September 24, 2013

Family Law Courts Are The Perfect Option For Solving Family Disputes

By Dylan Shane -

There are several cases in the court of justice and the varieties in them ranges a lot. So, there are certain classifications in the courts present in any judicial system of the country. Some of them like civil, criminal, consumer, taxation and many more are categorised according to the types of cases that come in the court’s way. The specialization for the lawyers is even categorised. But, there are consultants and firms who help in all your legal problems and that mean, one place solution for all your problems. Suppose you have a family legal problem then how would you get family law lawyers and trust on his/her expertise if found one? It seems a hard task to talk about.

The family law courts deal with the cases related to family issues. Family issues are many and the list is quite big to lay out with a complete explanation. Some of them are, adoption, prenuptial agreements, marriage, divorce, separation, legal separation, property division after the death of the parents, division of property on the breakage of marriage, domestic violence (western countries are very strict on these issues, even a mother can be arrested for beating her child), child labour, abuse on marriage to the lady, parental rights, juvenile and many other issues which make sense for having a justice.

The family law courts are criticized a lot about not giving a proper justice and forwarding the case to those higher courts which demands more money and more family law lawyers. So, in a sense they are considered of no use but this is a complete false notion. Instead of the family court the losing party calls for the higher court’s justice. There are also some other issues that has been under the family courts like, the cases relating to, criminal laws inside family, property related laws, probation laws and so on.

The family courts are the most crowded places in almost every country. They deal mostly cases relating to social and economic issues and these are numbered more than any other cases. These courts include less complex cases. The clients who enter into lodging a complaint may be new in these terms and the process might be intimidating for certain people. But, it is perfectly fine about all these because here you abide by the government’s support as they ensure you justice.

One important thing is not to trust anybody out here in this field and hence you must thoroughly understand the terms of the laws. It might be a difficult task for you but the terms relating to your particular case are very important to understand. So, you can readily go for those and make sure nobody cheats you.

Dylan Shane is Australian Author. He provides free advice to make your website SEO friendly. He has applied his knowledge and understanding to a wide variety of family law lawyers and family law court.

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How to Destroy Your Child Custody Action

By Dianne Ophelia -

That one text or email could mean the difference between receiving custody of your kids or having to settle for visitation rights.

Fathers and Mothers don’t realize the importance of every sentence in every piece of “written evidence” in their Child Custody Action.

“Written evidence” can consist not only of the pleadings that you or your lawyer file with the Court, but more important, can include letters you may have sent to the other parent, notes left on the counter, emails, texts and voice mails.

Often, when a Parent is angry and upset, in the heat of the moment, he or she will send an email, voice mail or written note to the other Parent with angry, accusatory, or offensive language.

Or, sometimes a parent will make derogatory comments about the children, i.e. “Tommy is out of control.” Any statements which may call into question your parenting ability must be monitored carefully.

A Family Law Judge or Child Custody Evaluator may not feel that the incident referred to in the writing called for such an angry response (and you may agree once you have calmed down.)

The problem is, once the writing is made, it is admissible in court and can seriously harm your Child Custody action and destroy the chances of getting those Fathers Rights or Mothers Rights that you have worked so hard to obtain.

If you are represented by a lawyer, it is imperative to tell him or her that you want to review every single letter or document which leaves their office, whether it is directed toward the opposing attorney, the court or a custody evaluator.

If you are not represented by a lawyer, always put the document you wrote down for a few hours, then review it again before deciding if it should be sent as written or modified.

When reviewing your documents, think of the following:

1. Are all of the Facts contained in the document absolutely accurate?

2. What is the tone of the document? Does it sound:

  • Accusatory
  • Controlling
  • Condescending
  • Complaining or whiny.

Don’t Let the Opposing Side use your documents against you to prove that your personality may not be the same as that which you are portraying in Court.

You want to convey an image of a calm, competent, sincere and responsible Parent. Don’t let your documents show otherwise.

