Failure to Disclose Financial Information in a Divorce in Arizona | Voted “Best of the Valley”
Posted on : April 20, 2016, By: Christopher Hildebrand
Failure to Disclose Financial Information in a Divorce in Arizona
Failure to Disclose in a Divorce.
In Arizona, the family court includes decisions regarding support obligations and division of marital assets in the final divorce decree. In some cases, one or both of the parties may not cooperate fully. The court makes the best decision possible using as much information as possible, but in many cases, information may not be provided that could be useful in determining an equitable division of assets. In the unpublished Arizona Court of Appeals case of Quigley v. Quigly, the division of marital property and award of spousal maintenance were based solely on the testimony of the two parties.
Husband and Wife were married in 1991. Wife filed a petition for dissolution of marriage in August 2013. Wife testified at the evidentiary hearing about the parties’ standard of living, the history of employment during the marriage, and illness and disability benefits. Wife testified that her health was deteriorating and spousal maintenance would be needed for her to meet her living expenses. Wife also testified she contributed to Husband’s earning capacity throughout their marriage, as she cared for the children while he was at work and supported him while he education to pursue additional career opportunities.
Jennifer, thank you for being my attorney. I could not have been more pleased with the outcome of my family court hearing. Everything you have done for me throughout this case reflects in the final ruling of the judge. You helped me keep my head together and taught me a lot about myself as a person. I learned so much about my life from observing and listening to you. I will take all the advice you gave me to continue taking responsibility for my choices, continue to put the kids' needs first, and always stay truthful. Your diligence, dedication, and persistence in my case made what seemed impossible, possible. You are a wonderful person and an amazing attorney and I am stronger and more confident because of you.
I just want to again thank the Firm for working with me all that it has. I could not have done anything without everyone's assistance. You, Chris and Stacey have been and continue to provide me with compassion and hard work towards my case. Also a very special thanks to Kip for taking my case in the beginning. Also continued support from him and his dedication to providing me with his expertise in this matter.
After interviewing several law firms, I came across Jennifer Shick, and her firm, who I hired to represent me for my Family Court case. Jennifer has extensive knowledge of the law and is determined to bring the truth to every issue involved within the case. Throughout my case, Jennifer was prepared meticulously as well as went above and beyond all of my expectations. Even when the other party tried to differ from the truth, lie to the Judge, and turn situations around, Jennifer remained attentive and provided substantial evidence to show the judge the facts as well as the proof to support what was the best interests of my children. Additionally, Jennifer helped me endure many difficult experiences, situations and inspired me to remain positive throughout the entirety of my case. Her kindness, compassion, and professionalism helped me through very difficult times and made the process feel a thousand times lighter on my shoulders. She truly has my children and my best interest at heart and I trust her perspective as well as her honesty on each and every aspect of my case. She lessened the burden on my shoulders and even when I felt like the case was not going to go in my favor, Jennifer was open-minded and reassured me that the Judge would, in fact, see the truth, which he did and the case went in my favor. After nine months of court, everything finally came together. I cannot declare how much Jennifer has been an outstanding attorney. She addressed each and every issue with diligence, she cares about her clients and their families. Jennifer genuinely cares about her clients and her dedication to the details of the case was remarkable. Overall, I am extremely pleased with Jennifer’s services and I am truly thankful that I was so blessed to have her represent my children and me. I highly recommend Jennifer as one of the best attorneys in Arizona and if the situation ever arises, I will definitely have her represent my children and me again.
Dear Stacey and Kip, How can I ever thank you enough for helping me through the most difficult time in my life? I couldn't put into words my heartfelt gratefulness. You both were so compassionate and professional at every given moment throughout this process with me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. You helped me to regain my freedom.
I was a client of Attorney Kevin Park for the dissolution of a divorce in 2016. And since I had never had the need to hire an attorney before for any purpose, I was somewhat apprehensive of the process. But the very calm and professional demeanor of Mr. Park eased my fears. He adeptly answered all my questions and I clearly knew the process and what to expect. And the skilled manner he communicated with opposing counsel was perfect. When it came down to negotiating with my spouse’s counsel, I knew I had selected the best attorney for my situation. What I noticed and appreciated was that he was using just the right amount of pressure with opposing counsel as was necessary. If you find yourself in this situation, you will want a seasoned professional like Mr. Park on your side. I'm very grateful that he was my attorney and not the opposition!
Chris is a smart and aggressive attorney for his clients. Chris always tries to reach a fair settlement of his cases. I’ve represented clients when Chris was the opposing counsel and while he is professional and amicable to work with, he does not back off on what he needs to do for his client
Kevin Park of Arizona Estate Planning Attorneys was just what I needed for my divorce. He was very approachable and personable. He was quick to recognize what I needed and provided it quickly and efficiently. I hope to never need a divorce lawyer again, but if I know anyone else who does, I will definitely recommend Kevin.
