Law Offices of Matthew S. Schultz, P.C.

Phoenix Arizona Family Law Blog

Make financially beneficial decisions during divorce

Arizona residents going through divorce know that negotiating financial issues can be challenging. Because of the emotions that are involved in separating from a spouse, determining what to do with the family home, dealing with pressure from family members and handling issues related to child custody, it's easy for an individual to feel overwhelmed and to give in to despair. It is recommended that a person concentrate their energy on solving the problems are in front of them as opposed to allowing their emotions to dictate the decisions they make. This is especially true when discussing financial issues.

The financial decisions that a person makes during divorce can have a long-term impact on their financial well-being. The effects may be felt all the way to retirement. This is true whether an individual is going through a high-asset divorce or if their family is of modest means. An area where this can be seen is dealing with one's pension during divorce.

Parenting agreement can help with addressing child custody

Once you have decided to get divorced, you may naturally worry about how the process will impact your and your young children's futures. After all, in your mind, spending time with the children is far more valuable than any asset you have.

The great news is that you do not have to take your child custody issues to family law court, which can breed animosity and ultimately have a negative impact on the entire family. Instead, you and the other parent can take part in informal negotiations and amicably reach an agreement on how you will handle child custody in the future. Here is a peek at the process of producing a parenting agreement in Arizona.

Facing the challenges associated with co-parenting

Divorce has offered some Arizona parents a fresh start in life. Even though it has its benefits, ex-spouses who share custody of their children may still experience challenges related to co-parenting. However, there are a few ways parents can face these challenges head-on.

The last thing that parents want to do is to have their children serve as mediators. The divorce was between the parents, and that's where it should stay. Even in small matters, parents should not make their children communicate for them. Furthermore, a parent should allow their child to openly discuss things that are going on in both households.

Shared child custody gaining greater acceptance in family courts

Divorcing or separating parents in Arizona need to determine child custody. For much of the 20th century, family courts believed that children belonged with their mothers, and judges almost always granted full custody to mothers. Cultural changes in the past decades, however, have shifted views, and family courts increasingly expect both parents to pursue shared custody.

Evolving social attitudes about fathers' important roles as parents have contributed to larger numbers of men receiving more time with their children after the end of a parental relationship. The feminist ideologies that inspired more women to join the workforce and think of lives beyond motherhood also sowed the expectation that fathers would assume a parenting role after a divorce.

Dixie Chicks lead singer in prenuptial agreement fight

Arizona fans of the Dixie Chicks may not be aware of the personal drama going on behind the scenes involving the band's lead singer, Natalie Maines. The singer is in a contentious divorce with actor Adrian Pasdar. The singer wants the prenuptial agreement that was signed before the marriage to be put into place and declared valid so the divorce process can be completed at a faster pace.

At the heart of this prenuptial agreement fight is a request by Pasdar to receive monthly spousal support and temporary child support payments. The singer's estranged husband is also seeking reimbursement for legal fees. The actor contends he has accumulated approximately $200,000 worth of debt since he separated from Maines. He further contends the Dixie Chicks singer is worth roughly $50 million and stands to make even more from future earnings related to her music-related endeavors.

High-asset divorce and expert witnesses

Depending on the details, different divorces in Arizona require different strategies. Some high-asset separations may require going to court and seeking witnesses. These individuals are often deemed "experts" who can provide important testimony on a contested issue.

For example, a high-asset divorce involving child custody may require input from a psychologist. This expert could make professional recommendations to the court about a child's welfare. The psychologist may have several meetings with the child and the parents in order to make the right decision about the child's future. In a high-asset divorce involving assets or business-related funds, a family law attorney may require the testimony of a forensic accountant. A forensic accountant looks at the financial data and offers a professional opinion.

How to manage your finances during the divorce process

People who make the decision to divorce likely know how involved the process can be. They still may fail to consider certain aspects that can have a significant impact on a finalized divorce agreement. Typically, those aspects are financial.

If you've decided to divorce in Arizona, there are several different financial considerations you need to take. In the end, you want to be sure that your divorce agreement is fair. Experts say that dividing up finances in a divorce is best understood by viewing them in their respective categories.

Addressing unique challenges involving cryptocurrency and divorce

Dividing assets during the divorce process is something that most Arizona family law attorneys deal with on a regular basis. However, they are facing a new issue. Cryptocurrency assets are presenting two specific challenges that throw a wrinkle into the equation during high-asset divorces.

The first challenge is actually knowing that they exist. Part of the appeal of cryptocurrencies is the fact that they can be hidden from others. One spouse could make an investment in cryptocurrencies without the other even being aware of it. Online transactions can be followed, but off-line transactions may be impossible to track.

Solving common co-parenting conflicts

Even when parents divorce on fairly amicable terms in Arizona, there's always the potential for co-parenting conflicts to arise. Disagreements sometimes involve differing parenting styles while other issues are more serious in nature. No matter what's at the heart of parenting conflicts, parents no longer living together as a legal couple are encouraged to keep the best interests of their children in mind.

Disagreements over parenting time may be avoided if both parents agree to a formal parenting plan that's periodically updated. For times when an ex uses a child as a go-between, conflicts may be avoided with a direct meeting at a neutral location to discuss issues. Some parents also overcompensate for a divorce by excessively spoiling children. This can create a co-parenting conflict if the other parent doesn't have the financial resources to offer the same amenities.

Hurdles people face after a gray divorce

Individuals over the age of 50 in Arizona and throughout the country may be more likely to divorce than Americans in other age groups. While divorce can be challenging at any age, it can be especially challenging to do so later in life. For instance, there may be questions as to how to split a retirement account or when to claim Social Security benefits. In most cases, retirement accounts are treated as marital property.

This means that they are split evenly or equitably depending on the facts of a given divorce case. However, retirement accounts are not the only assets that could be divided in a divorce. Anything else that was obtained during a marriage could be fair game to be split between a formerly married couple. If a marriage lasted for many years or decades, it can be difficult to determine if an item is marital or separate property.

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