Remember, anything said in a document, email, text or voicemail can be used by the opposing side in a custody evaluator’s office or in court.

For More Information, Articles, and eBooks to Guarantee Your Success in your Custody and Divorce Action; visit me at: http://www.edivorceexpert.com.

If you are ready for a civilized resolution to your divorce, check this out: http://www.edivorceexpert.com/diannes-services/mediation-services/

Dianne R. Ophelia is a Certified Family Law Specialist and is known as “THE 30 YEAR DIVORCE EXPERT”

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Five Steps to Winning Your Child Custody Case

By Jef Henninger -

There is nothing more serious in family courts than dealing with the custody of children. While every jurisdiction has their own unique set of law on this topic, some basic principles apply to every case. While some states use the terms legal custody and physical custody interchangeably, the focus of this article will be on the physical custody of the children. Furthermore, some jurisdictions will change the procedures if the case involves married and divorced couples versus non-married couples. The tips in this article will apply to either scenario.

1. What is your motivation for winning?

Unfortunately, children are often used as pawns in heated divorced cases between the parents. Before you start off on a huge custody battle, decide what you really want and why you want it. I don’t think enough people really focus on this issue. Is the other parent really that bad? Are you just looking to save money? Your sole focus in any child custody case should be the best interests of the child. In other words, do you think the children would be better off with you or the other parent? Why do you think that? When I ask these questions to my clients in the average custody case, they often don’t have solid answers. Of course, there are more specific cases where the other parent has substance abuse issues or is otherwise a danger to the child.

2. Prepare for battle

Most people are not prepared for a custody battle. Besides not knowing the procedure, its tough to understand the emotional toll that such a battle can take upon you and your family. Furthermore, custody battles also take a huge financial toll on the family as well. Money is like ammunition and while the person with more ammunition doesn’t always win the battle, it does give a huge advantage to the other side. Married couples going through a divorce should be in the same basic financial position. However, parents of either side often get involves in the custody battles since they want to protect not only their child, but their rights to the grand children as well. I have seen too many cases where one side’s parents are rich and the other side’s parents are not. This huge imbalance can seriously impact the case. One way to handle this issue is to recognize it from the beginning. It should come into play in every aspect of the case because you cannot go blow for blow with the other side. You will have to be creative in how and when you deploy money for the case.

With regard to the emotional aspects of the case, you have to be in it for the long haul. In the beginning of the case, everyone is ready to fight. 12 months later, some of that fight may go out the window. Unfortunately, the emotional drain coupled with the financial drain leads some to just throw in the towel. While every case is different, I have seen some clients succeed 12 to 24 months into a case that seemed hopeless from the beginning. Their resolve to see the case through played a big part in the victory.

3. Select the right attorney

This is a fascinating topic as everyone has their own criteria for how to find the best attorney. Simply put, there is no benchmark for determining who is the best. Physical characteristics, location, religion, age, hourly rate, firm association and other random factors will likely not help you. Instead, I suggest you look for an attorney that has demonstrable experience in such cases. An attorney just saying that they have handled these cases doesn’t help. Some attorneys will take anything that walks in the door. Of course, the sheer number of cases handled does not equate to them being a better attorney. How do you get along with this attorney? He or she will be a very important person in your life and you need to establish a good relationship with him or her. Furthermore, you need to make sure that this attorney has a plan to win your case. Most clients that leave their attorney for us, often tell me that their attorney did not seem to have any plan. Without a plan, there is no strategy and in such a case, it will be very difficult to in.

4. Focus on what matters

This is a very emotional issue; there is no getting around that. Clients have a tendency to want to focus more on how bad the other side is as a spouse rather than if they are a good parent. Often times I ask my clients how their complaint about the other side impact their parenting skills. Half the time, there is no impact. If there is no impact, it doesn’t matter.

