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Long Island Family Law Blog

Research indicates that men are especially affected by divorce

Dissolving a marriage is one of the most life-altering events a person in New York can experience. According to new research, divorce affects both men and women emotionally; however, it has a particularly major effect on men. Here is a glimpse at why divorce has such a profound impact on men.

First, many men define themselves by their marriages. As a result, they become lost when going through the process of divorce because they may feel that their identities are crumbling. In this situation, it may be beneficial for men to get involved in new organizations or activities. In fact, a group where men can get together and share advice with one another as they go through difficult times can be especially helpful.

Marital property split equitably during New York divorce

Navigating a marital breakup can be just as hard financially as it is emotionally. This is the case no matter how long two people have been married or how many or few assets they have to split. Here is a look at how property division is handled during divorce in the state of New York and how individuals can protect themselves financially in the midst of it.

Legislation regarding the division of shared assets in a marriage is different among states. For example, in states known as community property states, divorcing couples' assets are split down the middle. Meanwhile, in an equitable distribution state, marital assets do not have to be divided equally; in other words, one spouse may receive 70 percent of the marital assets, whereas the other spouse receives 30% of the assets based on various factors that the court considers. New York falls under the equitable distribution state umbrella.

Family home, debt can be major issues in divorce

The financial aspect of a marital breakup in New York can be just as hard to navigate as the emotional aspect is. One of the most complicated financial decisions that many couples face during divorce is what to do about the family home. Another tough decision that plagues divorcing couples is how to deal with debt.

The family home can be particularly hard to address during property division because it is valuable, not only financially but also from an emotional standpoint. The home is usually full of memories, which makes it hard to negotiate. If two divorcing spouses cannot decide who will keep the home, the best choice is for them to sell the house and split the proceeds. However, if they go this route, it is critical that they determine who will cover the home's expenses until they can sell the property.

Co-parenting after divorce: Dealing with the stress

Parents who split up have an added worry. Being parents in separate households in New York can be stressful. But there are some ways in which to make co-parenting after divorce manageable and less likely to be rife with angst for both the parents and their children.

Children's emotional well-being is often indicative of their parents' mental health, so it's important for parents to take time to de-stress themselves, so they can move ahead with co-parenting together as individuals. Divorce comes with a bevy of feelings that can include anger, betrayal, sadness, guilt and fear of the unknown. Experts say that it's important for people to allow themselves to feel that range of emotions. Managing these feelings is easier with the support of family and friends.

New York police may get involved when child support is unpaid

Parents may feel frustrated and helpless if a former spouse has failed to adhere to the terms of an existing family court order. Regarding child support, there are hundreds of parents in New York and beyond who are currently trying to resolve problems concerning unpaid child support. Some parents have valid reasons for requesting formal modification of a court order, such as loss of income or medical expenses due to an unexpected situation.  

However, when such circumstances arise, there is a set process to go through to seek the needed adjustments. One cannot simply delay a payment, change a payment amount or stop making payments altogether without court approval. When this happens, a parent could wind up being surprised by a visit from local law enforcement officers.  

Inheritance may not be split during divorce

Getting divorced can spark many questions about how the division of property must be handled. This is particularly true when an inheritance comes into play. Here is a glimpse at what divorcing spouses in New York can expect to happen during a divorce proceeding involving a large gift or inheritance.

A common misconception is that if a person gets an inheritance while he or she is married the inheritance is automatically marital property. In other words, it would have to be split in a just fashion in New York. After all, New York is an equitable distribution state.

Divorce can take toll on retirement planning

The dissolution of a marriage is not an easy process. Not only does divorce take an emotional toll on those going through it, but it can also be financially upsetting. Retirement is one area that is especially impacted by divorce in New York and elsewhere.

Research shows that half of households might not have adequate retirement savings. However, among households where two spouses have divorced, the likelihood of having insufficient retirement savings is even higher at around 57 percent. The reason for this is that divorce can be financially devastating, thus causing those who experience it to fall behind in saving for retirement.

Divorce-related finances can be complicated

Dissolving a marriage can be both financially and emotionally challenging. This is the case no matter how long or short of a period two people have been married. A couple of tips may help those going through divorce in New York to take care of themselves financially.

First, closing joint credit accounts from the start is essential. Both parties ideally should stop racking up debt in both names once the divorce papers have been filed. If they continue to accrue debt through joint accounts, they will only damage their credit scores and make their divorce proceeding even more complicated.

Child custody: New law promotes shared parenting

Shared parenting has become a more popular custody arrangement these days when parents in New York decide to separate. In the past, mothers were commonly awarded primary custody of children during proceedings. However, fathers are increasingly taking active roles in the lives of their children, and child custody laws are being amended to give fathers equal time with children. One state has even passed a law requiring shared parenting.

Under the new law, judges must presume equally shared parenting time serves the best interest of the children in child custody hearings. The new legislation is the culmination of a slow shift that has taken place in custody arrangements across America in recent years. Just last year, records indicate that more than 20 states considered legislation that would encourage shared parenting.

Certain risk factors increase one's chances of getting a divorce

No relationship in life is guaranteed. Even when two New Yorkers express their commitment to each other on their wedding day, it does not necessarily mean the marriage will go as planned. Here are a couple of risk factors that researchers say double a married couple's chances of getting a divorce down the road.

First, if one of the spouses emphasizes money and looks rather than the quality of the character of the person he or she is marrying, the marriage is likely to end in divorce one day. Marrying someone who is wealthy or attractive may seem to be a good idea at the outset. However, deeper values are generally necessary for the relationship to last.

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