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I am looking for an answer to an Arizona family law, pre-divorce

filing question. The question...
I am looking for an answer to an Arizona family law, pre-divorce filing question. The question is, how much trouble could I get into and is is illegal for me to empty his personal affects in the house out to our (very private, and walled in) driveway?

Anyone?

Thanks.
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Answered in 3 minutes by:
10/1/2010
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
Verified
Thank you for your question.

It is not quite illegal--you both own the property as it is considered "community" assets under Arizona law. However whatever is damaged or destroyed, you become personally liable for repairing or replacing from your own portion of the estate. While I can understand your possible anger and frustration, consider attempting to get the divorce done quickly, politely, and with the least amount of emotional bad will.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 4:15 AM EST
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Dimitry K., Esq. and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Thanks. The type of "things" I am referring to are not "community property" - ie. things he owned before we were married, gifts to him, and his shoes, clothing, etc.

 

Does your answer still stand?

 

I was initially hoping we could do all this through mediation but quickly figured out I needed my own representation.

 

 

Thank you for your follow-up.

Hmm, if these are pre-marital assets, you become solely liable and responsible for them. This falls under the civil tort of either "conversion" (if the items are totally or nearly destroyed), or "trespass to chattels" (if the items are lightly damaged and are still usable). In the former, you become responsible for the full replacement value, which, if the item has sentimental value, can be 'priceless', and therefore highly difficult to financially replace. If the latter, you are still personally liable for the repair costs. In either case, unless you want to incur additional costs, it may be better to leave the items alone.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 4:24 AM EST
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Thank you. Any way I slice it, I am really screwed. As you know, it will be at least weeks or even months after my attorney files for a temporary order with the court before any financial maintenance and child support will go into affect.

 

The only thing I have going for me, it seems, is that he is retired military and his new job has "attachable" income when he starts working for them later this year.

 

Right now, though...that baseball bat is looking pretty good to me...18 years of my life I gave this man and sold my business to marry him because he had orders to go to Germany.

 

He just retired from the AF last year after 27 years...as a bird Col. no less and I don't even know this man anymore. He has already spent - no kidding - tens of thousands of dollars in credit cards in the past 18 months that *I* am on the hook for 50% of (community property state). I am DONE playing nice if he cuts off the income completely and leaves me holding the bag.

 

Second question - nearest I can figure, anything that he purchased with "our" money after we were married, I have every right to....uh, destroy since I own it as well. True?

 

Again, I do NOT give good victim and since I don't yet have a court order, I need to have some sort of retaliation. And...I never make threats. Only one-time warnings.

 

What say you?

You are most welcome.

Thank you. Any way I slice it, I am really screwed. As you know, it will be at least weeks or even months after my attorney files for a temporary order with the court before any financial maintenance and child support will go into affect.

Unfortunately that is true. However if you do want to be vicious (and legal), you can always send letters requesting money and claiming that you are unable to support the children--give him 14 days via mail to start making payments and if he fails to do so in the letter warn that you will start to sell off his items to pay for the children's expenses. He fails to help, do exactly that but keep COPIOUS notes and expenses of all items, as later you can request that the money you made from the sales be something that he would not be liable to pay you once the support payments are set up.

 

The only thing I have going for me, it seems, is that he is retired military and his new job has "attachable" income when he starts working for them later this year.

 

Right now, though...that baseball bat is looking pretty good to me...18 years of my life I gave this man and sold my business to marry him because he had orders to go to Germany.

 

He just retired from the AF last year after 27 years...as a bird Col. no less and I don't even know this man anymore. He has already spent - no kidding - tens of thousands of dollars in credit cards in the past 18 months that *I* am on the hook for 50% of (community property state). I am DONE playing nice if he cuts off the income completely and leaves me holding the bag.

 

Second question - nearest I can figure, anything that he purchased with "our" money after we were married, I have every right to....uh, destroy since I own it as well. True?

Sigh. Yes, you can destroy it, but it will lower your full value of the estate, and ultimately may place you in a position where he can claim that your duty to maintain the property was breached and therefore you owe him for half of the value of the destroyed items. that will make the divorce even more abusive, and maybe it is something you should avoid.

 

Again, I do NOT give good victim and since I don't yet have a court order, I need to have some sort of retaliation. And...I never make threats. Only one-time warnings.