I feel that Tracey Van Wickler is certainly one of the best family lawyers around. She is logical, intelligent, and truly cares. Tracey always does what is in the clients best interest, does it well, timely and with integrity. She is good at keeping her clients informed as to what is going on and clear in her communication both written and verbally. I have recommended Tracey to other people and will continue to recommend her. I recommended Tracey to someone who was having issues with their ex-wife and his response was, “I know how good she is because I went up against her and she ate me for lunch”. This same person was so impressed with her, he even recommended her to someone else, WOW, that is impressive! I am exceptionally happy with her attention to detail, her ability to explain things in ways that are easy to understand, as well as her ability to keep everyone focused on the most important things. I would recommend Tracey to anyone who may be in need of her services.
I retained Hildebrand Law after interview a number of firms in the valley. Working with Michael C. was incredibly easy and informative. My case progressed in such a organized and thought out way to ensure that my needs were met. Michael was incredibly proactive and was able to see far ahead into my case to steer clear of some roadblocks. I would not hesitate to recommend Michael Clancy, and Hildebrand Law in general, to anyone.
I have worked with Hildebrand law for about 8 years. They are always ready to serve, provide guidance and give you a few options. When they provide you options they also take the time to walk you through the pros and cons of each and give you a recommendation of what is best, but will listen to you and support whatever course you choose after making and educated choice. I’d recommend them to my closest friends and feel Chris Hildebrand is now a friend to me.
Despite the unfortunate situation I found myself in, Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law helped me maneuver every step with professionalism, expertise, and even a sensitivity that was an added bonus.Chris and his staff helped me even when I didn't know I needed the help. In other words. . . they made sure we did not leave anything undone. And in the rare instance we needed the expertise of another professional, Chris knew exactly who to recommend.Chris also knew, because of his experience, what to anticipate down the road of litigation. That meant we were better prepared to meet the challenges head on, which lead to a more equitable and fair outcome. I appreciated that Chris did his best to meet my every need in a timely fashion, even if I had a simple question that required only a phone call or e-mail or if we needed to talk face-to-face.I highly recommend Chris Hildebrand @ Hildebrand Law, PC.
Husband also testified regarding his finances. He claimed his retirement benefits were earned during the marriage and should be equally divided between the parties. Husband also testified he had not seen Wife’s financial affidavit or disclosures of bank accounts or her disability award. He stated he knew nothing about any debts incurred during the marriage. A divorce decree was issued dissolving the parties’ marriage, dividing their marital assets, and awarding Wife spousal maintenance of $600 for 120 months. Husband moved to amend the judgment and filed a request for a new trial and subsequently filed an appeal to the Arizona Court of Appeals.
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Dividing Assets in a Divorce Without Full Disclosure of Assets
Must File Motion to Compel to Preserve Claims.
Husband argued on appeal that the family court could not equitably divide the parties’ assets based solely on Wife’s testimony without Wife’s disclosure of financial documentation. He contends the court should have imposed sanctions or delayed ruling until proper disclosures were obtained. On appeal, the trial court’s equitable distribution of property is examined to determine if the trial court abused its discretion. A.R.S. Section 25-318(A) requires a family court to provide an equitable division of community property (though not necessarily in kind) without regard to marital misconduct. In this case, the family court ordered that financial accounts containing community property as of the date of service would be divided equally.
There was only one community account identified in the proceedings, which was Husband’s retirement account. Husband’s argument that the retirement account should not be divided until “all monies” are accounted for is in contradiction to his proposal at trial for the retirement assets earned during the course of the couple’s marriage to be divided equally. The division of the Husband’s retirement was based on both pre-trial statements filed with the court and Husband’s testimony. Change in Circumstances to Modify Alimony in Arizona. Additionally, Husband does not allege how Wife’s disclosure violations would have prejudiced the court’s decision. Husband did not file a motion with the court to compel Wife to disclose financial information, or request a continuance of the trial, or make any objections at trial.
On appeal, Wife was found to have met the requirements for being awarded spousal maintenance, pursuant to A.R.S. Section 25-319(A). Additionally, at the hearing, Husband did not argue Wife was not entitled to an award of spousal maintenance. As a result, Husband’s claims on appeal regarding Wife’s eligibility to be awarded spousal maintenance lacked merit on appeal. The family court considered the 13 enumerated factors in the statute prior to awarding Wife $600 per month in spousal maintenance for 120 months. The Court of Appeals of Arizona, therefore, affirmed the decision of the trial court in this case.
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