It can be hard. It can be ugly.
Divorce is never a good thing (in the moment), but it happens.
Of course, divorce can always end up being a good thing when all is said in done, but going through the process yields some difficult and challenging times. There are arguments about money, child custody, residences, and more. These disputes seem to go on forever with little to no resolution.
While every divorce is a little bit different, arguments about money generally top the list. Especially if you’re in business with your spouse, figuring out how to separate money can be a brutal task. The process involves lawyers and a lot of tears. Sure, there are things that be done to prevent divorce, but sometimes it is unavoidable.
Why is divorce so hard? Divorce attorneys in Scottsdale will tell you that there are a myriad of reasons as to why divorce is such a difficult position to be in. Generally speaking, there are a few very common moments that are the most difficult to deal with.
Let’s take a look at six of the hardest moments during divorce, according to women who have been through it.
During your marriage, there are times when you may discover your spouse handling finances in a secretive and non-transparent manner. For example, perhaps your spouse has a gambling addiction that results in a depletion of your funds. This can end up very, very messy when asserting a claim for “marital waste” in the pending divorce case.
Leaving Your Home
After pouring your heart and soul into your house (including potential renovations), having to either sell it or move out is a very difficult process. It is what it is, move on and move up.
One of the most compromising feelings is the notion that you’re in a dangerous predicament. During a divorce, you may experience blowout fights that can result in the feeling of being unsafe.
Seeing Someone Else
Things can get ugly if/when you find out that your spouse is seeing someone else prior to divorce papers officially being filed. This can be seen as disrespectful and downright rude. It can be heart breaking. You are not the first spouse to feel this way.
Time Away From The Kids
Not being near or with your kids each and every day can result in a lot of heartache. Experiencing divorce is hard enough; losing time with your kids may be harder.
Losing Your Best Friend
After all, people tend to marry who they refer to as their best friend. Knowing that you’re losing your friend and husband at the same time can be a deflating feeling.
There is no question that it takes more money to run one household than two households after a divorce. Having said that, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t doable or worth it to go through a divorce, if that’s what is necessary, you have little choice.
Sure, divorce is expensive. When all is said and done, costs can run close to $50,000 to $100,000 if both sides dig in and want to litigate. That is a lot of money.
While there are certainly ways to save money during a divorce, there are also many ways to increase costs, many of which are almost entirely unnecessary.
Divorce lawyers in Scottsdale see costs continue to grow as people exhibit the following behaviors.
Of course you want what you are entitled to. Having said that, are you willing to go to the brink on this one even if the amount that you fight for is not enough to cover attorney costs? Think about that one for a minute. Spending ten thousand dollars to win back five thousand dollars to “show up your spouse”—that’s bad math. Do not do it.
Refuse to Accept Your Settlement Proposal
Sure, your attorney wants what is best for you, even if that entails you spending all of your money on what’s right. Ultimately, you should get what you deserve, right? Demand That Your Ex Runs All Parenting Decisions By You If you and your spouse struggled to make parenting decisions during your marriage, what makes you think that it’ll go smoothly once you’re divorced? This will only result in wasted time, energy, and money.
Negotiate With Your Spouse
One of the most common reasons as to why people file for divorce is due to trouble communicating. Spouses constantly argue about budgets, schedules, and general decision-making. Things can escalate from there within a divorce.
Hire a Child Custody Evaluator
These professionals generally charge about $10k to $15k for a comprehensive custody evaluation, not including time spent as a witness at any hearings. — Sure would be cheaper to hammer out a compromise with the other parent compared to spending the time money and tears usually consumed in the child custody evaluation process.
If you want to decrease costs during a divorce, consider avoiding the aforementioned behaviors. They will save you time and money in the short-term and make you much happier in the long-term.
When it comes to filing for bankruptcy, timing is everything. While everybody’s situation is different, divorce lawyers in Scottsdale suggest paying attention to the following four signs, which may mean that it’s the right time to file for bankruptcy.
Behind on Bills
Sure, life is certainly unpredictable and, generally speaking, you may not be prepared for a financial crisis. If you are in a tough position and know you won’t be able to pay your bills on time each month, (or have already fallen behind), filing for bankruptcy can really help you get back to where you need to be. For example, a Chapter 7 bankruptcy is deemed a liquidation bankruptcy that is structured to immediately eliminate your debts. Throughout this process, your Trustee will sell your property and use the funds to compensate your creditors. Unless otherwise
specified by you, your automobile can also be included in the sale of your property.
You’re in Debt Through a Collection Agency
If you have debt that’s been building up, there is a chance you may end up being sued if you continue to ignore debt collectors. Filing for bankruptcy can really help if you think you may end up in this position. Filing for bankruptcy puts what’s known as an “automatic stay” against debt collectors and can put an end to any additional collection actions.
Your Wages Are Garnished
In order to pay down a debt, creditors often take extra action to ensure the amount owed is legitimately paid. In doing so, collection agencies obtain a court order to garnish your wages. As soon as this happens, your employer is bound by law to hold back a specified amount from each paycheck, which ultimately goes towards paying down the debt that you owe. Similar to being sued, the automatic stay after filing for bankruptcy can block a company from further garnishing your wages.