This is where having a quality attorney really comes into play. Your attorney should be the gate keeper between what you want to say and what actually gets before the court. All too often, attorneys let their clients do whatever they want to do. While the final decision is ultimately up to you, the last thing you want is a yes man (or woman). Trust me when I say that most judges will ignore most of the garbage that you put in there and could even draw a negative inference against you. Likewise, don’t feel the need to go tit for tat with the other side. Just because they don’t have a lawyer that restricts what is in their moving papers, doesn’t mean that you need to match them. Instead, your lawyer can help you formulate a general response to the allegations and then hopefully turn it around on them.

5. Defend against accusations right away

Unfortunately, many people will say anything to gain an advantage in a custody case. False allegations of domestic violence, child abuse and substance abuse are common. Some of these allegations may be overt, such as complaints to police and other agencies, where as other allegations could just be threats or hearsay from third parties. Regardless of how and when these allegations surface, you need to deal with them ASAP.

For example, if there is even a hint that someone will claim that you have a substance abuse problem, you need to speak to your attorney about a substance abuse evaluation. You should also start lining up character witnesses that can testify as to your lack of alcohol and drug use. Don’t assume that you can just deny everything. If you don’t get a substance abuse evaluation and other evidence early, the other side can move for their own evaluation. While we hope that such experts are not hired guns, some are and there is a good chance this evaluation will not come out in your favor.

The same goes for mental health issues. Many people have various mental health issues and they are perfectly fine parents. However, in a custody battle, even minor mental health issues can be blown out of proportion in order to paint you as a crazy person who should not have custody of the child. Thus, a psychological evaluation may be necessary. Don’t assume that your treating doctor can write you a letter. Most of them will not want to be involved since they cannot charge insurance companies for writing such detailed letters. Furthermore, your own doctor may be biased. Thus, you may have to pay out of pocket for your own evaluation but trust me, it’ll be worth it.

http://njcustodyattorneys.com/

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5 Questions To Ask A Child Custody Lawyer

By Chris K. Lawler -

No lawyer is perfect. A single lawyer, though, may be perfect for your needs. If you want to find that lawyer, you need to know the right questions to ask. The five below you should tell you everything that you need to know about any child custody attorney.

Do You Have Children?

This is a very personal question, and one that many may not answer. Finding out if your lawyer has children may help you to figure out how he or she will handle a custody case. Those with children tend to keep the child’s best interest in mind, something that you should keep in mind. If you want someone that is only concerned about the win, though, you might want to find a lawyer who does not have children.

How Long Have You Been Doing This?

Experience is quite important in the law. Those who have been practicing for quite some time not only stay in practice, but they also make connections. They might know more professionals who can help you, and they might know how to make sure that you get through your case more easily. If you are able to find out how long your lawyer has been working, you can find out how likely he or she will be to help you to get through your case.

How Much Do You Charge?

It is always a great idea to find out how much a lawyer charges. It is more important, though, to figure out if your lawyer is actually competent to price your case. A bad lawyer will offer a flat fee for a custody case, often asking for more money after a certain amount of time. A good lawyer, though, will give you the price of his or her retainer and let you know what the per-hour rate might include in the future.

Do You Handle Many Custody Cases?

Even if your lawyer has worked in the field for many years, he or she may not have focused on custody very often. If he or she tends to mostly handle divorces for those without children, for example, he or she might simply have not handled custody cases in the recent past. If you are unable to find out how often he or she has handled custody cases in the past, you might want to walk away from that lawyer.

What is the Child’s Role?

This is an absolutely vital question, especially if you care about the welfare of your children. A great attorney will help you to find the right way to involve your children, whether it is through actual testimony or through working with a social worker. You have to remember that your children need to be involved in this process, especially if the custody battle is for a good reason. It is also important to make sure that you work with an attorney who will make sure your children are protected during this process – avoid anyone who will use your children as a pawn in the court.

