divorce

Retirement savings

Ex-Husband Must Return Late Wife’s Retirement Savings

Dividing retirement savings in an Arizona divorce proceeding can result in confusion and inequity. Sometimes the problems don’t appear for years — or even decades. A recent Arizona appellate decision illustrates the importance of paying attention to retirement savings plan details. Sandra Brown’s (brief) marriage In 1992, Sandra S. Brown married John M. Brown. That …

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Revocation on divorce

“Revocation On Divorce” Law Interpreted in Arizona

Suppose a married couple signs wills leaving everything to one another, and naming each other as personal representative of their estate. What happens when they later divorce? In Arizona, our broad “revocation on divorce” law kicks in. The concept is straightforward. After a divorce you probably want to change your estate planning documents. Maybe you …

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Divorce court custody order

Guardianship Judge May Deviate from Divorce Court Custody Order

In a divorce proceeding, the court determines who should have custody (and decision-making authority) over any minor children. When a child subject to such an order reaches majority, the court order usually expires. But when the now-adult child has a disability, either or both parents may seek appointment as guardian. Does the divorce court custody …

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IRA beneficiary designation

IRA Beneficiary Designation Controls Distribution at Death

We’ve written about this issue before. Generally, your IRA beneficiary designation will control who receives your account. Your will (or trust) provisions will not override the beneficiary designation. Arizona’s community property rules won’t have much effect — in fact, they will normally have no effect. It’s all about your IRA beneficiary designation. Of course, people …

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Automatic injunction

Automatic Injunction Did Not Prevent Beneficiary Change

When a married person files for a divorce, Arizona law requires issuance of an automatic injunction. The injunction prevents changes in assets or titles until the divorce is resolved. It maintains the status quo while the legal system kicks into gear. An automatic injunction also issues in other, related kinds of actions. For instance, filing …

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Divorce Decree Modifies Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation

Elder law and estate planning — which is what we practice at Fleming & Curti, PLC — doesn’t usually include divorce and family law issues. Sometimes, though, the two practice areas overlap. As, for instance, when a divorce decree effectively changes an estate plan. ERISA preemption Before we tell you our story this week, we …

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Common law marriage

Common-Law Marriage, Divorce and Probate, All In One Case

DECEMBER 19, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 47 Here’s a question we hear frequently: how long does a couple have to live together in order to be considered married? The answer in Arizona: until the wedding ceremony. In other words, Arizona does not recognize “common-law” marriages. That strong, direct statement, however, masks a more complicated answer. …

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Husband’s Interest in Trust Not Divided in Divorce Proceedings

AUGUST 22, 2016 VOLUME 23 NUMBER 31 Carl and Debbie (not their real names) were married, and have two children together. After more than a decade together, Carl filed for a divorce in their home state of Massachusetts. In the course of the divorce action, the court was required to divide Carl and Debbie’s assets …

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