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New York City Divorce Legal Blog

How can I help my children during my divorce?

Everyone handles divorce differently, but for most people, breaking up with a spouse is an emotional and difficult time of transition. It's important if you're a parent to not allow the difficulty of the experience - no matter how emotional or contentious it happens to be - to interfere with your ability to support your children through the divorce.

Here is something you can do to ensure that your children are well-supported throughout your divorce proceedings:

2 key financial considerations you should not overlook

One of the first concerns couples have when divorce becomes a certainty is money. Divorces often bring about feelings of uncertainty, greed and contempt for many New York couples, especially when financial issues concerns aboutĀ child support and the distribution of marital assets are factored in. If you are currently thinking about filing for divorce, you might want to take measures to prepare financially first.

You might not look forward to making decisions because you are ready for your marriage to end so you can finally move on. As tempting as it is for you to rush, it is best for you to think about how your settlement may impact your life after the finalization of your divorce. Here are some key financial pointers for you to consider:

How do you spend parenting time with a preschooler?

If you're like most newly-single, noncustodial parents with visitation rights, you might not know the best way to spend your precious visitation time with your toddler. However, there are a lot of fun ideas you and your young child can enjoy together. What follows are two simple ideas that will help you make the most of this time. Can you think of more ideas off the top of your head?

Tracing letters and drawing: It might sound simple to the average adult, but for a 3-year-old boy or girl, tracing letters and tracing simple drawings with mom or dad can be a joy. Three-year-olds love drawing anything, and the more color the better. They enjoy drawing circle people, stick people, silly faces and more. You can also get educational by teaching them the letters of the alphabet - and even show them how to turn simple letters into different people, objects and animals.

Invalid prenuptial agreements: Will yours hold up in court?

There are several reasons why a prenuptial agreement might not be valid. As such, if you have a prenuptial agreement, or if you're planning to enter one, you may want to review the following reasons to determine if your prenuptial agreement will hold up in court in the event of a divorce.

Here are several reasons why a particular prenup might not be valid:

  • Your prenuptial agreement is misleading or fraudulent: As a part of a prenup, spouses must disclose everything related to their finances. If they don't report all of their assets or debts, for example, it could result in a fraudulent prenup that could be invalidated by a family law judge.
  • The prenup was coerced: If any signs of coercion or duress were involved in the signing of a prenuptial agreement then the individual who signed it probably didn't do so willingly. As such, it's doubtful that it was a valid legal agreement. Illness or intoxication at the time of signing a prenup could also invalidate the document.
  • One of parties didn't have legal representation: It's vital that both parties to a prenup understand the legal ramifications of signing such a document by having the document explained to them via legal counsel.
  • The agreement isn't fair: If a prenup doesn't treat both sides equally and fairly, then it probably won't be viewed as valid.

How does the Hague Convention help parents?

Imagine you were married to a foreign national and had a baby with this person. Later, you go through a lengthy divorce and agree to shared custody so that your child lives half the time with you and half the time with your ex. However, you ex-spouse broke the guidelines, returned to his or her home country and now is refusing to bring your child back to the United States.

Before the creation of the Hague Convention, a parent in this situation would have had a lot of legal red tape to jump through, and the likelihood of getting the child returned would be slim. This is still the case when it comes to nonHague member countries. However, if the country where the child is located ratified the Hague Convention, then it could be easier to get the child returned.

How do prenuptial agreements help?

If you're in the brink of getting married, you're probably so full of love and excitement for your spouse that the last thing you want to think about is the remote possibility of divorce in the future. However, the reality of marriage in the modern world includes the chance that your love union will not endure until death do us part. For this reason, the most responsible soon-to-be newlyweds are choosing to sign prenuptial agreements.

Let's take a look at two uncommon benefits of such a document, even if you're not wealthy and don't have any real assets to protect:

Are you going to get custody of your child?

When you are getting a divorce, one of the most crucial decisions is who gets custody of your child. You want custody, but how do you get it? Obtaining custody requires you to understand what the family court considers when making such determinations. 

Custody battles may be confusing and difficult to navigate, which may mean you need the help of an attorney. But read below for some basic information that will help you win your custody fight. 

How to ensure good communication with your co-parent

Being a co-parent and sharing your child 50-50 with the other parent isn't going to be a walk in the park. However, there are a few things you can do while going through the divorce settlement process to make your life as a single parent a great deal easier - such as being strategic when it comes to the parenting provisions you draft for your child custody and parenting plan agreements.

Within the parenting plan, for example, parents should address different issues - such as the way they will communicate about important matters relating to their children. Here are some excellent provisions to include regarding parent-to-parent communication:

  • Communication about schooling and other activities: What are the dress codes, health concerns, behavioral issues, weekly schedules and other important details regarding school? What about important information concerning extracurricular activities?
  • Methods of communication: Will parents restrict themselves only to certain types of communication, such as text messages, letters, emails, home phones, work phones or mobile phones? Or, will all avenues of communication remain open to facilitate the easy of passing information back and forth?
  • Keeping a logbook: Parents might agree to keep a logbook pertaining to their children, which they pass between the homes with their children. In the book, they can include personal comments, information about activity schedules, health, education and other important matters.

What should I include in my prenuptial agreement?

Your prenuptial agreement will serve as an action plan in the event that divorce is necessary. Essentially, you will have agreed to and planned out many of the most difficult elements of your divorce already, and those guidelines can then be followed to quickly and cost-effectively to bring your marriage to a close. Although prenups remain somewhat controversial, the utility of the documents is clear, and arguably they should be incorporated into every marriage process.

Here are a few issues that prenuptial agreements commonly address:

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.

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