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Buffalo Family Law Blog

Divorcing financial advisors

The divorce process begins the dismantling of the couple's emotional, financial and legal relationship. Planning for divorce should also include a spouse's separation from any advisor that is being used by their soon-to-be former spouse.

A spouse should seek their own financial advisor who solely represents their interests and can help prepare for life after marriage and when the divorce is finished. Importantly, they can help balance long-term retirement needs with assets and support. These advisors may assist a spouse with confronting major financial issues such as whether they should return to the workforce or if they should stay in the house or sell it and downsize.

No holiday for custody agreements

Divorce does not eliminate a child's wishes to spend time with certain family members at certain locations, especially during the holidays. These wishes have special meaning and may be part of the stress a family suffers during divorce. For legal and parenting reasons, however, child custody and visitation should not be readily modified.

First, failure to comply with a custody and visitation agreement can have legal consequences if a parent does not agree to the change. Courts must approve any modifications if the parents do not agree to a deviation or it may impose sanctions.

The basics of child custody in New York

Going through a divorce is difficult, no matter the specifics of your situation. However, when you share children, a divorce gets much more complicated.

In New York, a court prefers to grant both parents custody of children. However, there are several types of custody and different types of custody arrangements.

New York couples race divorce deduction

For over 70 years, spousal support was deductible from federal taxes for the paying spouse. Starting Jan. 1, however, this deduction will be eliminated under the new tax law. This has already made spouses hasten their divorce settlements and change their planning.

Its impact may vary. Spouses who paid alimony will lose money from the ending of this deduction. Recipients may profit because they no longer need to declare this support as ordinary income.

Pet custody in divorce

Ending a marriage involves numerous difficult issues, such as child custody and support, property division and spousal support. Recently, pet custody has become a more important divorce issue, even though there is little legal guidance over it.

Millennials have less children than their predecessors, but more pets. A 2016 report showed that 75 percent of Americans in their 30's have dogs and 51 percent have cats. However, New York and most other states treated this beloved member of the family as just another piece of property that was allocated to one of the spouses. Generally, the spouse who paid most of the bills for the care of the pet was awarded ownership.

How does adoption work in New York?

Adopting children provides them with the opportunity of becoming a cherished member of a loving family. Agency adoption must undergo a serious New York investigation and legal process.

There are two types of adoption: agency adoption and private placement adoption. In an agency adoption, children are generally in foster care and are placed by a state or local government agency. The agencies conduct investigations of potential parents and decide whether placement is in the child's best interests. These parents, if approved, can then complete the adoption process in court.

Social media can impact your custody case

You use social media every day. After a long day at work you like to scroll through your media feeds. It’s how you check the news, stay in touch with friends and find out about community events. You post statuses regularly. The posts you make are typical—updates about life, moods, scores and sales.

You are in the midst of your divorce. You and your ex are still fighting for the right custody agreement. While social media serves as a great outlet after a long day, you may want to think twice before posting.

Safeguarding credit during divorce

The end of a New York marriage should not mean the end of good credit and financial stability. Protecting credit during a divorce can help assure a spouse's ability to obtain loans and pay for their needs.

Obtaining a credit report is a crucial first step. A report discloses lines of credit, liens and outstanding credit card debt. A spouse may usually review or explain any negative data, such as divorce, foreclosure or a noncustodial parent's violations of a support order.

Reasons for seeking a prenup

Planning for the end of a marriage during an engagement seems illogical. However, a reasonable and well-drafted prenuptial agreement can lower the tensions and expense of any divorce that occurs.

A prenup can help couples work out agreements on issues such as property division. Otherwise, a court may impose decisions on these matters under New York law.

Pursuing alimony in New York

If you did not work during your marriage or were not the primary breadwinner, then you can be understandably nervous about how you will support yourself after a divorce.

In these situations, alimony, or spousal maintenance, could be available. Below, we explain some broad details on maintenance laws in New York, which can help you better assess your options as you head into the divorce process.

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Linda M. DiPasquale, Attorney at Law

Linda M. DiPasquale, Attorney at Law
1 Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202

Phone: 716-800-2591
Fax: 716-854-0059
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