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Steven E. Sufrin, Attorney at Law
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Protect Yourself During a Divorce in Arizona

It is an unfortunate reality that many happy marriages end with a contested divorce. It is important for anyone going through a divorce to learn about protecting yourself during a divorce in Arizona. We will provide with some practical information on how you can protect yourself during a divorce in Arizona.

The physical safety of you and your children are most important for anyone going through a divorce. It is important that you take the steps to ensure your physical safety is secured, as well as to attend to your psychological well-being. Next, we want to secure and protect you from the financial impact a divorce may have upon you and your family.

Protecting Your Physical Well-Being in a Divorce

Security is the number one concern when facing a divorce. If you know your spouse is a potential threat to you, you should seriously consider obtaining an Order of Protection. You obtain an Order of Protection by going to any municipal court or Superior Court.

You will complete a Petition for Order of Protection on a computer at the court, then hand that Petition for Order of Protection to the Clerk of the Court who will then tell you which courtroom you will need to go to.

A judge will read your Petition for Order of Protection and will either grant the Order of Protection or deny it. If granted, the court can prohibit your spouse from having any contact with you and may even prohibit your spouse from going to your home and place of employment.

You may, if you wish, also ask the court to prohibit your spouse from emailing or calling you.

You then have to have the Order of Protection served on your spouse. A law enforcement officer can serve the Order of Protection on your spouse. An Order of Protection will remain in effect for one year from the date it was first signed by a judge.

Although an Order of Protection is a court order prohibiting your spouse from contacting you, it cannot assure your safety. You should speak to a personal security consultant to learn things you can do to protect yourself during a divorce.

Protecting Your Emotional Well-Being During a Divorce

Divorce can be an incredibly emotional time. It is important for you to try to maintain as much emotional balance in your life as possible. You should seek out the assistance of a qualified mental health professional for counseling and, if necessary, medication to help you handle the stress of a divorce.

Some people think the court will look negatively upon them if they are seeking counseling or taking medication for depression or anxiety. However, that is simply not the case.

Seeking out counseling or medication to deal with the stress of a divorce is the responsible thing to do. Judges are well aware of the stress a divorce places upon people. Judges are very understanding of the need for a parent to obtain counseling and medication to manage the emotions that go along with getting a divorce.

Protect Your Finances During a Divorce

The reality is that you are going to have half of everything you did before you filed for divorce. The court is going to equally divide your assets and debts, so you will have half of your assets and, thankfully, half of your debts when your divorce is final.

However, you also have a lot less income when you move from a two income household to a one income household. The payment of child support and, in some cases, spousal maintenance may help or hurt your finances; depending upon whether you are the parent paying or the parent receiving such support payments.

So, the bottom line is you have to create a budget to determine how you are going to support yourself during and after your divorce. Some people have no problem being able to support themselves during a divorce while others may have to rely upon friends and family for additional support.

You should also try to reach an agreement with your spouse to pay off and close all credit cards. You may need to sell your home to obtain enough cash to pay off your credit cards and other debts.

The goal is to eliminate all financial ties between yourself and your soon to be ex. This will also help to protect your credit score that could be damaged if your spouse fails to pay their bills on time.

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