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New York City Divorce Legal Blog

Has sexual incompatibility led to your marital breakdown?

Most couples get together and stay together because they have a sense of compatibility that goes beyond just sexual chemistry. However, if you're like most spouses, sexual chemistry probably played a big part in you getting together in the first place, so what happens when the sexual chemistry runs dry? Is it time to call the marriage quits or can you work through this difficulty?

Anyone who has been married for some time - or at least most people who have been married for a while - understand that marriage doesn't involve constant sexual contact. Many married spouses discover that their sexual desires wane and they have much less sexual contact after they get married than they had when they were dating. This is normal, but sometimes it can become a problem.

What expectations are realistic when co-parenting?

Co-parenting can be a delicate balance, even in the best of situations. In fact, many parents may have unrealistic expectations of their co-parent without even realizing it.

For instance, some parents might get upset when their children tell them that the other parent lets them stay up later. At the same time, these upset parents might not give a second thought to bending certain rules themselves. So, what is a realistic outlook to have?

Which parent will pay for your child's healthcare costs?

When drafting their parenting agreements, parents always remember the noncustodial parent's obligation to pay a set amount of money each month. However, they don't always consider extraneous expenses and who's responsible to pay for them.

In fact, many parenting agreements leave the issue of extra costs uncovered, and there is a great deal of ambiguity surrounding this important issue that requires exacting clarity to avoid arguments and disagreements later down the line.

Fathers have rights but first they need to prove paternity

Fathers have parental rights just like mothers do. In the case of a child born out of wedlock, however, it's not always immediately clear who the father happens to be. If you are facing a circumstance in which you want to establish paternity and play a role in the life of your child, but the mother is denying you're the father, you may have to step forward and prove you're the father in court.

Before blood and DNA testing, proving paternity with absolute accuracy wasn't possible. The best that courts could do was take a guess, but if the mother denied it, the father might not ever be able to establish parentage - and he might not ever get to spend time with his children.

3 tips for a long-distance parenting plan

Not all separated parents live close to one another. A sick parent, a job or some other important reason could result in the parents living on opposite sides of the country. This means that the children will usually live full-time with one parent while enjoying extended time with the other parent during holidays, like spring break, summer break, winter break and certain three-day weekends throughout the year.

When you're trying to determine the best long-distance parenting time arrangements for you and your family, here are a few holidays you'll want to consider. Through the strategic use of holiday time, you can ensure that your children maintain a strong connection with the parent who lives far away:

  • Three-day weekends: At the beginning of each school year, parents will receive a calendar that shows the three-day weekends the child will receive. It's valuable to look at this calendar, or contact the school for a list of three-day weekends beforehand because every school district may a have a different schedule in this regard. This vacation time can be used to spend valuable time with the long-distance parent.
  • Spring break and fall break: Most children receive approximately a week of time off during the spring and fall. Plan ahead so your child can spend part or all of this time with the long-distance mother or father.
  • Christmas and winter break: Parents usually find a way of sharing this time or alternating with one another each year.
  • Thanksgiving holiday: Again, you may want to alternate this time from year to year.

Who's the primary caretaker of your child?

The question of who is the primary caretaker of your child is essential to family law court decisions pertaining to child custody. If the parents cannot agree on who will receive physical custody of the children -- or how they will split physical custody between one another -- the court will want to determine which parent served as the primary caretaker so it can give preference to that parent's wishes in its decision-making.

There are a few questions the court will want answered when making a determination of who served as primary caretaker. Although primary caretaker status often falls upon the mother because women in our society tend to fulfill this role, it is not always the case. Here's what family law courts will want to know:

  • Which parent prepared the children for school every morning by making their breakfasts and lunches, getting them dressed and ensuring that their hygiene needs were met?
  • Which parent drove the children to school, picked them up from day care, took them to the doctor and fulfilled other transportation requirements?
  • Which parent cooked balanced dinners for the children at night?
  • Which parent prepared the children for bed, bathed them and read them bedtime stories?
  • Which parent took the children out for weekend outings like taking them to sporting events, playing with them in the park, taking them to museums and doing other fun activities with them?

Let's talk divorce: 1 thing to remember when having 'the talk'

If there's one thing we avoid the most as human beings in our interpersonal relationships, it's the truth. Many spouses avoid the elephant in the room -- the fact that their marriage needs to end -- for years before they finally muster up the courage to have ''the divorce talk.'' Obviously, the sooner you can have this talk, the sooner you can move on to the next stage of your happier life, but when you do finally decide to break the news with your spouse, there's one vital thing you need to remember.

What is this miraculous thing? Don't try to defend yourself or your decisions. In other words, don't get into a long, drawn-out discussion about it no matter how hard your spouse tries to goad you into an argument or a debate. By remembering this one thing, you may make your divorce proceedings infinitely easier and more respectful and less stressful and costly.

Prenuptial agreements are not just for the rich and famous

Many engaged couples wrongly assume that the only people who benefit from prenuptial agreements are the rich and famous. The opposite is actually the case.

Imagine a young business owner, who just started his company and has yet to churn a profit. Now, imagine the son of a billionaire oil magnate who is about to receive his inheritance. Which do you think would have the greater need for a prenuptial agreement? If you said the son of the billionaire, you'd be wrong.

Am I going to get custody of my child?

When you are ending your marriage, the most stressful aspect is probably child custody. If your number one question is, "Will I get custody of my children?" you need all the help and advice you can get. Getting custody means you need to understand what the family courts consider and how a lawyer can help.

Here is some important information you should know about child custody, visitation and family law.

Gray divorce is taking a toll on the finances of women

Divorce rates for people over the age of 50 have doubled since the 1990s. This could be the result of changing perceptions about the supposed permanence of marriage among the baby boomer generation. It could simply be another sign of the times. Regardless of the reason why spouses choose to go their separate ways -- and every couple has its own reasons for divorcing -- evidence suggests that over-50 divorces are taking a toll on the finances of the women involved in particular.

In many relationships, women allow their husbands to make financial decisions for the family. They might, for example, take a back seat when it comes to meeting with financial advisers and accountants, preferring to contribute to the family in other ways. According to a study from UBS Global Wealth Management, for example, 56 percent of women allow their husbands to make financial planning and investment decisions for the family.

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