With divorce rates continuously skyrocketing across the country, many people are experiencing the psychological and financial strains that come with it.
Whether it’s the emotional stress caused by the ending of a relationship, derogatory statements made by a former spouse, or the financial instability that initially occurs, going through a divorce alone can be troublesome.
Thankfully, most of the stress and uncertainty that accompanies the divorce process and settlement can be alleviated by hiring a lawyer and the early preparation of personal documents and evidence. These simple tasks benefit your case and ensures that you get every penny and asset that is yours.
What to Expect in a Divorce Settlement
If you are going through a divorce, you will need to be prepared for your divorce settlement which will decide the following:
- What form of contact you can and cannot have with your former spouse
- How will assets be divided
- Which spouse gets the marital home
During the process of obtaining a divorce, the divorce settlement is the time when the former couple will decide who gets what and then create a document which specifically states the terms of their divorce. The terms of a divorce include the important topics such as who gets the house, how banks accounts will be split, how debts will be assigned and who will get custody of a child.
What to Include in a Divorce Settlement
Your divorce settlement should include many items no matter how large or small they are as it is a legally binding document that will be enforced if your ex-spouse is not following the terms. A divorce settlement should include items such as the following:
- Who gets the home
- How marital assets will be split
- How debts will be assigned
- Who gets custody of the children
- Child support payments
- If alimony has been granted, how much and for how long
- Who gets the pets
- How the furniture will be split
How to Negotiate a Divorce Settlement
The most important tools for negotiating a divorce is knowledge and proof. In this case, knowledge is not referring to your expertise on a subject rather it is the knowledge of your finances and marital assets.
It is often observed that one individual is the book-keeper for the family and they are the ones who know the specifics regarding money entering and exiting all bank accounts for the couple.
If this scenario sounds familiar and you were the spouse who was not in charge of the finances, it is extremely important that you act quickly and become knowledgeable regarding your finances. Find out the balances in all of your accounts and make sure you know how much money your other spouse makes each year.
As you are making yourself knowledgeable regarding your finances, you will need to actively obtain records of important financial records such as bank accounts, savings accounts, credit card statements and tax returns.
Having records will aid you in your process of determining how much your assets are worth, as well as protect you if your former spouse tries to liquidate any of the accounts or sell any of your assets.
Determining Who Gets the House in a Divorce
Arizona is a community property state which means that all assets that have been determined to be communal property will be equally split between the former spouses or given to one of them. In Arizona, so long as the house was not inherited by you or your former spouse, it is considered to be community property and it will be split.
When it comes to splitting the marital home, it is usually awarded to the parent who obtains custody of any minor children. But, If there are no minor children then the home can be kept by one of the spouses if they pay ½ of the homes value to their ex, or the home can be sold and the profit split.
What Not to Do During a Divorce
When it comes to getting a divorce, anger, malice and ill treatment towards the former spouse seem to be the most commonly used forms of expression. Even though it is understandable that you are in a rough place and you have the right to feel angry, acting on those feelings and acting irrationally towards your former spouse will only hurt you and your ability to obtain as much as you can in a divorce settlement.
Bad-mouthing your ex-spouse in front of your children or posting derogatory comments about them on social media will not benefit you in any way. Instead, bad-mouthing your ex-spouse can be construed by a family law judge as a reason for you not to have custody of your children or it may be used by your former spouse as proof of a need for an order of protection.
If your former spouse is bad-mouthing you, do not respond to them, rather it is important that you obtain proof of it and share it with your lawyer as soon as possible. In addition to sharing evidence regarding your former spouse with your lawyer, it is extremely wise that you limit your communication with your former spouse and unless recommended to do so by your lawyer, allow your lawyer to be the one to speak with your former spouse or their attorney.
FAQ about Divorce in Arizona:
Q: Does the wife get the house in a divorce?
Usually the spouse who has custody over the minor children is awarded the house in a divorce, but if there are no minor children then the decision of who gets the house is up to the former couple.
Q: What should I do if my ex is hiding assets?
If you believe that your ex is hiding assets, you should obtain proof in the form of bank records and financial statements and then share them with your lawyer as soon as possible.
Getting the Most Out of Your Divorce
If you are looking to get the most out of your divorce, your first step needs to be the hiring of a competent and experienced divorce lawyer. From filing the divorce decree to aiding you in securing your financial assets, hiring a lawyer will be the best decision you can make.
Call the Family Law Team at (480) 467-4348 to discuss your case today.
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