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Brooklyn Family Law Blog

An option for "tax deductible" alimony payments in 2019

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the tax deduction for spousal support payments will no longer be available for divorces executed on or after January 1, 2019. This change to tax advantages may cause a change in the alimony negotiations divorcing New York couples will face. However, IRAs may provide an alternative to help payers retain some of the tax benefits, depending on the certain conditions.

Previously, cash payments for alimony were tax deductible for the payer. This sometimes made paying these amounts easier to negotiate and manage. The best way to avoid income taxes on alimony payments after 2019, according to financial experts, is to give the recipient spouse an IRA as a lump-sum payment.

Always obey court orders regarding child custody and support

When you and your spouse are involved in a divorce, the welfare of your children should be a priority. However, sometimes parents disregard child custody and support guidelines made by the court.

Failing to obey court orders is a mistake that could cost you dearly with regard to your relationship with the children and your influence in their lives.

Unemployed husbands more likely to face divorce, study says

Many people across the United States wonder what factors put marriages at risk of breakdown. A new study from Harvard University suggests that lack of employment is the top reason for divorce in heterosexual marriages. Although work-life balance remains important for many couples in New York, this new study reveals a possible dark side for husbands who find themselves unemployed or underemployed.

The research was based on 46 years worth of data that covered over 6,300 heterosexual married couples in the United States. The data was collected by the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from 1968 to 2013. The data showed that unemployed men had a 3.3 percent chance of divorce. Those who were employed had only a 2.5 percent chance of the same fate.

Grandparents with custody may face financial and legal challenges

Child custody cases often involve two parents determining who will house and care for their children. But what happens under New York custody law when neither parent is fit to raise their kids? In many cases, grandparents step in and end up as custodial guardians when this happens. This is a growing trend across the United States and raises several questions about the changing face of families.

Fitness of parents is not the only reason grandparents may step into a parental role. Military deployment and illness also often lead to these types of arrangements. This, along with other issues like incarceration and addiction, has led to an increase in grandparent custody. According to PBS, the number of grandparents raising grandchildren increased by 7 percent between 2009 and 2016.

Misconceptions may set men back in divorce

Divorce can affect different people in different ways, depending on many factors like their personalities, the circumstances of the divorce, the length of the marriage and the assets and children involved. Some experts also say men and women may have slightly different experiences of divorce, with men tending to struggle more with certain aspects. While men may bring up these issues more than others, both men and women divorcing in New York may struggle with some or all of them.

One of the common issues men struggle with in a divorce is not standing their ground in custody cases or with shared assets. This is because many believe the family court system favours women. However, this kind of thinking can be a trap because it often prevents men from standing up for what they want in fear of losing the case.

More women paying child support, according to survey

Finances are a frequent challenge for couples divorcing, especially when one spouse has significantly more than the other. Typically, the more money a person has, the more likely he or she is to pay alimony and child support. As more women become the breadwinners in New York and across the United States, this means an increasing number of mothers are being ordered to make such payments. 

According to the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 54 percent of attorneys say more mothers have paid child support during the past three years. A similar number of lawyers noted an increase in alimony payments from women to their former spouses. They credit an uptick in women's earning power as well as increasingly gender-neutral family law standards.

Does having kids increase the risk of divorce?

When parents get divorced, additional complications like child support and custody must be considered. But are New York parents more likely to get divorced than their counterparts without kids? While some may believe the stress of parenthood increases divorce risks, the statistics tell a more interesting story.

It is true that some studies show that marital satisfaction often takes a hit when children come into the picture.  However, research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology found that childless couples also experience a decline in satisfaction over time. So the question is, do the children cause marital satisfaction issues or are the social and financial pressures associated with raising a family to blame?

Jets tickets and other assets headed for property division

If you and your spouse have made the decision to dissolve your marriage, you are probably dreading property division, one of the most stressful aspects of any divorce.

You can cut down on the anxiety by being well-prepared. For example, make a list of assets to give to your attorney. Here are five items you may not have thought of, and this group may trigger a memory of others:

Tips for co-parenting following a divorce

When couples break up, there is often conflict and emotion involved. However, when that couple has children, finding ways to manage these challenges and create a healthy co-parenting plan is important for the children's well-being. Here are some ways that New York couples manage parenting together following a divorce.

It is common for children to act out when their parents are going though a divorce. This may be the result of confusion, anxiety, self-esteem issues or simply testing the boundaries of the new living arrangement. For parents undergoing an emotional challenge themselves, it may be easy to mismanage and lash out at the child's behavior. However, it is best to take steps to control this reaction.

DNA testing to be conducted on man's remains in paternity case

It is not unusual for paternity tests to come into play in family law cases. However, one New York dispute has resulted in an unusual DNA testing predicament. Recently, a judge ruled that bones and fragments of a man no longer alive could be tested to determine parenthood in a dispute over the late man's $1 million estate.

The case revolves around a 24-year-old man, who claims to be the late bond broker's next of kin. The alleged father was killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001. Science is available that allows the medical examiner's office to conduct DNA testing on the man's remains.

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