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Brooklyn Family Law Blog

That great new job will impact your child custody agreement

Perhaps the child custody agreement currently in place has worked well for you, your former spouse and your nine-year-old daughter Amy.

However, your employer has offered you a promotion that comes with a move from New York to Pennsylvania, and Amy will relocate with you. Will the court approve child custody agreement modification?

Money could play a role in relationship success

Those who earn a lot of money in New York and elsewhere may be at a higher risk of getting divorced. This is one of the primary takeaways from a SunTrust survey of over 2,000 adults. Of those who took part, 35% said that money was the primary pain point in their relationships. Research has also found that couples who have similar incomes and credit scores are more likely to have successful relationships.

In some cases, the success of a relationship hinges more on a couple's ability to manage their money. It is not uncommon for a person to make more than $1 million annually and not be able to save any of it. Couples may also have trouble when one spouse is the breadwinner and the other is not earning anything. In this scenario, the person who is working may exert economic power over the person who is not working.

Making a success of co-parenting

Co-parents in New York understand that many challenges arise after a divorce. If the children are being raised in two separate households, the exes should have open communication, especially when it comes to the parenting schedule. The following tips can help co-parents.

As kids get older, their needs are going to change. This means that the co-parenting techniques will need to be adjusted throughout the years. One of the most important things that co-parents will need to do, no matter how old their kids are, is provide a sense of security. They can do this by consistently reminding the kids that they have a pair of parents who love them. It's also good to show enthusiasm about visits with the other parent.

Overcoming bias in child custody cases

There was a time when mothers were awarded child custody in divorce cases, but family law judges in New York and around the country are now leaning more toward joint custody arrangements. This is because a growing body of research suggests that children fare better when they spend time with both of their parents, but that does not mean gender bias in child custody disputes is a thing of the past.

Judges make these decisions based on what they believe to be in the best interests of the child, but their thinking may be influenced by the roles divorcing spouses had when they were married. If one parent remained at home to raise children while the other parent worked to support the family, judges could believe that the children involved would be best served by allowing this state of affairs to continue. However, there are steps that working fathers or mothers can take that could persuade judges to look on a joint custody arrangement more favorably.

The difference between spousal support and maintenance

Choosing to leave your spouse in Brooklyn and seek a divorce can be a daunting proposition, especially if you were not the primary income earner in your home. Many might tell you that in such a situation, you may be entitled to spousal support; others might say that you should receive spousal maintenance. Prospective clients often come to us here at the Arnel Law Firm thinking that both terms are used interchangeably. Yet that is not the case.

The opportunity to receive spousal support arises from New York’s Family Court Act, which states that a married person is chargeable with the financial support of their spouse. Thus, you can petition a state family court to award you spousal support while you are still married. Say that separating from your spouse also leaves you unable to support yourself. The court can then determine that in the time that you remain married (and that can include the period of your divorce proceedings), your spouse is required to pay you support payments.

Wealthy couples more likely to divorce amicably

The natural assumption in New York is that the more money a couple has on the table, the more likely they are to fight over assets. One divorce attorney told Business Insider that the opposite is true. Couples worth $5 million or more tended to fight less compared to couples that are worth even $1 to $5 million.

So, what it is about the $5 million threshold that makes a difference? One of the top reasons for divorces are financial issues. That $5 million combined total net worth gives couples more wiggle room when it comes to dividing assets. It is also a good mark for deciding how financially stable people are for the long run. This can make both parties feel more secure about their financial future even after dividing up the spoils.

Is mediation the best option for your high-asset divorce?

Wealthy couples facing divorce often dread the prospect of a long, drawn-out and very public court proceeding, to say nothing of the expense.

Add the adverse effects on any young children of the union and the couple begins looking for alternatives. One option that has gained popularity is mediation.

American parents owe $10 billion in child support

New York is one of the most expensive states to live in. Because of this, raising a child here is expensive too. This makes single-parents even more reliant on child support payments to make ends meet. Unfortunately, parents all across America lapse on child support. In fact, some do not make payments at all.

This spring, CBS News estimated that $10 billion in child support payments had not been collected. This equals over 30% of the child support payments due to children and their custodial parents. The news agency also disclosed that only about 43.5% of custodial parents received the money they needed to take care of their children.

What are pre-divorce preparations?

If you and your spouse have decided it is time to end your marriage, there are several things you may want to do before filing the paperwork with a New York court. The financial and legal aspects of divorce are often complex, but preparing for certain things ahead of time may help reduce the overall stress of the process. Creating a pre-divorce plan may allow you to get a comprehensive overview of how your life will look after divorce, and the information may be helpful during child support and custody negotiations.

State laws play a significant role in how divorce affects each spouse's finances. New York's marital property laws may determine whether you get to keep your home or car and if you have to pay alimony or child support. According to FindLaw, New York practices "equitable division" rather than "community property" laws. This means that a judge has the authority to determine how to divide property between both spouses fairly. Preparing all your financial paperwork on assets, income, debts and inheritances before filing for divorce may make the process go more smoothly.

How divorce affects disability payments

Homemakers in New York often worry about spousal support when their ex is on disability. According to FindLaw, for spouses receiving spousal Social Security Disability Insurance, divorce does not affect the payments. In fact, the paying spouse may have their wages garnished to pay not just child support but also alimony.

Homemakers may become eligible for spousal support when their ex is receiving SSDI benefits in the following scenarios:

  •          The spouse seeking eligibility does not qualify for larger SSDI payments.
  •          The couple was previously married for 10 years or more.
  •          The spouse seeking eligibility is 62 years or older.
  •          The spouse seeking eligibility did not remarry.
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