Is your spouse threatening to take your whole estate to intimidate you upon discussing divorce? Is your spouse trying to get you to give something up before you have received current advice from a family law attorney?
People starting divorce often threaten to take their “spouse to the cleaners.” Unless you fight so much that all your money goes to legal fees, you must divide your joint property in a fair and equitable way according to Arizona Community Property Law.
From the day you are married, you immediately begin to create your marital estate; whether it is months or several decades. Whatever your community estate consists of, it must be divided when you get divorced. In Arizona, your estate does not have to be divided equally, but it does have to be “substantially equitable” in the court’s eyes.
Your assets do not always have to be sold in order to be divided. You are allowed to offset one asset for another asset, a bit like Monopoly. For example, you may exchange equity in your marital home for your marital share of the retirement account. If there is a difference in the values of each, that amount can be paid in cash or through another asset. It is often important to get an appraisal on various assets to determine their worth so that offsetting can be accomplished. Couples can save money if they agree on using one appraiser for the property, a family business, or other personal assets such as cars, jewelry, weapons, collector items and automobiles.
In mediation, we can review many options to create a substantially fair division that can satisfy some or all of the wishes of both parties. Even though it is difficult to let go of half of your estate, when you can agree to have some of what you want in order to start over and rebuild your own new separate estate, this can lead to an easier transition. At McMurdie Law & Mediation we specialize in mediation and in artful negotiation in order to assist people in getting the best start they can in their futures. If we represent you, we want to be as creative as we can to ensure the best, smoothest and fairest result for you.
Beth C – July 2015
If you have to get divorced, this was the least painful way to go. Cristi and her staff were very helpful and worked with us to reach an equal division of assets and debts, helping us come up with some creative solutions to keep things simple and most asset-preserving for both of us. I would have given 5 stars, but the initial draft of the consent decree draft had a few more errors than I expected. The staff fixed the obvious errors without charge, so if I could give 4.5, I would have. I would recommend Cristi and her staff… to assist with a friend’s divorce proceeding. It was very nice to not have to each have separate representation, but instead one knowledgeable person who was impartial. Read more “Beth C – July 2015”
Ed N. – April 2015
Cristi is FANTASTIC! I met with Cristi about my existing divorce settlement to see what some of my options were for a not too well defined situation. Since my issue was time sensitive, she made herself available to consult with me in a very short timeframe. She reviewed my circumstances and gave me some sound legal advise. She even volunteered to proof an email for me and lend some advice at no additional charge. She responded to my email the same day, and even followed up a few days later to see how things went. Very responsive and attentive!
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