Arizona readers likely know that “Neon Deion” Sanders and his estranged wife Pilar continue to make headlines in their divorce. The former NFL great and Hall of Fame member was back in court for a child support hearing recently. Previously, a judge presiding over the divorce proceedings had set monthly child support at $10,000, even though Deion was granted temporary custody of the two boys.

For her part, Pilar is proceeding on several legal fronts. In addition to seeking enforcement of the court’s previous temporary child support order, she is reportedly seeking to have the prenuptial agreement between the couple declared invalid. Further, her attorneys indicated she was asking to have the 13 year marriage annulled and the accumulated assets declared to be community property.

In the 2007 Census, there was an estimate of around 3.7 million businesses operated by a husband and wife team. This is wonderful for keeping profits in the family and contributing to general agreement among decision making personnel, but what happens when filing for a divorce wasn’t in the business plan? Arizona couples that own a business together may never consider the implications of how a divorce may affect the flow of business.

Stories come from all over about once married business owners that have both successfully tried, and also failed at trying to amicably keep a business going following a divorce. Mediators and counselors agree that respect is the key concern if the business is to succeed under the same but separate management. Some relationship therapists have suggested sessions where ex-spouses learn to communicate better under the new circumstances.

From time to time, we have mentioned collaborative divorce in our posts on this blog. This type of proceeding offers a different approach to the typical approach to obtaining a divorce in Arizona. Instead of litigating every step of the way, a collaborative divorce is a multidisciplinary approach where the goal is to work together to achieve fair agreement on all outstanding issues.

While each party has an attorney, they agree to avoid court intervention. Instead, a team of professionals is arranged, depending on the particular facts and circumstances presented. That team could include financial advisors and mental health professionals. The concept of a divorce coach is utilized, both for the parties to the divorce as well as for any minor children.

An Arizona divorce covers a myriad of issues, from property division to spousal maintenance and a host of other topics. One issue that arises in some divorce proceedings is the entitlement of an ex-spouse to the Social Security benefits of the other. This is an important area which should not be overlooked and could result in benefits payments from a spouse’s Social Security account over many years. However, like most governmental benefit programs, Social Security benefits come with their own rules and regulations which often cause confusion as the parties to a divorce attempt to determine how the benefits might apply to them.

The first important consideration is the length of the marriage. When a marriage lasts 10 years or longer, a possibility exists to collect Social Security under the account of an ex-spouse. The Social Security Administration requires that the marriage lasted at least 10 years, which is determined by the date of the final order of divorce. In those instances where the length of the marriage qualifies, an ex-spouse can collect up to half of their ex-spouse’s benefits. If they qualify for benefits on their own, they can only collect the difference between their benefits amount and one half of any higher benefit amount due the ex-spouse.

Parents filing for divorce in Arizona typically have to confront a wide range of issues when it comes to child custody. Aside from deciding how custodial responsibilities will be divided, issues such as visitation and child support must be addressed. One related topic that is sometimes overlooked in a divorce is the legal right of a parent to access medical and health records concerning their child.

One father discovered that obtaining access to his son’s medical records was no walk in the park. Early on in his divorce, the father learned that the mother had made medical decisions concerning the child without his input or consent. Specifically, she had apparently filed a do not resuscitate order with the boy’s doctor without disclosing her action to the father.

Arizona readers may be aware that the announced divorce plans for Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore have dragged on for almost a year now. It was reported that, on the weekend of his sixth wedding anniversary last year, Ashton had a one night stand with another woman. In Nov. 2011, Demi announced she was pursuing a divorce. Currently, Ashton is rumored to be dating his former “That ’70s Show” co-star, Mila Kunis. All signs point to the fact that Ashton and Demi have moved on, and yet there is still no sign of any formal divorce filings.

Some observers of celebrity breakups are asking what the delay is all about. There is no outward indication that the couple is considering reconciliation. Rather, some say the snag has to do with money. In view of the fact that Ashton made a reported $24 million last year, money may well be at the root of it all. Understandably, any high asset divorce negotiation involves a number of delicate financial matters. In the case of Ashton and Demi, there is no mention that a prenuptial agreement exists.

The traditional marriage vow of “til death do us part” seems to be in need of an upgrade. The Arizona marriage that many believed would be a lifetime union has often turned out to last no much beyond lunchtime. The simple fact of the matter is that about half of all marriages result in a divorce. Many of those end within the first seven years. The question that some are asking across the country is what, if anything, should we do about it?

Prenuptial agreements have filled the void for many. These contracts, which are negotiated and signed before the wedding takes place, can cover everything from expectations during the marriage to property division and other financial commitments if a divorce subsequently appears on the horizon. Still other people have belatedly recognized the benefits of a prenup, causing them to accomplish pretty much the same thing by executing a postnuptial agreement. This contract is signed after the wedding, sometimes even in contemplation of an impending divorce

It may be no surprise to Arizona readers that the seemingly never-ending divorce between former MLB owner Frank McCourt and his ex-wife, Jamie McCourt, is headed back to court. The west coast divorce was all signed, sealed and delivered. Jamie is now alleging fraud or mistake and wants the divorce proceedings reopened. She claims that the property division was ultimately unfair because Frank sold his share in the Dodgers for far more than the estimated value of the team that was used during divorce negotiations.

According to Jamie, her ex-husband represented during their divorce negotiations that the Dodgers’ franchise was worth less than $300 million. She claims that she agreed to a $131 million payout to settle their two year long litigation, based on the valuation figures represented by Frank. Once the divorce was final, McCourt is said to have later sold the MLB team for a reported $2.15 billion, from which McCourt purportedly netted about $1.7 billion.

Benjamin Franklin is usually credited with being the first to note that death and taxes are the only things certain in life. A cynic might add divorce to the equation, though the most often cited statistics indicate that just about half of all marriages result in divorce. While an Arizona divorce may not be a foregone conclusion, what is certain is that it will trigger some tax ramifications. Those negotiating a final settlement of their marital dissolution would do well to consider the potential impact on tax obligations going forward.

We often hear about contracts signed between two people preparing to get married in Arizona. Called prenuptial agreements, these contracts envision what is to happen in the event the parties later decide to divorce. And with some estimates indicating that just about half of all marriages end in divorce, the notion of a prenuptial agreement has become more commonplace in our society.

Call Now ButtonCall Now (602) 252-1968