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Courtroom etiquette is critical to supporting reputation

When a couple in New York makes the choice to divorce from each other, they may experience feelings of anger, resentment and frustration towards each other and the untimely dissolving of their relationship. Many times, these strong emotions can carry over into court appointments where authorities are trying to facilitate the negotiation of important decisions regarding the couple's future. However, practicing respectful courtroom etiquette can actually play a critical role in a person's ability to support a professional and trustworthy reputation. 

Take child custody for example. In these types of court hearings, both parents are often adamant about why their child should continue to live with them. The discussion may become heated as strong opinions are shared and concerns are voiced. While some people are able to continue being courteous even under intense pressure, others become agitated and can be rude or disrespectful. A person's ability to stay calm despite potentially frustrating situations can make a surprising difference in the outcome they experience. 

Your prenuptial agreement may be invalid

If you are getting a divorce in New York and you have a prenuptial agreement, you may think you do not have to make any decisions because of the document. However, there are a number of factors that may cause the judge to throw out the prenup, which means you have to renegotiate finances and how to divide assets and debts. If you came into the relationship with the majority of assets, this could be detrimental to your case.

FindLaw discusses obvious reasons, such as it is not written down or one or both parties did not sign it, for invalidity, as well as some other factors to consider. Some of these include:

  • No time to read or consider - if one party does not read the agreement or does not have time to look it over with an attorney, it may be invalid
  • Pressure from other party - if the spouse, a family member or lawyer forces the other party to sign it, the judge may not consider the prenup
  • Incomplete or false information - both parties must present all facts regarding debts and assets, and factually, or the agreement is invalid
  • Unfair clauses - even if both sides agree and sign it, the judge may say the prenup is invalid if it is exceptionally unfair to one party

How to prepare for your divorce

If you and your spouse have not been getting along for a while, you may be thinking of a divorce. Before making that life-changing decision, you should both ask yourselves some questions to see if your relationship is salvageable. If not, there are things you can do to prepare for a divorce in New York, which will help the proceedings go a little easier.

According to the New York Times, couples should take the time and effort to consider a number of questions before deciding divorce is the only option. By the time divorce talk begins, emotions can confuse things, so it may be a good idea to go over the following questions with a third party:

  • Do you still love each other?
  • Do you both understand the issues in the relationship?
  • What could help save the marriage?
  • Do you agree on the roles each of you play?
  • Do you really think you will be happy without each other?
  • How can you prepare the children for divorce?
  • Are you ready for the financial consequences of divorce?

America's gig economy and delinquent child support

Child support is relatively straightforward in New York. The court applies a standard formula to the combined total of parental income and assets to set respective amounts of child support. While both parents usually share physical custody, children often live with one parent most of the time and receive visits or weekend and vacation care from the other parent.

Parents' child support should pay for the children's education, medical insurance, any special care for a child with a disability, clothing, school supplies and entertainment. The person who sees the children less often usually gives his or her child support share to the primary caretaker.

How does money affect your decision to divorce?

Couples in New York who are of a high-net worth may be at greater risk for divorce. A number of factors may determine the chances of a couple staying together, and money can even be a factor in how amicable the divorce proceedings are.

CNBC argues that rising incomes and good economic times often lead to higher divorce rates, and there are various reasons for this. In marriages in which one spouse makes the money and the other stays home, there may be resentment over the financial disparity. Even if both spouses work, one of them may work long hours or travel frequently, which can cause issues. Credit scores also seem to play a part in divorce, as couples with a large mismatch in scores often do not make it together past five years.  

How to make stepparenting successful

Divorce in New York, and everything that goes along with it, is never easy. For parents, new challenges come along when they remarry. Children often regard a stepparent as being evil or a road block to their parents getting back together. It can be a challenge navigating these new relationships, but if stepparents tread carefully and respectfully, the results can be successful for all involved.

According to, kids may try and test a stepparent by keeping their distance emotionally or by acting out aggressively. The best thing a stepparent can do is to let the child express these feelings without overreacting to them. Stepparents who eventually gain the respect of the children are those who take a more supportive role and allow the parents to make important decisions and discipline the kids. 

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.

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