DIVORCE WITH COMPLICATIONS

DIVORCE WITH COMPLICATIONS

There are circumstances that can make Arizona Divorce very difficult.  If the spouses are wealthy; if one spouse is a member of the Armed Forces; or if they are seniors who want a divorce after decades of marriage.  Wealth, Status and Age can turn a no fault divorce into a legal and logistical nightmare, but when you understand the problem, and discuss it with a lawyer, you can work together to find a solution.

“Money Changes Everything”

Wealth is a blessing, but feels much more like a curse when you seek a divorce in a community property jurisdiction like Arizona.  According to Arizona law, there are two types of property in a marriage:  community property and separate property.  Community property is property purchased after the marriage:  it can include real estate, bank accounts, recreational vehicles, cars, and almost any form of compensation, such as pensions or stock options.

Unfortunately, if your spouse adds funds to a separate account, or makes mortgage payments on a home purchased before the marriage, the Arizona courts tend to rule that the separate asset has been converted into community property, because the funds were co-mingled.

And the more income you and your partner earned, the more property gets assessed and divided.  There are ways to handle your finances, and eliminate difficulties from a divorce proceedings.  Here are a few tips:

§  Talk to an experienced divorce lawyer.  Many Arizona attorneys now work with a team of mediators, who can help both parties navigate through divorce and plan for the future when the marriage is dissolved.

§  Do research, plan and know your rights and responsibilities before filing for divorce.

§  Don’t attempt to conceal assets.  If you give false information—you may lose far more than you’d ever gain by putting funds in an offshore account.

Find an experienced lawyer who has handled many high end divorces.  It will save you time, stress and money.

Military Divorce

If one of the parties to a divorce proceeding is serving in the Armed Forces, it can make the divorce slightly more complicated, but Arizona law will still be used to determine whether property and debts are community or separate property.  Being in the military mostly affects the procedural rules in a divorce.  If the party has been stationed outside Arizona, he or she may ask for a stay in the divorce proceedings until they return to Arizona.  It merely puts the divorce on hold; it does not mean that the Petitioner has to refile when the respondent returns or vice versa.  Arizona does permit a member of the armed forces to conduct divorce proceedings by telephone if they wish to expedite the divorce while stationed overseas.

Senior Citizen Divorce

Marriage is no longer a matter of ‘as long as you both shall live”.  In the past few years, partners in long term marriages have decided that divorce is an option.  Since these spouses have been married for decades, they’ve accumulated a good deal of marital property, so evaluating and dividing property can be problematical.  A reputable divorce lawyer can help sort things out, even finding and solving problems before they get out of hand.