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White Plains Divorce Law Blog

Are you worried because you've been at home for years?

Many New York households include wives and mothers who have stayed at home during their childbearing years. Perhaps, you earned a college degree, then sacrificed a career because you wanted to be home full-time with your children. Maybe you chose to forgo post-secondary education altogether or have been working your way toward earning a degree online from home.

Regardless of how your particular situation might differ from someone else's, if the new year is likely going to include filing for divorce, you can probably relate to others who have trod similar paths and worried about finances because they had been full-time, stay-at-home parents during marriage. A first logical step to take is to build a strong support network.

Dads need child support too, but are they getting it?

Even though society is rapidly changing, a lot of people in New York are still holding on to outdated ideas about family and divorce. It is true that in the past judges mainly awarded primary custody, child support and alimony to mothers. This is much less common than it once was. However, you could be missing out on important post-divorce payments and parenting time if you still believe that mothers are always at an advantage during divorce.

There are many reasons that men are now doing better in these areas. One of the biggest reasons is simply that women are earning more than they did in the past. Higher wages mean mothers are less likely to need to rely on child and spousal support and may even pay their exes instead.

Child custody and support: Regaining custody of your child

Of all the things that can happen in a parent/child relationship, loss of custody is arguably the most devastating. Loss of child custody can occur during divorce proceedings or as a result of a parent's alleged criminal or harmful activity. To the parent and the child, the reason why this occurred isn't nearly as important as regaining custody or, at the very least, acquiring visitation.

We and most who work in the family law field believe that children benefit from cultivating a relationship with each parent. This is so even when one parent has demonstrated instability or less-than-responsible child-rearing behaviors.

Family law: New York's approach to domestic violence

Anytime domestic violence begins to plague families in White Plains, people need real facts and real solutions. This includes any victims of domestic violence as well as the alleged perpetrator of such violence. Regardless of whether you are a victim or the accused, it is crucial to seek guidance from a family law attorney.

Each state has different laws governing how the authorities approach domestic violence accusations. Seeking counsel from a family law firm is one of the most authoritative ways you and your family can learn how New York State handles domestic violence allegations.

Here's why divorce rates have fallen

You may have heard that divorce rates have fallen in recent years, and that is true. As divorce became easier in the 1970s, the rates soared. Over the next decade or two, things sort of stabilized. The rate stayed the same. In recent years, the rate has fallen again. It's still nowhere near the pre-70s lows, but it's not as high as it once was.

Some take this to mean that marriages work more often now than they did in the 1980s or 1990s. They think that the most recent generation has figured marriage out in a new way. They are less likely to split up, after all, so doesn't that mean they stay happily married?

What will happen if divorce mediation efforts fail?

Sometimes, even the best ideas do not work out the way we expect them to. Ending a marriage by way of divorce mediation succeeds more often than it fails, but there are instances when it simply does not work for some couples.

Perhaps one spouse had unrealistic expectations about mediation and, in the end, just could not cooperate with the other spouse. The question at this point is what can you expect to happen if your attempt at mediation fails?

Getting divorced in New York with a special needs child

As you undoubtedly know, divorce is tough on children. It can cause many behavioral and emotional issues in even the healthiest child. A child with special needs may also suffer when divorce occurs and may require more personal attention from each parent during this trying time. When it comes to child custody and support, it is critical to work with your co-parent to ensure your special needs child emerges from divorce as healthy as possible.

In our White Plains legal practice, we have helped many parents with special needs children. What we have observed in these cases is the worry parents experience over how the divorce will impact their child. Our attorneys work hard to help parents find solutions that will protect their child and impose as few hardships as possible on the parents.

Who keeps your pet in a divorce?

You think of your pet as a member of the family. The court, however, does not. If you file for divorce, your pet is just another piece of property. This comes as a surprise to some owners, who would never put a pet in the same category as a car or a boat.

That's how the court sees it, though, so determining who keeps the pet is a property division issue. Some couples address this in a prenuptial agreement; others do not. Of you don't have anything in place yet, important questions that the court asks could include:

  • When was the pet purchased? Did you or your spouse buy it prior to getting married, or did you buy it together after the marriage?
  • What is your child custody situation like? Is it better for the pet to go with the children so that they can maintain a relationship with this animal that they love?
  • Who provides the pet with more care? That person likely has a stronger bond. The court may ask things like who buys the food or takes the dog for a walk more often.
  • Do you or your spouse have a lifestyle that works better with a pet? For example, maybe you stay home and you can care for it all the time, while your ex spends weeks on business trips.
  • Does one of you want the pet more than the other? You may be able to find a solution as you divide up the rest of your property.

Prenup may help you to protect your assets during divorce

As you prepare to walk down the aisle, you could not be more excited about living life with your significant other. At the same time, you already own a few assets, and you wonder what will happen to them down the road if your marriage does not work out for one reason or another.

Before you get married, it might be a wise move to create a prenuptial agreement (prenup) with your soon-to-be spouse, as this may help you to protect your separate assets. Here is a look at how prenups work in New York and whether it may behoove you to draft one.

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