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New York City Divorce Legal Blog

Avoid these financial mistakes during divorce

There are numerous things that divorcing spouses commonly do wrong, and these mistakes can cost them tens of thousands of dollars during their divorce proceedings. Don't let these negative consequences happen to you. Stay on top of the most important financial details pertaining to the dissolution of your marriage by avoiding the following financial mistakes:

Failing to inventory your assets: Failing to take an inventory of your assets is a big mistake. Get as clear as possible about what you and your spouse own. Make a list that includes everything, including personal possessions, collectables, homes, business assets, vehicles, recreational vehicles, cash accounts, investment accounts, insurance policies, art, appliances and the list goes one.

Tips for talking with children about divorce

Every parent gets divorced for different reasons. Nevertheless, for every parent, it will be a difficult and heart-breaking process to talk to his or her children about the fact that mommy and daddy have decided to call it quits. In the advice that follows, you might find some tips and ideas that could help you talk with your children about your decision to divorce.

Give your children space to have a good relationship with the other parent. Help your children know that their relationships with mom and dad are separate and private. Don't pry into all the events of the time spent with the other parent. If children have something that they want to talk about, they will bring it up. Let them have the privacy of a secure relationship with both parents.

4 ways higher earners can improve their divorce outcomes

Many higher-earning spouses in New York do not realize the amount of control they have over their divorces. Some of them believe because they spend so much of their time away from home running their businesses, the courts would determine that they should not have a favorable custody and property settlement agreements. 

Though it may seem as if things are not in their favor, there are things they can do improve the likelihood of them getting the divorce outcome they expect. 

What is an alimony trust?

An alimony trust is a solution for those who need to pay alimony as a part of their divorce proceedings, but don't want to liquidate investments in order to create a cash payout. As per the terms of an alimony trust, the paying spouse will move assets and investments into a special trust designed to benefit the recipient spouse. The trust will generate income, which is then paid out to the spousal beneficiary.

By creating the trust, the paying spouse will not be able to claim a tax deduction on the income that is paid to the recipient spouse. Meanwhile, although the recipient spouse will be taxed on this income, he or she will not be taxed on the principle used to generate the income.

Ask these questions before you begin your divorce

Everyone debates whether or not they should get a divorce. In fact, most spouses spend far more time than they should consider whether or not it's time to move forward with their divorce plans.

However, spouses who are currently on the fence about divorce can gain clarity by asking themselves the following questions:

The 2 categories of child visitation

Imagine you have completed your child custody proceedings in New York family law court and the judge has issued an award of full physical custody to your ex-spouse. This doesn't mean that you won't get to see your kids, but it does mean that your children will live with your ex-spouse full-time. What it also means is that you will probably receive some kind of right to visit with your children.

When it comes to child visitation, there are three categories of child visitation that a New York parent will likely receive:

What should I definitely do in my divorce?

When it comes to divorcing from your spouse in New York, there are a few things that you should definitely do. Failing to do these things could result in a longer, more expensive and more psychologically destructive divorce process. Since numerous spouses make the fatal mistake of not doing these things -- and suffer the consequences -- be sure to look over this list to ensure you're either already doing them, or will plan to do them once your divorce is underway.

Cooperate and be reasonable. Many spouses fall into a contentious battle of disagreeing with each other at every corner of their divorce proceedings. Notice if you find yourself falling into this pattern and reverse direction into an attitude of cooperation whenever you can. This will make things much easier in the long run.

Divorce and inheritance: Don't comingle your inherited money

Imagine your aunt passed away and left you a sizable inheritance. Will these assets be yours and yours alone, or could your spouse take part of them during a divorce?

If you received an inheritance either before or during your marriage, you might not have to divide these assets during your divorce. Every situation is different, but in many cases, your inherited assets will receive special protection and will remain your individual property, even if you received the assets during the course of your marriage.

Reasons to invalidate a prenuptial agreement

Your prenuptial agreement could be the document that saves you from spending a fortune on a divorce at some unknown point in the future. No one enters marriage with the idea that they'll one day get divorced; however, the reality is that divorces happen to the best-intentioned couples. And, if you're wise, you will prepare for such a possibility with a prenuptial agreement.

Just because a couple has created a prenuptial agreement, however, does not mean that the document will survive a court challenge. Here are a few ways that prenuptial agreements have been rendered invalid in New York courts:

  • The document was fraudulent. For example, maybe the prenuptial agreement did not accurately disclose all of the spouse's debts or assets. Maybe one of the spouses lied about something in the document. If a prenup is shown to be fraudulent it will not hold up in court.
  • One of the spouses was coerced. Imagine someone threatened a spouse to sign a prenuptial agreement or face the threat of violence. This would be an example of coercion and it would render a prenuptial agreement invalid.
  • Filing errors. Prenuptial agreements must be drafted and filed in a legally appropriate manner if they are to pass the judgment of the court.
  • One of the spouses wasn't represented by a lawyer. If one spouse hires a lawyer to draft a prenuptial agreement, the other spouse should have a lawyer who helps him or her understand the terms of the agreement. If one spouse didn't receive legal counsel before filing, he or she might not have fully understood the document.
  • The agreement was unfair. Sometimes prenuptial agreements are unfair and a court will invalidate them based on a sense of fairness alone.

Tips for successful visits with noncustodial children

As a noncustodial parent who only gets to spend time with your children here and there, you probably want to do everything you can to ensure your time together, though limited, is positive, fulfilling and worthwhile. You child may not live with you the majority of the time, but that does not mean the two of you cannot have a close relationship, and the time you do spend together presents a great opportunity to strengthen it.

So, what can you do to make your visits with your noncustodial child go smoothly?

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