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Buffalo Divorce Law Blog

Divorce near retirement is on the rise

No one likes to take a financial hit as a result of a divorce in New York. However, people over 50 often have the most to lose in a divorce because they typically have acquired much more over the course of their lives than a younger individual would have. One out of four people are now getting divorced past age 50, right before their retirement years.

In 2010, over half a million people got divorced at age 50 or older. This is much higher than the number who got divorced in this particular age group in 1990, which was 200,000. Many of these individuals’ chief challenges include dividing accumulated assets as well as gaining control over their finances.

How property division works in a divorce in New York

Divorce is often a challenging process for the two parties involved, particularly because two individuals often can’t find common ground when it comes to handling their assets and other valuable property. The final divorce settlement that is reached can have a dramatic impact on both individual's future finances in New York. It is important that those who are going through divorce understand the law so that they get their rightful share of assets.

The first important step during a divorce proceeding is to draft a detailed list of both spouse's debts and assets as well as financial obligations after the divorce. An attorney can help you to differentiate between marital property and separate property. Separate property doesn't have to be divided between the two spouses like marital property does.

Parents can help kids during child custody battles in New York

During the busy back-to-school season, it’s easy for parents who are trying to get through a divorce to remain caught up in their own affairs -- for example, battling over marital assets and property. However, their decisions and behavior end up affecting their children, particularly if child custody is at the center of the divorce. This is why it’s important to focus on what is best for the child when making decisions during this type of family law proceeding in New York.

At the beginning of the school year, custodial parents typically pay for the child’s school supplies and clothes. In some cases, however, both parents might come to an agreement about sharing these expenses. If possible, the two parents may want to attempt to purchase everything at a single store so as to prevent confusion. It also helps to maintain the receipts for items purchased so that one parent has accurate records of what he or she is owed.

Which legal requirements must be met before filing for divorce?

In a marriage where two people can’t get along because they have found that they are too different personality-wise or have simply grown apart, the individuals may be eager to dissolve their marriage. They might especially be ready to end the union if one party was found to have been unfaithful or abusive. However, certain legal requirements have to be met in order to begin divorce cases in New York.

First, a person and/or his or her spouse must have been a New York resident for a particular length of time, usually for a year, without interruption. In addition, there needs to be grounds for a divorce in the state. Legal "grounds" is defined as a legal reason for something to occur. In New York, proof of only one legal grounds is enough to initiate a dissolution of marriage.

Keep school informed when divorce involves child custody

A divorce proceeding is often one of a person’s most stressful life events. Just as it can cause pressure for parents in New York, it can also cause the parents' children to feel anxious. With the school year just beginning, a few tips can help parents who are getting a divorce in New York to make sure that their children’s best interests remain their top focus. This will enable the kids to more effectively concentrate on their schoolwork and have as normal a life as possible, considering the circumstances.

First, it’s wise to make sure that the school’s office staff and administration are completely informed about the child custody arrangements. A copy of the divorce judgment may be given to the child’s school. This document will identify the custodial parent, explain if shared custody exists and point out any restrictions regarding access to one’s children.

Facebook has link to divorce but may not necessarily cause it

Divorce can stem from a variety of reasons in New York, ranging from financial disagreements to infidelity. One study recently indicated that the amount of time a spouse spends on Facebook has a relationship with divorce. However, according to researchers, just because a correlation exists between divorce and Facebook time doesn’t necessarily mean that time spent on the social media site actually causes marriages to dissolve.

Researchers discovered that a hike of 20 percent in the quantity of users of Facebook is linked to a 4 percent boost in the rate of divorce the next year. Nonetheless, they were unable to identify who was creating brand new accounts on Facebook. These account creators very well may have been teens who were finally allowed to use the website or older individuals who were starting to explore the Facebook trend.

In a New York divorce, what happens to our property?

After two people have decided to “untie” the knot, they may quickly become concerned about which spouse will get to keep which assets and properties. In New York, which is an equitable distribution state, the court will divide the pair’s assets in a manner it deems to be fair. The types of property addressed during a divorce proceeding include both marital property and separate property.

Marital property, also known as community property, includes the property that has been accumulated while a couple was married. This type of property typically includes debts unless the debt has been designated non-marital. For instance, a loan might have been made out to just one party and the spouses might agree to keep it in just that person's name and with only that party paying for it.

New York is equitable distribution divorce state

Although marriage can be blissful starting out in New York, two individuals over time may realize that they have differences that cannot be resolved. In this case, a divorce may be imminent. If the pair has assets that they've accumulated over the years, figuring out how this shared property will be split depends on the state in which the couple lives.

New York is one of several equitable distribution states. In this type of state, a judge will decide what type of property division is fair. For instance, the spouse who earned the most may get about 66 percent of the shared property, while the other spouse might get the remaining percentage. This is the opposite of what happens in a community property state, where a judge will simply split a couple’s property down the middle.

Terrence Howard says he's unable to pay spousal support

Splitting up may be emotionally hard to do in New York, but it can be financially devastating as well. If the two parties are battling over spousal support, one person might be worried about not getting the monthly payment he or she needs to live. Meanwhile, the other individual might be concerned that his or her ex will demand an unfair amount of money in the case. Well-known actor Terrence Howard is currently facing this scenario in another state.

Howard, 45, recently said that he is unable to pay Michelle Ghent, an ex-wife, the more than $300,000 in spousal support that was included in the couple’s divorce settlement. He said this is because he takes in only an estimated $6,000 per month. Most of his income goes to the actor’s first wife, Lori McMasters, for child support and spousal support, he said.

Debt can become a problem during divorce in New York

One of the most unsettling parts of a divorce proceeding for a couple in New York is not to see eye-to-eye with a spouse when it comes to the financial aspect of the split-up. This is particularly true if the two individuals have joint accounts for which they both are responsible. A few tips will help a person to navigate the murky waters of divorce when his or her credit score is at risk of being damaged due to the other party’s actions.

First, it’s helpful to settle up with a soon-to-be ex as soon as possible. For example, a person can avoid many headaches if he or she is able to complete making payments on joint debts with a spouse before drawing up divorce papers or during the divorce. It might be necessary to use available savings or cash to wipe out this debt. The couple may even use the profits from selling their marital home to get rid of the debt.

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Keith B. Schulefand, ESQ | No Fault Divorce

Keith B. Schulefand, ESQ | No Fault Divorce

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Keith B. Schulefand, ESQ.
Attorney and Counselor at Law

1301 N Forest Road
Suite 2
Williamsville, NY 14221-3277
Local: 716-568-4453
Toll free: 888-499-1552
Fax: 716-565-1575
E-Mail Mr. Schulefand
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