If you would like to know more about child custody lawyers go here:
http://corbridgekroll.com/practice-areas/child-custody/

You can also speak with a family attorney by clicking here.

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Family Law: The Purpose of Mediation

By Brad Hart -

It seems that people are becoming more willing every day to take a legal matter directly to the justice system for resolution. This may be caused by or at least influenced by the recent influx of class action lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies. These types of personal injury cases can be time-consuming for an individual, but cases involving family law are usually far more detrimental and can lead to unfortunate consequences for any of the parties involved. It is a good sign, however, that people are becoming more willing to handle their family disputes through family law mediation. Mediation offers several benefits, and the outcome of the process is often far better than that which could be received in a court of law.

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a type of alternative dispute resolution that keeps the involved parties out of a courtroom. As the name implies, mediation involves the use of a neutral third-party mediator in an effort to settle a dispute. Mediation is used in several areas of law which include family, real estate and business. Disputes such as divorces, child custody battles, spousal support or any other type of family law disagreement may be able to be resolved through the use of a mediator without having to drag the family through the mud during a court trial.

Mediators sit down with the two parties who are in disagreement. It is the mediator’s job to open up or improve the dialogue between the two parties. Licensed mediators can often be found by contacting an area’s local bar association and requesting information. These mediators do their best to help the disputants come to a mutually beneficial agreement. If an agreement is impossible, then both parties still have the right to pursue legal action. If the parties do come to an agreement, however, it is possible to make it legally binding through a deed of agreement.

Why Mediation is Important for Family Law

Most people are fully aware of the harsh consequences that can befall the individuals involved in family legal disputes. Arguing over the custody of a child or marital benefits in an open court can be detrimental to the entire family and potentially destroy extended familial relationships. The costs related to hiring attorneys and constant court fees can also quickly add up. The full cost of involvement in these legal proceedings can make disputes over property seem especially minor once all is said and done with.

There are of course other benefits to hiring a mediator as opposed to going into court. As mentioned earlier, attorneys can end up costing a family thousands of dollars between the two parties involved. Luckily, family law mediators must be experienced in family law issues. This often means that licensed psychologists, social workers and attorneys will be the only available mediators. This in turn means that the mediator will have full knowledge of the related laws and be able to present them in a fair and balanced manner for all parties.

Many parties involved in a family legal dispute will try to handle the situations themselves without the use of the courts or a mediator. While this can be prudent in some cases, it often leaves many things to be desired. An agreement between two parties, for instance, may not be a legal resolution in the area in which they live.

A mediator will know this and be able to offer solutions that the family never even considered. The parties involved can still hire attorneys to represent them during mediation, and this often gives all parties a sense that their full rights are being protected.

Benefits of Family Law Mediation

There are several benefits related to handling a dispute in front of a mediator rather than a judge. The legal system obviously benefits by being able to redirect its resources to cases that cannot possibly be resolved without intervention of the courts. Most individuals involved in family legal disputes, however, don’t really see this benefit as a huge perk. Fortunately, there are several advantages that directly affect the parties involved in the dispute as well.

One of the biggest benefits of using mediators to handle family law disputes is the confidentiality that is inherent to the mediation process. The only people who will have direct knowledge of what happens in mediation are the mediator and the parties involved in the dispute. Mediators, in most cases, cannot be compelled by the legal system to testify about anything that occurred during the process. It is unfortunate that complete strangers or spiteful acquaintances can sit in the courtroom during most family law cases, but mediation completely removes the possibility of this problem.

Another beneficial feature of mediation in these disputes is the fact that the involved parties always have some form of control over the process. Either party can walk away from the mediation at any time if they feel it isn’t proving fruitful or fair. Both parties also have a say in the final agreement that is reached. This is not how it works in a court of law. Judges or juries will pass down judgment that usually benefits one party to the detriment of the other. Mediators can also come up with complex solutions for problems that judges and juries cannot provide legally.

