and you may have questions about child support.

Among the biggest questions may be how long Arizona requires you to make those support payments.

Deciding what to do with the marital home during a divorce

One of the toughest conversations Arizona couples have to have when they go through a divorce has to do with what will happen to the family home. Besides the fact that it is likely one of their largest assets, there are emotions and memories connected to the home. There are three options that most couples have available to them when they are in this situation.

One option is to sell the home and then divide the proceeds. In many ways, this is the cleanest and easiest route to take. Some of the considerations couples will have to make include understanding they will be subject to capital gains taxes if they make money on the sale and being sure their finances and credit are stable enough to find new living spaces.

When should you tell your kids about your divorce?

Divorce can be hard on everyone in the family, but it can be especially hard on kids. As a parent, you may hesitate to tell your children about your divorce because you do not want to cause them pain. However, it is often better to tell kids about divorce sooner rather than later.

If you are sure your divorce is happening, it may already be the right time to tell your children about it. It may also be time to tell your kids if, in the next month or two, you or your spouse plan to move out of the marital home or your custody agreement will go into effect.

How to make sure your kid goes to the right parent after school

The first few months of the school year can be hard for parents that divorced within the last few months. Not only do you not spend as much time with your child as you did in the summer, but you also might have a new custody schedule to deal with. The time the child spends with their respective parents during the school year is often drastically different for many Arizona families.

Unfortunately, a new time of the year can bring new problems. The school year is much more difficult to plan for since your kid can get involved in sports, extracurricular activities or even go to a friend's house to hang out after school. Your ex may also struggle to adjusting to the new schedule as well, or they could use the confusion you and your child may experience to their advantage. To avoid losing more time with your kid and getting into potential custody disputes, you need to speak to the following people:

Handling a house buyout in a divorce

When divorcing couples enter into property division negotiations, the marital home is usually the most valuable asset discussed. The community property laws in Arizona require marital assets to be divided equally, which means establishing an agreed-upon value for the primary residence is extremely important. This is usually done by qualified real estate appraisers, but it is often a difficult process.

Appraisers usually inspect the home in question and then check recent transactions in the area to find out how much similar properties have sold for. Divorcing spouses often appoint an appraiser each, and a third appraisal may be required if their valuations are not in alignment. Once a property value has been agreed on, the spouses must decide whether or not to sell the marital home and divide the proceeds. If one spouse wishes to remain in the home, negotiations become more complex and potentially more contentious.

What is community property?

If you are preparing for divorce, you may have heard that Arizona is a community property state. It may not be immediately obvious what that means. However, it could affect your divorce outcomes.

Part of the divorce process involves evaluating assets and debts. Those assets and debts must then be divided between you and your spouse. In the United States, there are two ways that assets and debts can be divided in divorce. Understanding the way they are divided in Arizona can help you better prepare for this process.

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