I understand, which is why I am trying to be as direct with you as I can be.

 

What say you?

See above--your ability to turn items into money may ultimately end up being the best type of a means out of this situation.


Good luck.



Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 4:47 AM EST
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Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Tip forthcoming, by the way.

 

"Unfortunately that is true. However if you do want to be vicious (and legal), you can always send letters requesting money and claiming that you are unable to support the children--give him 14 days via mail to start making payments and if he fails to do so in the letter warn that you will start to sell off his items to pay for the children's expenses. He fails to help, do exactly that but keep COPIOUS notes and expenses of all items, as later you can request that the money you made from the sales be something that he would not be liable to pay you once the support payments are set up."

 

WHY my proposed attorney hasn't told me that is beyond me. You're sure that is 'upholdable' in the state of AZ?

 

I am very nervous about retaining the attorney I've met with - a $5,000.00 retainer and the way his contract reads (I used to write contracts), the piece-mealed (sp?) fees are entirely open-ended.

 

What I cannot do is just sit here and be steamrolled over, which what he has been doing. We agreed (verbally) to have our minor boy spend 2-weeks at a time at our respective residences, and he has them right now.

 

Thanks much for the above suggestion...I have already spend 5.5 solid hours gathering financial info for the attorney so I can fairly quickly put together the numbers to send him.

 

Any other ideas? He says he has an attorney but I suspect he has only talked to a retired JAG-type at the VA.

Thank you and happy to follow-up.

 

 

"Unfortunately that is true. However if you do want to be vicious (and legal), you can always send letters requesting money and claiming that you are unable to support the children--give him 14 days via mail to start making payments and if he fails to do so in the letter warn that you will start to sell off his items to pay for the children's expenses. He fails to help, do exactly that but keep COPIOUS notes and expenses of all items, as later you can request that the money you made from the sales be something that he would not be liable to pay you once the support payments are set up."

 

WHY my proposed attorney hasn't told me that is beyond me. You're sure that is 'upholdable' in the state of AZ?

This is most definitely upholdable, so long as you can prove that you literally had no other choice beyond this one as a means of supporting the family. The reason your attorney may not have told you this is because this venture holds risk--if the other party can convince the judge that you did this out of spite, you may be charged with contempt of court order, or be forced to pay the actual value of the items, and not the fire-sale value that you may get for them when you do sell them. And yes, this is possible in AZ--you do own the items and therefore you can do with them as you see fit, so long as you properly keep notes as to what you did and for what reason.

 

I am very nervous about retaining the attorney I've met with - a $5,000.00 retainer and the way his contract reads (I used to write contracts), the piece-mealed (sp?) fees are entirely open-ended.

That is unfortunate. If you feel uncomfortable with him, pay for the consultation and then consider someone else.

 

What I cannot do is just sit here and be steamrolled over, which what he has been doing. We agreed (verbally) to have our minor boy spend 2-weeks at a time at our respective residences, and he has them right now.

 

Thanks much for the above suggestion...I have already spend 5.5 solid hours gathering financial info for the attorney so I can fairly quickly put together the numbers to send him.

 

Any other ideas? He says he has an attorney but I suspect he has only talked to a retired JAG-type at the VA.

Not off-hand, other than possibly speaking with your attorney about filing for an emergency petition as a means of expediting the hearing. Not sure if your situation fits the facts for it, but it may move up your court date a few months (especially if you can claim that you cannot support the children until you see the judge).

 

Good luck!



Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 10/1/2010 at 5:08 AM EST
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
Verified
Dimitry K., Esq. and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Customer reply replied 7 years ago

Arizona court room question - might be particular to counties, if that's the case, it's Pima County...

 

Is it legal to bring a voice recorder into public court proceedings (such as mine) and record what is said?

 

Thanks!

Thank you for your question.

Actually that is less court related than courtroom related. Simply ask the judge or the clerk if that is acceptable. It should be acceptable unless the court hearing is considered "closed" (as court hearings are generally "open to the public" and therefore the right to record exists). But, since judges are literal owners of their domains, they may still not permit recordings unless done by the court itself to be permitted. Simply call the judge's chambers, talk to the judge's clerk, and find out.

Good luck.

Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 11/21/2010 at 6:54 AM EST
Dimitry K., Esq.
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41,221
Experience: I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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Dimitry K., Esq. and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
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