You Might Lose Your House or Car
Let’s say you’re behind on payments for your house or car. Bankruptcy might be an effective way to stop repossession or even foreclosure (even if it’s temporarily). Furthermore, this will give you enough time to catch up on payments. Nonetheless, you’ll always want to speak with your lender regarding various options before you take an initial step.
A great deal of thought should go into the decision to file for bankruptcy. As always, you should seek advice from an attorney if this is something you are considering. The sooner you consult a lawyer, the better, do not wait until the last minute when all of your money is gone and your debts are at their peak levels.
It’s never fun, but sometimes (and unfortunately) it’s necessary.
Going through a divorce is as tough on your finances as it is on your heart. Having said that, while a divorce will certainly alter your marital status, it really doesn’t have to change who you are as a person.
Divorce lawyers in Scottsdale recommend the following four tips to managing your money during a divorce. These tips will help you push your emotions aside and grasp a stronger hold on your life.
Access Your Credit Reports
Once every year, you are able to pull a free credit report from each of the three credit reporting agencies – Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. The agencies will show each and every credit account that is in your name, regardless of whether it is individually or jointly owned. If your spouse (or ex-spouse) doesn’t pay his/her bills on time, it can negatively impact your credit score. By watching your credit, you are also watching your spouse in many ways.
Work With Your Ex
You should really continue to utilize your individual or jointly-owned accounts as normal. If you come to a point and realize that you don’t have the proper funds to hire a divorce attorney and handle any other relevant expenses, you should come to a mutual decision with your spouse about spending a conservative and equal amount to get what you want. In the case of a relationship that isn’t amicable, consider going through your attorney for legal separation. This would specify how you both should be using your money until the divorce is complete.
Remember Health Insurance
If you were on your spouse’s insurance policy, paying for an entirely new individual policy could cost you a significant amount of money. You really want to take time to examine your insurance policy before your divorce is finalized. Open enrollment for health insurance begins at the end of the year. A change in health insurance resulting from a divorce is considered to be a “qualifying life event.” Thus, you’ll likely be eligible for a plan under a Special Enrollment Period regardless of your offical divorce decree date.
Establish a Financial Plan
Living on less income is certainly no easy task. In order to be financially stable, you need to learn the art of budgeting. You’ll need to consider things like college tuition, sports and activities, child care, lessons, retirement, transportation, taxes, and rent/mortgage payments.
Here’s another thought: if your divorce settlement results in money from property sales, retirement account rollovers, or the sale of other assets, consider using a financial planner to help you create a budget and to properly navigate the taxable implications of such transactions.
If a credit card owner has incurred considerable amounts of unpaid bills, the bank or the card agency has the right to sue the cardholder also known as the ‘debtor’. If you are being sued for credit card debt in Arizona, you will first be served a “summons” for a state or federal court case. When you receive the initial notification for summons, the important thing is not to panic. Credit card debt lawsuits go through several phases and there are plenty of ways you can defend yourself effectively with the right attorney. Breathe deeply and relax.
Immediate Action Following Summons
When you have received a summons to court over a credit card debt lawsuit, don’t delay taking action. Most of all, do not ignore the summons. If you do, the suing party (the bank most likely) can obtain a judgment against you in your absence. By ignoring the case, you will not be able to argue your case in front of a judge. The judgment against you could allow the creditor to infiltrate your wages or savings to use as payment towards the credit card debt. Therefore, don’t wait to respond to the summons. Even if you owe all of the money, you should respond in writing to the court.
If you were served the summons within the state of Arizona, you will be given 20 days to respond. If the summons were served when you were out of state, then you get 30 days to respond. Hire a bankruptcy attorney in Scottsdale during this time to file your case without missing the deadline.
How to Respond to Summons
Once you have an attorney, he or she will guide you through the process of responding to the summons appropriately. There’s a misunderstanding that responding to the summons means showing up in court on the given date. In fact, Arizona law requires defendants in debt cases to file a written response. You must write to the court before the deadline to avoid a default judgment as described above.
How Long will the Case Go On?
This depends on where the lawsuit is filed. In Arizona, there are two types of courts that handle debt-related lawsuits: the Justice Court and the Superior Court. Lawsuits for disputed amounts less than $10,000 go to the Justice Court while anything more than this will be taken to the Superior Court.
Justice Court is a small claims court where the lawsuits tend to move faster. Due to this reason, some creditors file lawsuits stating a limit of $10,000 but without including the interest and other costs. Lawsuits filed in the Superior Court can be complex so trials take longer to conclude. It’s worthwhile to check whether the creditor has filed the case in the right court as part of your defense strategy.
Formulating the Defense Strategy
There are several ways an experienced defense attorney can approach a debt collection lawsuit. Even if the case goes to trial, your lawyer can negotiate with the creditor for a debt settlement. The settlement may involve trying to reduce the total amount owed. If the debt is overwhelming, you might have to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, in which case a court may discharge credit card debt. This is not the ideal scenario for a creditor, so the settlement is always an option.
A skilled attorney would also consider more technical aspects of the lawsuit that may offer you relief. For example, an attorney may check whether the summons for the trial was properly served. Other aspects, such as double-checking documentation the creditor provides, will be part of the defense strategy aimed at getting you the best outcome.
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