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Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

Finding financial health after a divorce

It should be no surprise to readers of this Arizona family law blog that ending a marriage and dividing a single home into two households can be expensive. A couple that shares a mortgage may find itself paying that mortgage and rent for one of the partners to live in a residence other than the marital home; to support that second address the individuals both must pay utilities, buy household goods and attend to many of the other costs that are needed for a person to live on their own.

While creating a sound property settlement pursuant to a divorce is an important part of protecting a person's post-marriage financial health there are many other ways that people can help themselves land on their feet in the wakes of their divorces. For example, divorced parties should cancel any credit cards that they share with their exes as they can become liable for the costs their ex-partners incur as joint holders of the accounts.

A divorce should not result in financial suffering

While some people may believe that deciding to divorce is an easy choice, for many it is a difficult process that requires them to weigh a number of personal factors and options. A Phoenix resident may feel compelled to stay in a marriage for the sake of their kids or they may simply not be ready to give up on their relationship. For others, leaving a marriage may mean coming to terms with another difficult change in circumstances: a possible modification to one's financial situation.

When two people divorce they must divide up their property and determine who shall own what once their marriage is over. Once their lives are split what they earn as income becomes their own, but for a spouse who is unemployed or who has not worked in many years the prospect of becoming self-supporting may be incredibly overwhelming. This is where alimony may come into play.

Can I move if I share physical custody of my child?

It is not uncommon for Arizona residents to change jobs over the course of their careers. In fact, some individuals may even change industries or occupational paths that take them on very different courses of life. When opportunities to make career moves come up it is often the case that the move will impact more than just the person seeking to make the switch.

Children can often be affected if their parents decide that they want to change jobs and relocate to new cities or even states. Particularly if a child is subject to a custody plan, a move could mean big changes for their normal course of life. If a parent has sole custody of their child then the move may be easier as they may not need permission from the other parent to make the change.

Ways a man may be proven to be a child's father

Although their relationships do not always last, men and women who reside in Arizona bring children into the world that they must raise and care for until the children are no longer dependents. When a man and woman are married at the time a child is born it is generally presumed that the child is the offspring of the woman's husband. However, not all babies are born to married individuals and this post will discuss how paternity may be proven in the state of Arizona.

First, a long-term marriage is not required to show paternity. A man and a woman must have married within the ten months preceding the baby's birth for the man to be considered the father of the child or the baby must have been born to the woman within the ten months following the end of the couple's marriage.

Circumstances that may lead to an award of alimony

Not every divorce that occurs in the courts of Arizona will end with an award of alimony to one of the parties. In fact, in many cases the parties to a divorce may emerge from the legal process with their careers intact and sufficient assets on which to support themselves. It is only when one of the parties may be disadvantaged and unable to provide for their own needs that an award of alimony will be made.

Pursuant to Arizona law there are four situations in which an award of alimony may be appropriate. First, an award of alimony may be made if the party requesting the support does not have enough property or sufficient assets to manage their own financial needs. Their former spouse may be required to provide them with additional support so that they may maintain their reasonable living requirements.

When will I be done paying child support?

A parent who lives with their child may be painfully aware of just how much money it takes to raise that young person. From costs associated with keeping food in their body and a roof over their head to paying for their clothes, school supplies and activities, a Phoenix parent may be stretched to cover the many expenses that are required to maintain a child's needs.

In Arizona both of a child's parents are responsible for contributing financially to the child's well-being. As such, if the child's parents are no longer together then a child support order may be necessary to ensure that the noncustodial parent continues to provide for their kid. Child support obligations can last for many years but generally terminate when the children subject to them turn eighteen years of age.

New tax law has implications for alimony payers

At present, when an Arizona couple goes through a divorce one of the parties to the legal process may be required to pay the other alimony once the divorce is finalized. Alimony, also called spousal support, is financial support paid from one former partner to the other to allow the recipient to survive in once their marriage ends. Alimony payments can take on different formats and may be paid in lump sums or periodic payments over time.

Prior to the passage of the recent federal tax reform law, payers of alimony were allowed to deduct the sums that they provided to their exes from their tax returns. Therefore, if a payer provided their ex-spouse with $10,000 of support over the course of a year they could deduct $10,000 from their own taxes when filing time came around.

Is divorce on the horizon for in the New Year?

Although the holidays are often a time of happiness for families throughout Arizona, they can also be a time of stress and sadness for those who feel caught in unhappy relationships. It can be the togetherness that the holidays impose that causes them to realize that their marriages are failing. While some may wish to give themselves time for reflection on how best to move forward with their spouses, others may recognize that divorce is their best option.

Deciding to divorce and taking the step to initiate a divorce are two different processes. The legal requirements of a divorce, such as residency and grounds, must be appropriately pleaded for an individual to successfully file with the court to initiate a divorce proceeding. Once their first filing is complete, the filer must abide by timing and notice schedules to ensure that their soon-to-be ex is aware of the legal process.

Why is it important to establish paternity of a child?

Not that far into the past many Arizona families fit into a standardized mold that included a father, a mother and any number of children born to the parent's marriage. Such familiar structures were common, but today families take on many different forms. While in some cases the two parent structure still exists, today it is just as common for families to include single parent homes, mixed families and families in which grandparents or other third parties take active roles in the raising of youths.

The fluid nature of what a family is has made it easier for some individuals to live the lives that they want. Not all parents' relationships last, and as such it can be beneficial for individuals to separate and raise their children despite the failure of their union. When parents separate prior to the birth of their children, though, questions can sometimes arise regarding the parentage of their offspring.

Proper execution is necessary for a valid prenuptial agreement

Although they tend not to be the most romantic items that engaged Phoenix couples acquire prior to their marriages, prenuptial agreements can be the most important planning tools that unmarried couples can execute to set their financial expectations during their marriages. While prenuptial agreements are often invoked when marriages end and couples divorce, they can also serve as effective communication devices for couples that need to discuss what each will bring, and potentially take, from the marriage.

It is not unusual for unmarried persons to acquire significant assets prior to choosing to wed. Because of this, a person could stand to lose significant financial wealth if their assets are not protected through a premarital contract like a prenup. While any couple may choose to execute a prenup they can be particularly useful for couples that carry with them significant assets.

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