April 2013 Archives

Post-divorce advice: Interacting with your child's stepparent

Co-parenting can be a challenging process. However, if you and your child's other parent have shared custody or substantial visitation arrangements, you will both be required to work together frequently in the child's best interest. This task can become even more complicated when the additional family players otherwise known as step parents comprise part of the parenting picture.

When your child's other parent craves conflict

Couples choose to end their relationships for a variety of reasons. One common reason that American romantic relationships end is that high-conflict individuals tend to either break off relationships or inspire their partners to do so. After all, it can be truly difficult to enjoy life when your partner is consistently itching for a fight. Fortunately, an individual who does not crave conflict can choose to leave a partner who does. Unfortunately, splitting up does not always mean that you can leave your high-conflict partner behind.

Instead of worrying about divorce or custody, speak up

When you are navigating a divorce or grappling with a child custody, child support or domestic violence issue, it is normal to struggle with feelings of worry. However, it is advisable to deal with your urge to worry in a constructive way. Failure to do so can lead you to act in ways that may negatively impact the outcome of your divorce, custody or other family law matter. While worry is an understandable reaction to family-related stress, it will likely do you very little good to indulge it.

Keeping divorce manageable financially

Unexpected and largely unwelcome life events can be costly. Certainly, individuals can learn valuable lessons that eventually enhance their lives when they become ill, suffer injury, lose a job or choose to divorce. However, these events are almost always stressful and financially costly in their immediate aftermath. There are not always clear ways to remain financially stable during illness, injury or job loss. However, individuals can take steps to remain financially stable during and in the wake of divorce.

Community or Separate Property? Division of Assets in Arizona

As a general rule, property division in an Arizona divorce or legal separation, awards each party their 1/2 share of the community property, subject to certain exceptions, and each party is awarded their respective separate property.Property acquired during marriage is presumed to be community property. Property Division  Separate property is typically defined as property obtained prior to marriage or obtained during marriage via gift or inheritance. While separate property remains the sole and separate property of a spouse, there is Arizona case law which permits the community to gain an equitable lien in the separate property of the other spouse. In some cases, a payout for the community value of the equity in the separate asset will be paid.A typical instance in which the community may gain an equitable lien in the separate property of a spouse is when one spouse mixes community time and labor with their separate funds. For example, you may have one spouse whose primary business during marriage is to take his sole and separate funds and engage in hard money lending. He spends all of his working day engaged in this activity. Under this scenario, the community has an equitable lien in the profits and business because of the community labor that was involved. "Arizona courts have long agreed that the results of a spouse's labor are community property." Rueschenberg v. Rueschenberg, 219 Ariz. 249, 252, 196 P.2d 852, 855 (2008). The Court in Rueschenberg went on to say, "[where either spouse is engaged in a business whose capital is the separate property of such spouse, the profits of the business are either community or separate in accordance with whether they are the result of the individual toil and application of the spouse, or the inherent qualities of the business itself." Id. at 257, 860. Other examples include when a husband may own a house at the time of the marriage, but the couple may share responsibility for mortgage payments and home upkeep, using a joint checking account or other co-owned funds. Or a wife may own investments which the couple adds to during the marriage using "community funds," or in other words, jointly-owned financial assets.

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