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Tucson Family Law Blog

This is what it means to prepare your finances for divorce

The divorce process is closing in and you have major concerns about what will come next in regard to your finances. While you don't have total control over the divorce process, as your soon-to-be ex-spouse will have a say, there are steps you can take to prepare your finances and protect your interests along the way.

Here are five things you can do to prepare your finances for divorce:

  • Make a list of your assets and debts: Not only does this give you a clear overview of your finances, but it also helps prevent a situation in which the other individual hides a valuable asset from the court.
  • Create a new budget: As you review your current budget, consider the changes you'll make in the future once you're on your own. For example, you may be taking one car while your ex takes the other, meaning you're now only responsible for one payment.
  • Reduce your expenses: With a budget in place, it's clear to see if you'll earn enough money to comfortably pay for all your expenses. Even if you will, cutting your expenses post-divorce can give you financial peace of mind.
  • Collect documentation: The right documentation will help you prepare for the divorce process. Furthermore, the court typically requires it. Start with retirement account statements, bank account statements, credit card statements, loan statements, recent pay stubs and recent tax returns.
  • Close all joint accounts: This is the right time to close joint accounts, such as credit cards, as you don't want to give the other individual the opportunity to use them. For example, if you have a joint credit card, talk to the other person about using savings to pay the balance in full and then closing the account. Getting this off your plate before your divorce can save you time and stress down the road.

Be careful of how you ask your spouse for a divorce

As you begin to ponder divorce, you'll come to find that there are many challenges associated with the process. While these challenges shouldn't stop you from proceeding, they'll definitely lead you to think more carefully about your situation.

Asking your spouse for a divorce is one of the most difficult things you'll ever do. Even if you're ready to move on from your marriage, talking about your true feelings is a challenge.

How does Arizona split up your possessions in a divorce?

Uncertainty and nervousness about the drama and the process itself can leave a lot of people waiting to divorce when they know they'd be happier if they ended their marriage. You shouldn't stay in an unhappy marriage just because you're worried about the financial risks of divorce.

Taking the time to familiarize yourself with how Arizona handles divorces can leave you feeling more confident about filing for divorce and the likely outcome in your case. Of course, in most cases, you can't predict the exact outcome, because they vary depending on your family's situation.

You may qualify for a child support modification

Even if paying child support is taking a toll on your finances, you can always take comfort in knowing that the money is giving your child or children a better life. However, if you come to find that you can no longer afford your child support payments, it's time to consider your legal rights.

Although there's no guarantee, you have the right to request a child support modification. If you're interested in doing so, here are the steps you should take:

  • Take immediate action: The court expects you to make your child support payments in full until you receive word of a modification. So, it makes sense to take immediate action, as you don't want to dig a deeper hole with missed payments.
  • Talk to the other parent: The other parent may sympathize with your situation, thus agreeing to a modified payment for the time being. The court still has to give its final approval, but having the other parent on your side is a big boost.
  • Don't miss payments: Just because you're hoping to get a child support modification doesn't mean it will be granted. You should continue to make payments as best as you can, even if you can't do so in full.
  • Prove that you can't afford your payment: The court isn't going to take your word for it. You need to document your change in circumstances to prove that a modification is necessary. Common reasons for requesting a child support modification include a job loss, reduction in pay and a medical emergency.
  • File your request: You should file your child support modification request with the same court that originally ordered you to pay. The more documentation you can provide, such as anything that proves your change in circumstances, the better off you will be.

Do these things to effectively ask for a prenuptial agreement

In your mind, asking for a prenuptial agreement is easy enough. You'll bring it to light, explain why it's a good idea and work with your partner to finalize the details.

While this is your plan, there's no way of knowing how things will go when you finally bring your true feelings to light. It's possible that your partner may not be as excited as you, thus making it more difficult to proceed in an efficient and timely manner.

3 tips for your child custody case in court

If you are going to court over child custody, there are a couple tips that can help you achieve your parenting plan goals. You need to be prepared to present your request with information to support the custody arrangements you'd like in the future.

Some parents end up going to court unprepared. Fortunately, if you read about these tips and work closely with your attorney, you'll have the information you need when you arrive to speak with the judge. Here are three things you should keep in mind.

Things you need to know about a parenting agreement

If you're going through a divorce or thinking about moving in this direction in the near future, you must turn your attention to the well-being of your children (if you have any).

Even though you need to take care of yourself (both mentally and physically) during this difficult time, it's imperative that you do what's best for your children as well. Neglecting to do so could make life more difficult on them, and that's not something you want.

5 ways your spouse may attempt to hide assets

You and your spouse never signed a prenuptial agreement. Now that you're getting divorced, you know he or she is nervous that you're going to get more than "your fair share."

People sometimes get obsessed with this idea. They fight endlessly in court to try to take more of the assets than are given to an ex. They spend an incredible amount of time, money and energy trying to "win" the divorce.

Newly published research supports shared custody

Ask any child of divorced parents and he or she will stress the importance of spending as much time as possible with both mom and dad. In fact, some kids might even dream of their parents getting back together and living with them under the same roof.

The reality of relationships, however, means that two adults and their children may be better off when the adults live in separate houses. But what about the kids? Should they live with just one parent, or should they divide their time between each home equally?


Law Office of Karen R. Pollins, PLLC
177 N. Church Avenue Suite 200
Tucson, AZ 85701

Phone: 520-612-0524
Fax: 520-208-9000
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