Archive for October, 2012

Divorce Preparation- Part 2

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Preparing for a Divorce Trial Part 2; Presenting Relevant Evidence.

By Attorney Karl Scholes

Preparing for a Divorce Trial Part 2; Presenting Relevant Evidence. 

Preparing for a divorce trial can be a daunting task. The difficulty comes in having so many issues to cover, and having so little time to cover them. Parties to a divorce (usually those who have opted to not hire an attorney) will commonly make the mistake of using up what little court time – and judicial patience – allotted to them by presenting the Court with irrelevant testimony. 

In Arizona, there are certain findings that the court must make to enter a decree of dissolution of marriage. Those findings are found in A.R.S. § 25-312, and are as follows: 

  1. That one of the parties, at the time the action was commenced, was domiciled in this state, or was stationed in this state while a member of the armed services, and that in either case the domicile or military presence has been maintained for ninety days prior to filing the petition for dissolution of marriage. 
  2. The conciliation provisions of section 25-381.09 and the provisions of article 5 of this chapter either do not apply or have been met. 
  3. The marriage is irretrievably broken or, if the marriage is a covenant marriage, any of the grounds prescribed in section 25-903. 
  4. To the extent it has jurisdiction to do so, the court has considered, approved and made provision for child custody, the support of any natural or adopted child common to the parties of the marriage entitled to support, the maintenance of either spouse and the disposition of property. 

Noticeably absent from the above factors is anything to do with marital infidelity, imbecility of newly acquired significant others, or annoying habits of the other party. If it is not mentioned in the findings above, then the court does not want to hear about it. 

Now, the issues of 1.) child custody; 2.) the support of any natural or adopted child common to the parties of the marriage entitled to support, 3.) the maintenance of either spouse, and 4.) the disposition of property involve a lot of relevant testimony. The relevant factors for each of these issues are covered by statute, and are the topic for another time. 

However, none of the pertinent statutes include factors that have anything to do with marital infidelity, imbecility of newly acquired significant others, or annoying habits of the other party. These are never mentioned. 

Not even once.

If you are in need of legal counsel and would like to speak with an experienced family law attorney, please call 800 899-2730  or visit our website at yourarizonadivorcelawyer.com. or www.davismiles.com

Arizona Dependency Deductions

Friday, October 12th, 2012

GILBERT, TEMPE AND MESA ARIZONA DIVORCE AND FAMILY LAW LAWYER DISCUSSES CLAIMING CHILDREN FOR TAXES

Submitted by Attorney Douglas C. Gardner

 I was recently honored by an invitation to speak before a large group of local accountants and todiscuss with them issues involving an overlap between their accounting and CPA practice and my legal practice as an Arizona divorce and family law attorney.

I had gathered several topics that I wanted to address with them, and was prepared to speak for my allotted time.  As I delved into the issues I had prepared, the questions that surged from the audience quickly led me to the one issue that they most wanted to discuss, who gets to claim the children as dependency deductions and credits in Arizona. 

The problem lies in the fact that tax law or IRS regulations are federal, and divorces in Arizona are governed by state law.  Generally, when federal law covers an issue, it trumps or overrides conflicting state law.  However, with regard to claiming children, the IRS law recognizes that in divorce cases the divorce court should have the discretion to divide the right to claim children.  In fact, IRS provides for the general rule, which is that the parent with whom the children reside with for more than 50% of the time claims the children.  The stated exception, however, is that a state divorce court can order this division to occur otherwise. 

To accomplish this, the IRS requires a parent that is able to claim the children pursuant to a Court Order, but that does not have the children at least 50% of the time, to complete a Form 8322.

IRS has over the past few years tightened its regulations and no longer accepts court orders as evidence of who can claim the child, but strictly requires the form 8322.

The accountants wanted to know what they should do or advise the client to do when the wrong parent claimed the children or refused to sign the form 8322. 

As IRS now strictly requires the Form 8322, the sole recourse is to return to Court and ask the Court to strictly enforce the prior orders regarding claiming the children. 

Many clients have concerns with the costs of returning to court.  Having done this many times, the best way is to narrowly draft the documents filed with the Court and try to limit it to a single prompt emergency hearing on this single issue.  Sometimes, this can be handled with a single demand letter from an attorney and court can be altogether avoided. 

 

Generally, the Court will not be at all pleased with a party who has willfully disobeyed a court order.  The Court will often impose sanctions upon such a party, which may include payment of some or all of the attorneys fees involved. 

If you are involved in a divorce case involving child support, tax issues regarding the children, or other simple or complex issues and want experienced legal representation, please call 800-899-2730 and ask to speak with Douglas C. Gardner, or visit our website at yourarizonadivorcelawyer.com.