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Buffalo Family Law Blog

Unfriending some technology in divorce

Electronic media and personal electronic devices can become a headache after a couple ends their marriage or a relationship. because of this, a person should make important technology changes when planning for divorce.

Couples usually know each other's mostly-used passwords for online bank accounts, health care and entertainment. When the divorce process is beginning, it is important to separate these type of accounts and change passwords. This will help alleviate meddling or curiosity from the soon-to-be former ex, their friends and significant others.

Adoption by same-sex couples

For several years now, same-sex couples have the right to marry. New York and all other states also recognize adoption by gay and lesbian couples. Thus, they need to prepare for options such as agency adoption and undertake many of the procedural steps other couples must undergo.

The 2010 U.S. Census showed that 115,064 same-sex couples had children. According to a 2013 study by the Williams Institute, 13 percent of LGBT families had adopted children while three percent of heterosexual couples had adopted children.

Basics of same-sex divorces

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down legal restrictions to same-sex marriages in 2015. But these marriages are not immune to the possibility of divorce that impacts other marriages. Same-sex couples planning for divorce also face unique problems.

Before the Court invalidated the Defense of Marriage Act which restricted same-sex marriages, these couples lived in different types of relationships such as domestic partnerships. This often depended on the state where they lived. There have been approximately 491,000 same-sex marriages in this country.

Divorcing parents should understand New York child support basics

Going through divorce forces couples to learn and experience things they likely never expected. There are many unique legal and financial considerations during and after divorce. For couples with children, one of the most pressing issues will be child support.

Understanding how New York handles child support can help you make informed decisions in your divorce, regardless of whether you expect to pay child support or collect it for the care of your children.

Changing agreements after marriage

Pre-nuptial agreements may be helpful to resolve matters if a couple ever decides to divorce. But a prenup may not be modified or amended after marriage. Couples, however, can prepare new post-nuptial agreements that can deal with issues such as property division if their marriage ends.

Postnuptial agreements may address circumstances that have changed since marriage. These include receiving an inheritance, using separate property to purchase a joint asset or giving up work or school to stay at home to raise the couple's children.

Emotional soft landing in divorce

Splitting up a marital relationship has legal, financial and emotional costs. But there are ways to soften the emotional impact of divorce which can help ease the resolution of other issues.

In addition to reaching agreement on legal issues such as property division, the spouses may also agree on other important emotional matters such as maintaining respect and assuring the stability for their children. They should make it clear that they are still a family and both spouses should try to attend their children's athletic events, birthdays, school activities and other important events. This is also facilitated, according to some experts, when the couple agrees to settle legal and physical custody, visitation and other similar issues concerning the children before other legal issues such as property division.

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.

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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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