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Long Island Family Law Blog

Negotiating divorce settlement does not have to be complicated

Ending a marriage in New York can be an emotionally draining process, just as it can be financially draining. This is particularly true in a divorce situation where the two spouses cannot see eye to eye on how to handle matters such as asset distribution, child support and child custody. However, a couple of tips may be helpful for working toward a settlement agreement with a soon-to-be former spouse.

Some of the most challenging divorce matters include child support and child custody. When dealing with the children, directly negotiating with a future ex may result in a deadlock. However, an attorney may help a spouse to more effectively navigate informal negotiations with the goal of achieving the most personally favorable outcome for him or her.

A business can complicate divorce proceedings

Getting divorced can be financially challenging for any couple in New York. However, divorce can be particularly confusing for spouses where one or both own a business. The value of the business as well as the business's cash flow that can be spent are a couple of the most frequently fought about matters during such a divorce.

The spouses may have different ideas about how much the company is worth as well as the quantity of money it generates. In many cases, the spouse who does not operate the business does not know much about the business finances. However, he or she believes that the company is highly valuable and profitable.

Divorce can impact children long term

The dissolution of a marriage in New York can understandably be hard for two adults to process emotionally. Thus, it may come as no surprise that children may have an even harder time navigating the emotional aspect of divorce. However, parents can try to minimize the negative effects that children experience by being careful how they conduct themselves during the divorce proceeding.

Because divorce information is considered public information, children of divorce can later go to the courthouse where their parents got divorced and pull the parents' divorce files. As a result, they can easily see everything their parents said and did during the divorce proceeding. That includes any lies the parents told in an effort to get their way in the marital split-up.

Financial preparation for future an important focus in divorce

Dissolving a marriage in New York can be hassle at any age and no matter how long a marriage lasted. However, it can be particularly unsettling for those nearing retirement. A few tips might help those going through divorce to prepare for the future financially as effectively as possible.

An important first step is to determine one's available income following divorce. This includes income from a job, from Social Security and from any remaining retirement assets. A financial analyst who specializes in divorce or a financial planner may help with determining how much money can be safely generated from funds in a 401(k) or an IRA, for example.

What not to do during a divorce proceeding

Walking down the aisle in New York is typically easier than walking away from a spouse due to differences that cannot be reconciled. Unfortunately, sometimes divorce cannot be avoided. A few tips may help with avoiding divorce-related mistakes that can cause major issues for oneself down the road.

First, giving away property is a major faux pas during a divorce proceeding. Sometimes spouses may feel inclined to give away their assets to family or friends simply to protect them from their future exes, and they then arrange to retrieve this property later. However, if a spouse hides assets from the other party, the other party has the right to take him or her back to divorce court to settle these assets.

Fathers often lose child custody battles

The dissolution of a marriage in New York is a painful ordeal for two spouses, but it can become especially complicated when they have children and both parents desire full custody of the children. Unfortunately, fathers typically lose their child custody battles. This is true even when the fathers have virtually spotless records.

The truth is, however, that fathers have rights just as much as mothers do. Although some dads leave their spouses and children to start new lives with others, this is not the norm. Many dads love their families and strongly desire to be a part of their children's lives as their children grow up.

Child custody decisions can be complicated

From trying to figure out who will keep the family home to who will have to pay spousal support, or if anyone will need to at all, divorce can be a stressful and complicated process in New York. However, a major source of acrimony during a marital split-up has to do with child custody. Two important considerations when determining who will have custody of the child is the type of arrangement that will be used and who will decide on it.

Understanding one's options regarding various types of possible custody arrangements is paramount. For instance, perhaps the divorcing parents could choose joint legal custody, where they can both legally make decisions about how their child is reared and his or her welfare. However, if one parent feels that the other one is not capable of handling the responsibilities that come with parenting, he or she may seek sole child custody instead.

Collaborative divorce has its advantages

The process of getting divorced in New York can understandably cause anxious feelings and even ill will. However, divorce does not always have to be an entirely negative experience. Thanks to collaborative divorce, a married couple can navigate a marital split-up without having to experience the type of hostility often associated with going to divorce trial.

Collaborative divorce is an alternative to divorce litigation that allows two spouses to sit down and try to work out issues such as the splitting of assets or spousal support. The benefit of this type process is that going to court is not necessary. The first step of collaborative divorce is for both parties to sign a contract that states that they both agree to act in good faith and to be fair in their negotiations.

Tightly intertwined finances can make divorce challenging

Getting divorced is oftentimes a challenging process due to the emotional toll it can take on a person. In addition, a few financial mistakes during a divorce proceeding can cause a newly divorced spouse to be in much worse shape than anticipated. The more tightly two spouses' finances are intertwined in New York, the more important it is to pay close attention to the process of untangling them.

One area of divorce that can be challenging is dealing with the family home. Staying in the family home may seem like an easy choice, as it eradicates the need to find new housing and accrue the costs that come with it. However, keeping the marital home usually does not make sense financially due to the exorbitant cost of keeping up a home.

Annulment is not the same as divorce

One question couples in New York face when they are thinking about ending their marriage is whether to get an annulment or to actually get divorced. Choosing one or the other is relatively simple, involving placing a checkmark beside either one on a petition. However, the two legal processes of annulment and divorce are quite different.

Annulments can be granted if married couples who want to split up can provide legitimate reasons why their marriages were never truly valid in the first place. One possible reason is fraud that resulted in the marriage. Other reasons include insanity as well as bigamy, and where one spouse was under 18 when the marriage occurred. Yet another valid reason is that marriage took place by force. Proving any of these caveats requires going to trial in court.

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