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Valuation can experts assist in complex divorces

Divorces that include one or more New York businesses are often teeming with complications. Even if both parties want the split, dividing the assets equitably often comes down to proper valuations of each company. At the Arnel Law Firm, our experienced team understands the added stress and unique issues that often accompany complex high-asset divorces. 

A business typically represents your most significant asset, and it is frequently integral to your long-term livelihood. Unlike real estate, jewelry or other assets, comparing your company with a similar organization is insufficient for valuation. As a result, they are seldom quick or easy.  According to Gelman, Rosenberg & Freedman, several factors influence value.

Experts say to delay divorce proceedings until after the holidays

If you and your spouse have been talking about getting a divorce and the holidays are upon you, experts recommend waiting until after the festivities are over to begin the process or announce it to family and friends. In fact, studies show that January is a very popular month for divorce filings in New York and around the country. 

According to the Post Gazette, there are numerous logical reasons couples wait until the New Year to file for divorce. While divorce filings increase in January, they peak in March and this may be due to finances. Many parents choose to spend their money on gifts and/or trips for the family over the holidays which leaves a lot less to spend on divorce lawyers or mediators. Waiting until January helps keep things easier in terms of taxes, and a spouse may also be expecting a spring bonus that he or she does not want counted as a joint asset.

What factors do courts use when calculating spousal support?

Spousal support, which you may hear called alimony, is one form of support ordered during a divorce by a New York court. Regardless of whether you will receive or pay it, it is helpful to understand how the court calculates it. The different factors the court considers will allow it to properly formulate how much you may pay or receive and for how long.

The New York City Bar explains the main basis for figuring spousal support is income. This not only includes the current income of you and your spouse but also earning potential. The court may look at who worked during the marriage. It may consider if one spouse worked to put another spouse through schooling or training. It may also consider how one spouse staying home with the children during the marriage could impact his or her ability to find work now. The court looks into any issue that may impact earning ability, along with the property received as part of the divorce settlement, which qualifies as income.

Do I need a forensic accountant for my divorce?

When you and your spouse decide to divorce in New York, dividing the estate fairly may be one of the biggest concerns. This is especially true if the assets are significant or numerous, from brokerage accounts to vacation homes and businesses. The situation gets messy if the proceedings are not amicable. However, even if both parties want the split, sorting through the financial situation can be challenging.

According to It’s Over Easy, LLC, Forensic accountants can help sort through the paperwork and determine the value of each parties’ estate, determine the overall income and help divide the assets. Unlike typical CPA’s, they do not focus on bookkeeping, taxes or business management. Their sole objective is to work through the financial issues that may arise in a divorce. Common activities of forensic accountants include the following:

  • Identify and allocate value to each parties’ assets and liabilities
  • Appraise the value of one or both of the spouse’s businesses.
  • Locate any pre-marital property and assess its value
  • Determine the income available from each party to cover support
  • Calculate spousal and child support owed

How to co-parent during the holidays

For many New York residents, the holidays symbolize family time, festive celebrations and annual traditions. For divorced parents, however, the holidays can be a source of anxiety, stress and sadness. Rather than waiting until the last minute, holiday custody schedules should be discussed and decided far in advance so everyone is on the same page and there is less conflict overall. 

WebMD says the most important thing to consider is what is best for the children. This means avoiding conflict at all costs, which usually means spending each holiday separate from the ex. If at all possible, the kids should be involved in the decision-making process so they feel like they have some control and can share what are some of their important activities and traditions. One key to successfully planning the holidays is to step back from previous traditions and be open to making new ones with your children. 

Turning your life around after divorce

People end their marriages for many reasons, but some people file for a divorce because they cannot tolerate their spouse’s behavior. Drug addictions, gambling problems, infidelity and other issues can prompt someone to split up with their marital partner. Marriages can be toxic for many reasons and they can also create an environment that does not work out well for either party. Moreover, some people find themselves being brought down by their marriage in all sorts of ways, whether they lack the ambition to pursue their goals or they feel trapped and turn to destructive behaviors.

Divorce can be challenging, for sure. However, it can also open up new opportunities and allow people to completely turn their lives around. After filing for a divorce, you may have an easier time moving to a new city or even a new state. This could allow you to pursue personal and professional goals that were not possible during your marriage. Moreover, people may have more free time and the freedom to spend their free time as they wish. For example, you could be able to pick up new hobbies and activities that would have been difficult to participate in while you were married.

Two ways to preserve privacy in divorce

When divorce is on the table, one of the last concerns to arise usually involves privacy. When there is wealth involved, privacy tends to go out the door. If you are headed toward divorce in the Brooklyn area, you may want to work on keeping your personal and sensitive information from becoming public knowledge. 

Think about it. You and your spouse have worked hard for the financially comfortable lifestyle you have enjoyed together. Being part of a high-value relationship has its perks like affording you the means of professional support and keeping you from financial ruin during the divorce process. However, your wealth can also make you and your ex-partner’s personal business the talk of the town. Consider the following suggestions on protecting your privacy in high-value divorce

Should you use a mediator for your divorce?

If you and your spouse are splitting up, you are probably dreading the divorce process. Deciding on how to divide assets, who has primary custody of the children and what type of spousal support may be appropriate are just some of the aspects of divorce. Couples in New York have a number of options when making these crucial agreements. Working with lawyers and/or going to trial are two common methods, but they are not the only ones. For some, mediation is a better process and usually has beneficial outcomes. 

According to NY Connects, mediation consists of the two spouses working with a neutral mediator to come up with a mutual agreement about finances and family arrangements. Benefits include:

  • Cost-effective
  • More control over decisions
  • Less time-consuming than trial
  • Emotionally protects the children
  • More cooperative process
  • Better communication between both parties

Does your custody arrangement need to change for the school year?

Although it is not fun, divorced parents in New York need to spend time reevaluating their custody arrangement on a regular basis to make sure it is still working as it should for the child. The beginning of the school year is one time to look it over, as kid's schedules can change dramatically from one year to another. There are a number of considerations parents should take into account when deciding if changes need to be made and what they should be.

Huffington Post discusses three main things parents should consider before making any changes. These include:

  • Realistic plan - what parents think is the best arrangement may not be when reality rears its head
  • Open communication - are both parents able to communicate clearly and effectively in regard to the current schedule?
  • Activities of the child - extracurricular and academic needs will change as the kids get older
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