A final factor that many parties to mediations find appealing is the expedient process. Court cases can be dragged out for months or even years. This means an insane amount of money can be lost on attorney fees and families can go extended amounts of time with no real resolution. Mediations are often able to be handled in one day. Even though mediators do charge a fee, the simple fact that the mediation will only cost all parties involved one day of their time makes it a far more economical and efficient way of handling family issues.

Mediation is a vital tool in family law cases. If a case doesn’t involve some form of physical abuse, a mediator can often help resolve the issue at a fraction of the cost and time involved in normal family law proceedings. The overall purpose of mediation in family law is to handle a potentially devastating dispute in a timely manner and in a way that is fair to everyone involved. It’s a sad time in a family when any dispute needs mediation or litigation, but hopefully the trend of people opting for the former will continue to grow.

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Divorce – Family Law

By Amo Singh -

To begin divorce proceedings you must lodge a petition to the court. If you have children you also have to complete a statement of arrangements for children. When applying for a divorce there is only one ground on which to apply and that is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. However you must prove one of the following facts to demonstrate the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage:

1. Adultery: by the respondent and the petitioner finds it intolerable to live with the respondent.

2. Unreasonable behaviour: by the respondent and the petitioner cannot reasonably be expected to live with the respondent.

3. Two year separation: Both parties have lived apart for two years continuously immediately before the presentation of the petition and the respondent agrees to the decree being made.

4. Five year separation: Both parties have lived apart continually for five years immediately before presentation of the petition.

5. Desertion: This has to be for a two year continuous period immediately before the presentation of the petition to the court.

If you present your petition to the court and your partner agrees to the separation and the plans for the dividing of assets and custody arrangements if children are involved, then the court will issue you with your decree nisi. If you were the one that commenced the proceedings then six weeks after this time you could apply for the decree absolute which will officially end your marriage. However if you are not the one that began the proceedings then you have to wait three months before you can apply for the decree absolute. If the respondent wants to defend the divorce, they can then they can by filing a cross petition. This can make the process upsetting for both parties and can mean the process of gaining a decree absolute will take a long time.

If the court does not agree that your plans made for the arrangement of care for children are satisfactory then they can stop the divorce proceedings and you would have to begin the process again. If you cannot reach an agreement for the division of assets and finances then the court will let you continue with the divorce proceedings, however you could have to make a financial order which is a formal arrangement made in court.

Whilst going through the divorce process there is a team of people that you can hire to help you, such as solicitors. These people are professionally trained to help make the process easier and hopefully stress free.

Manak Solicitors provide solicitors in Kent to help you through the divorce process. Their divorce solicitors in Kent are trained to assist and guide you through this difficult period.

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A Look at Arizona Child Support Calculator Software

By Pat Southlund -

Figuring the right Arizona child support amounts for custody and divorce cases is complicated. The guidelines that outline the calculations are complex and factor in a number of elements. Among these are gross income, eligible children and parenting time. Get accurate and fair child support amounts by using software to perform complicated family law calculations.

Why should I use calculation software?

Calculation programs reduce the risk of human error when figuring payment amounts. Whether you are a parent seeking to learn more about state guidelines for child and spousal support or a family law professional searching for a more productive way to do calculations, turn to calculation software.

Calculation software is designed to help you figure support totals based on the guidelines set forth by the state of Arizona. The guidelines are found in the Arizona Revised Statutes 25-320 and are regularly updated to reflect the current standard of living, tax codes and other elements that contribute to the financial responsibility of children.

What is EZSupport-AZ software?

EZSupport-AZ is just one of several child support calculator programs designed specifically for figuring accurate support for custody and divorce cases in Arizona. The software was created by EasySoft especially for family law professionals.

You can also use EZSupport-AZ to create customized legal forms for use by yourself, clients or the court. The forms are populated by the data you input for each case. Access a free trial version to determine whether it suits your needs.

What is FinPlan software?

