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Phoenix Divorce Law Blog

Divorce and family businesses: some ex-spouses keep working together

This is a follow-up to a two-part post we did last month on dividing interests in a family business as part of the divorce process.

As we discussed in our March 31 post, there are many challenging issues regarding valuation that can arise in dividing property in an Arizona divorce when a family business is involved.

In today's post, we will take note of a recent National Public Radio report on divorce and small businesses that contains an example of how dividing interests in a business in a divorce can actually turn out quite well.

Legal separation in Arizona: when is it appropriate?

Using the word "separation" in the context of marriage can mean a couple of different things.

On an emotional or even existential level, the two parties may feel distant from each other - even if they live in the same house. In this sense, there can be a form of separation involving couples who are still married.

If each party lives in a different location, that marks another type of separation. This does not necessarily mean, however, that the couple is on the verge of divorce. The partners may live in different cities, for example, due to job market reasons - not because they aren't connected.

But there is also a more formal status that is called legal separation. To be sure, this status lacks the finality of a divorce. But when legal separation has become formal, it is possible to convert it to a full-fledged divorce at a later time.

Can a parent relocate with a child out of state after a divorce?

Americans have historically been a remarkably mobile people.

From the settling of the West in the 19th century to surges of population toward the Sunbelt in more recent times, the U.S. has long been known a place where people are on the move.

Moving becomes more complicated, however, when you are divorced and there is a child involved.

In this post, we will address the question of whether, and under what circumstances, a divorced parent can relocate with a child out of state. Our answer will not take the form of legal advice. But it will provide an overview of some of the key issues involved.

Spousal maintenance in Arizona, part 2: the role of experts

In the first part of this post, we noted how there are many factors involved under Arizona law in determining the financial duties that one former spouse may have to another.

Though the term "alimony" is no longer the official designation, such duties - now called "spousal maintenance" - may require payments to be made in certain cases. This depends, however, on an analysis of the multiple factors that have been codified at Arizona Revised Statutes 35-319.

In this part of the post, we will take note of some of the strategic considerations that can arise in spousal maintenance (sometimes called spousal support) cases. In particular, we will discuss the role of two types of experts.

Spousal maintenance (alimony) in Arizona, part 1: statutory basis

Gender equality is an elusive goal in any society.

After all, men and women are different. As the 20th century progressed, however, it became clear that separate spheres for men and women would not be easy to maintain.

So what is the status, in Arizona in 2014, of responsibilities for one former marriage partner to support the other financially after divorce?

In this post, we will take stock of how the law now sees that question.

Divorce mediation, part 2: Maricopa County

In the first part of this post, we tried to sketch some of the potential benefits of using a mediator to seek solutions that work for both parties in a divorce.

As we noted, the presence of a professional who has the duty to help both parties, rather than only one, can foster a fruitful divorce process in appropriate cases.

In this part of the post, let's delve into some of the Arizona specifics of the divorce mediation process.

Seeking peace after domestic wars: divorce mediation, part 1

A few years ago, the actress Helen Mirren stared in a film about the turbulent final days of the celebrated Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy. The turbulence depicted in the film included a turbulent marriage.

Tolstoy's marriage did not end in divorce. But the film's depiction of his tension-filled domestic life gave fresh resonance to the famous phrase with which he began the novel "Anna Karenina."

"All happy families resemble each other," that novel begins," but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

In this two-part post, let's consider possible ways to proceed when your marriage has become so unhappy that it is time to consider divorce.

Broken heart, divided gold: divorce and family businesses, part 2

"Keep me searching for a heart of gold," sang Neil Young in an indelible 1970s rock song.

But what if your heart is broken and your gold - in the sense of financial resources - has been poured into a family business? How do you divide interests in that business with your spouse in the event of divorce?

There are many challenging valuation issues that can arise when making such divisions. In this part of our two-part post, let's consider a few more of the considerations involved.

Divorce and the division of family business interests, part 1

Sigmund Freud famously said that love and work are the cornerstones of mental health.

That may be well be so. But what happens when you have worked with a marriage partner in a family business and the love starts to run out?

In this post, we will discuss the issue of dividing interests in a family-owned business in an Arizona divorce.

How can pension benefits be divided in an Arizona divorce?

When it comes to dividing property in the event of divorce, a pension or other retirement account is often one of the main assets.

But how can you divide those assets when they are in the name of one of the divorcing parties but not the other?

The short answer is that the law in Arizona and other states does generally allow for such division through a procedure known as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). In this post, we will discuss that process. The goal is to provide a basic outline of that process, not to provide legal advice.

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