Quatela Chimeri, PLLC

Long Island Family Law Blog

Survey reveals women hit with financial surprises after divorce

Ending an unhappy marriage is quite often the right decision for New York couples who are unable to rectify serious issues. However, while most people understand that there are potential financial consequences of divorce, one group of people seems to be hit hardest of all. A recent survey revealed that many divorced women were surprised by the financial toll of leaving their ex.

The online survey from Worthy found that 46 percent of women who had experienced a divorce also dealt with significant financial surprises. Of the survey's 1,785 respondents, 22 percent were over the age of 55. Divorcees in this age group may have a more difficult time recovering from unexpected financial blows.

LGBT family law challenges require special attention

Same-sex couples now have rights of which past generations could barely even dream. From marriage to parental rights, these individuals can now truly enjoy the protections allotted to their heterosexual peers. However, as these changes are still relatively new, LGBT family law challenges are frequent, leaving many couples confused about their options when dealing with tough issues.

The United States Supreme Court ruling acknowledged that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. Before that, New York had already implemented rights for same-sex couples, ensuring that their invaluable family law rights were protected. These moves made it easier and more realistic for LGBT families to safely establish roots with the understanding that their rights would be upheld.

What can I do if my ex violates our divorce agreement?

Whether you were hung up over alimony, who gets the house or how to split parenting time, finally reaching an agreeable settlement can feel like crossing the line of a marathon. But what happens when one person stops abiding by that agreement, and you feel like all that hard work has gone to waste? You can seek a court order to enforce your divorce agreement.

People in New York stop abiding by their agreements for any number of reasons. Maybe your ex experienced a change in income and did not feel like seeking a post-judgment modification, and instead he or she simply stopped paying alimony. Or perhaps you had a disagreement over parenting methods, and now your ex is withholding child support.

Divorce and the family business: What are your options?

If you and your spouse own a family business together or one or both of you have a professional practice in New York, this business not only likely represents one of your major marital assets, but also possibly your family’s major or only source of income. As such, if you are contemplating divorce, what happens to your business is one of your most pressing concerns.

Generally in a divorce situation, you and your spouse have the following three options

  1. Sell the business and divide the profits
  2. One of you buy out the other’s interest
  3. Continue owning it together

New York father lied about his income during divorce

Child support is common among divorced parents. Even when New York parents share roughly equal custody, one person -- typically the higher earner -- usually pays child support. The amount of support owed is based off the payer's income, which is usually reviewed and set at the time of divorce. However, if one parent suspects that the other is concealing income to minimize payments, he or she can petition the court for a modification. However, it is sometimes criminal proceedings that reveal a discrepancy in payments.

A 40-year-old police officer is currently facing criminal charges for misrepresenting his salary during his divorce. Back in 2013, the man provided false payroll documentation during Family Court proceedings. The paperwork indicated he earned $76,000 annually, while his real income was closer to $98,000. Although at the time he was questioned about changing income levels, he reported that he was no longer working night shifts, and earned less during the day. This was apparently untrue.

Can I keep my dog after a divorce?

Dividing property is not always easy, but most New York couples reach an agreeable settlement in a reasonable amount of time. However, there is one type of property that can cause proceedings to quickly spiral out of control -- the family pet. In divorce, animals are not viewed as valuable family members regardless of how their owners see them. Instead, family law says that Fido is property.

Since animals are property in the eyes of the law, family law judges are well within their rights to order a warring couple to sell off their pet and split any resulting profit. This can be devastating for those who see their pet dog or cat as a child. In cases where both parties want to maintain an ongoing relationship with their animal, it is usually best to sort out a custody agreement on their own.

My income changed, what can I do about my divorce settlement?

Who a person is at the end of the marriage is very different than who they will be a few years down the road. Some experience emotional maturity in the years following a divorce, while others go through changes in housing, finances or family. In some instances, these changes are significant enough to affect a divorce settlement. It is possible for people in New York to modify their settlements to better reflect their current standings in life.

Unfortunately, some people view modifications as an admittance of failure -- that they could not abide by the parameters they set forth years ago. However, the vast majority of divorce settlements in New York are based on changing variables. Few people maintain the same job with the same income for their entire lives, and moving homes is often necessary when new employment or educational opportunities become available.

How the new tax law will affect your high asset divorce

Saying "I do" can be the best experience of a person's life. For a high earner, it can also be the scariest. Protecting important assets -- including everything in the bank -- can be a nightmare during a high asset divorce, which makes prenuptial agreements an obvious and effective tool for New York couples. But just how will some of those prenups hold up in the face of the looming change to tax law?

Currently, individuals who pay alimony can deduct those payments on their taxes, reducing their overall taxable income. This is especially useful for people in the top income bracket who typically pay large monthly sums to their exes. However, for those divorcing in 2019 and thereafter, those deductions are disappearing.

Angeline Jolie not immune to child custody problems

Even parents who are on the same page regarding child rearing might struggle with custody matters during a divorce. When New York parents do not see eye to eye, reaching a child custody agreement that is in the children's best interests can be even more difficult. The actors Angeline Jolie and Brad Pitt are no exception to this.

Jolie initially filed divorce papers in Sept. 2016. Their divorce has yet to be finalized and they are still trying to figure out a custody arrangement that will work best for all six of their children. Since 2016, five of the children traveled internationally with their mother. Recently, at least two of her children joined Jolie in London.

Could bird nesting help your children adjust to divorce?

Bird nesting is a relatively recent approach that parents take in divorce. It is most accessible to higher-income parents with more resources, but it is possible in other situations too.

So, what is bird nesting? Basically, the children stay in the family home while the parents rotate out. It can last for just a few months or even a few years. In some cases, it may last until all children are at least 18.

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