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Divorce Archives

Grandparents Rights in Arizona

The State of Arizona has a provision which allows grandparents to have visitation rights over a parent's objection. In order to accomplish this; (1) the grandparent must overcome the presumption that the parent always acts "in the best interest of the child," and (2) access to the grandparents is in the child's best interest. This burden must be overcome by a "preponderance of the evidence" (i.e. the grandparent must show by a 51% probability that visitation is "in the child's best interest"). 

Dividing Property in an Arizona Divorce

What is the difference between community and separate property?

There's one thing all couples getting divorced in Arizona need to face and agree upon or fight over in court. Their stuff-specifically who gets what.Division of property in an Arizona divorce, as its name implies, splits up the couple's assets so that each partner moves forward into their single, unmarried life with property of their own.In Arizona--one of the few community property states in the country--there are two types of property that the court considers: marital (a/k/a community) property and separate property.In a nutshell, marital property consists of property and assets acquired by the couple during their marriage and is considered legally owned equally by both spouses. This property is split up as close to 50/50 as possible in the event of a divorce.In contrast, separate property includes property acquired by one spouse prior to the marriage as well as other property including but not limited to personal injury awards, inheritances, debts, and certain gifts received before and/or during the marriage. Separate property generally remains with the person its attached to and the other spouse has no right to share in it.While it would seem easy to classify a couple's property into one category or the other, there are times when a spouse may act with respect to what is otherwise clearly separate property and such action might instead convert it to community property. A skilled family law attorney can advise on how particular property would likely be classified in any particular situation.Sometimes, so-called "happily married" couples fight over property. Recently, a wealthy attorney reportedly took legal action against his wife of 40 years allegedly believing she was going to take (or had already taken) action that might impact his "possessory interests" in their $13 million Manhattan apartment to help their adult son out of a financial bind. The deed to the apartment-- which was reportedly acquired during the marriage-- is only in the wife's name though the husband allegedly bought, insured, maintained, and improved the apartment with his money. The action was reportedly being discontinued.In Arizona, the apartment, acquired during the marriage, would generally be considered marital property and therefore owned equally by both spouses. However, in Arizona, gifts given from one spouse to the other during the marriage or property that both parties agreed in writing belongs only to one of the spouses may be considered separate property. So, it's important to review the particular circumstances of each case when classifying a couple's property as there may be exceptions to the general rule. 

Divorce Do's & Don'ts

The following is a list of "Do's" and "Don'ts" which, if followed, will save you from a lot of headaches in the future. Because you are already reading this website, you are well on your way to making an informed and educated decision regarding your Divorce in Arizona or other Family Law matters. Now take the next step and call Steven E. Sufrin to set up a free initial consultation today!

Making Your Divorce Easier

Going through the divorce process is an emotional, stressful time in a person's life, which is even made even more difficult when the divorce is a "bad" one. According to one counselor and mental health consultant, Diana Dodson, divorcing couples need to learn how to have a more amenable divorce, especially when there are children involved. Dr. Dodson states that it is difficult for divorcing couples to not have feelings of anger, getting even with the ex-spouse, blaming the spouse for the marriage problems, not accepting responsibility for the marriage break-up, denying problems exist, putting children in the middle, feeling like a failure or feeling rejected.


Take the Needed Time: Many children of blended families have survived a painful divorce or seperation. So have their parents, and if there is an attempt to get a blended family settled, then at least one of their parents has survived the aftermath of divorce and found a new relationship. In this circumstance, it's often tempting to rush into a new marriage and blend two families without a lot of preparatory work or simply time. If you remember to take your time, you will find that it's easier for everyone to grow accustomed to each other as well as grow accustomed to the idea of the new marriage.

What is Gray Divorce?

o-gray-divorce.gif Baby boomers are ending their marriages at record rates, according to new data from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). The AAML polled its 1,600 members and found that among the respondents, 61 percent said they have seen an increase in divorce cases among the over-50 set, with 22 percent reporting that wives initiate the splits most often.  In a press release, Alton Abramowitz, president of the AAML, explained the significance of their findings. "Baby Boomers have regularly been catalysts for social change and getting divorced in their later years appears to be one of the most recent trends," Abramowitz said. "Alimony, business interests, and retirement accounts certainly represent some of the main concerns that need to be addressed and settled for spouses facing the end of their marriages in this over 50-year-old age group."
Also known as a "gray divorce," ending a marriage after 50 can be more financially burdensome than divorcing at a younger age, particularly because social security benefits and retirement funds come into play. And even though the national divorce rate has dropped in recent years, the divorce rate among baby boomers has nearly doubled, according to the National Center for Family & Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University.