FinPlan is another software program that performs calculations for those seeking to use the most current Arizona state guidelines. The software takes the data and provides instant feedback on child support, as well as spousal support, and tax credits. It examines these and other financial impacts of divorce.

What data do I need to use calculation software?

Arizona relies on several factors to determine correct support. You must gather the data you need to enter into the calculation program’s data fields.

For Arizona calculation software, you’ll need:

  • Gross annual income for both parents
  • Number of eligible children
  • Certain deductions, such as health insurance premiums for children
  • Total day visits and overnights with children for each parent

The Arizona calculation software you choose will ask you to enter the raw data into the appropriate field. Then the program will calculate the support amount using the latest state guidelines.

Whatever type of calculation program you use, you can feel confident that the child support amounts generated are correct and based on the state’s guidelines.

Learn how to get the most accurate Arizona child support totals using calculator programs such as FinPlan and EZSupport-AZ. With comprehensive programming, calculator programs can take Arizona child support and parenting time calculations and produce accurate and fair child support amounts.

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Do Not Forget the Children in Divorce

By J. Nordyke -

A divorce is never a pleasant time, and while the parents are arguing and fighting, the children become the true victims of the entire process. A family lawyer is there to speed the process along and allow healing to begin. A child is often put in the middle of nasty custody battle, as well as child support fights, and without lawyers, the emotions can get in the way. Many other aspects come with a divorce, and during the process, it will be painful.

Child Support

It is important when seeking child support that you are not the type to make things more complicated by trying to make it about money. An attorney will aid the custodial parent obtain assistance with the financial cost that children bring. Wages can be garnished to make sure that payment schedules are met. Your legal advisor is an outside party that will be able to look calmly at your ex-spouse’s income and assets to compare them to yours. Without that third party, it is common to make it personal and be unable to come to an agreement on anything. Lawyers are experienced with that dilemma and are ready to assist in preventing disputes. If things need to be changed, let the system work instead of getting angry.

Custody Battles

Regardless of how either parent feels, the real victims in the divorce are the children and their needs are to be considered at all times. Abusive behavior is not tolerated and protection is needed. If there is no abuse, however, then attorneys can be used to make sure that either custody is shared, or visitations are set up accordingly. The best way to protect your desires is to document everything. The only way a lawyer can help you is if they know what you have tried to do and what has transpired. You can document any visitations and any missed visits.

When a family begins to fall apart, the legal field can help a parent make sure their child suffers the least amount of pain as possible. When in court, they can help arguments be heard and to make sure everyone is involved. The law is there to protect all parties and even though the marriage will be dissolved, there will be minimal change in the child’s trust structure. After the divorce is final, work with your lawyer to make sure your children receive any therapy that they might need.

It is important that you never forget your children’s feelings when you are separating from your spouse.

Contact our experienced family lawyers in Toronto for a free consultation today. In addition, call our Toronto family law lawyers for child support assistance.

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Main Types Of Child Custody

By Chris K. Lawler -

Getting custody of a child can be a very difficult experience. If you want to get custody, though, you need to make sure that you have some of the vocabulary down. There are several types of legal custody, and you need to make sure that you know what kind of custody that you need. At the very least, you need to make sure that you know the difference between legal, physical, joint and sole custody.

Legal

Legal custody is defined as the right and ability to make decisions for a child. These decisions might include medical, educational or even religious matters. This also means that the parent has to primary responsibility to provide for the child’s general welfare. In most situations, parent share legal custody of a child even if the child only lives with one parent. There are still many cases in which a single parent or guardian maintains sole legal custody.

Physical

Physical custody is perhaps the easiest type of child custody to understand. When a parent has physical custody, the child lives with him or her. In many cases, this parent is called the “custodial parent”. The parent who does not have physical custody is often referred to as the “non-custodial parent”, and is usually awarded some kind of visitation rights. The parent with physical custody almost always has some form of legal custody.

Sole

In a sole custody arrangement, a single parent has both physical and legal custody of the child. In this arrangement, the other parent may have the ability to visit the child but otherwise has no real ability to make any decisions for the child. Sole custody arrangements are increasingly rare in most parts of the world, and the only reason a parent will be denied at least some form of legal or visitation rights is because he or she presents some sort of danger to the well-being of the child.

Joint

Joint custody represents the most common sort of representation in most countries. In a joint custody arrangement, both parents have the right and responsibility of caring for the child. In the typical joint arrangement, parents share physical and legal custody. One parent might have the child during a larger period of time than the other, but both share financial and legal responsibilities. If the parents have equal time with the children, then the arrangement that they have is often called split custody.

If you need a family law attorney to help explain the types of child custody then you can contact one by going clicking here.

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Divorce and Community Property Division

By Doug Daly -

One of the biggest worries and frustrations of couples pursuing divorce is division of assets. This one question can also cause additional conflict in an emotionally-charged process. Among the many aspects of divorce that can be regulated by state governments is the division of property and assets. In Arizona, the statute that regulates the disposition of property is Title 25 Marital and Domestic Relations, Chapter 318: Disposition of property; retroactivity; notice to creditors; assignment of debts; contempt of court.

This statute provides that, in a divorce or legal separation proceeding, the court can assign each spouse’s sole property to such spouse. The court can also divide any joint assets, which is why Arizona is referred to as a “Community Property” state. Community property may include all property and debt that was acquired from the start of the marriage to the cut-off date. Property acquired by either of the spouses outside of Arizona is still considered community property, if the property would have been legally considered community property if originally acquired in Arizona.

The formal property and debt settlement between the spouses is called a Marital Settlement Agreement or property award decreed by the Arizona Superior Court. The division of property is done without regard to any marital misconduct.

Debt is not something that many people consider when they think of marital property divisions. The court may consider all debts and obligations related to the property in their final judgments. Debts include taxes (accrued or accruing) that are a part of the sale of any property. There are certain exemptions to certain properties, included in Title 33 Property, Chapter 8: Homestead and Personal Property Exemption.

Note that the decision made by the courts regarding division of debts is binding on the spouses and not the creditors. Because debts are made between individuals and creditors (i.e. banks, credit card companies, medical companies, retailers, etc.), the court’s decision may not necessarily discharge a spouse’s responsibility from fulfilling the obligations of a debt.

If a spouse requests it, the court may issue a lien against the property of the other spouse in an effort to secure payment of the debts that the court orders the spouse to pay. This may be done to secure the payment of specific types of debt, including:

� Interest or equity that one spouse has in the property

� Community debts required to be paid by the spouses by the court

� Child support

� Spousal maintenance

Title 25, Chapter 318 of Arizona Marital and Domestic Relations also allows the court to consider damages and judgments that resulted in criminal conviction of a spouse. This refers to situations which the other spouse or child was the victim of “abnormal expenditures, destruction, concealment or fraudulent disposition of community, joint tenancy or other property held in common.”

Any property owned jointly, which is not included in the settlement provisions, will be held in joint ownership. This means that both spouses will maintain half ownership or interest in the property. Additionally, the final decree or judgment will describe, in legal terms, the property affected by the provisions (including prospective and retrospective operation to property).

The complexity of property division is not determined by the reasons for which the divorce is being filed. Whether in a contested or uncontested divorce, this determination is generally made on a 50/50 basis, unless there are extraordinary circumstances. Due to the process involved and potential for conflict, many spouses prefer to reach a private settlement, with the aid of a divorce attorney.

Doug Daly is a Scottsdale divorce attorney and has years of experience assisting men and women in Arizona with even the most complex divorce situations. His Arizona-based law firm focuses primarily on family law cases, including divorce, child custody, child visitation, and related matters. He is active within the legal community and enjoys making his knowledge accessible to the community at large.

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