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Marital agreements outlining property division can ease divorce

Though the benefits of signing a prenuptial agreement far outweigh the cons of it, many New York residents are still not prepared to enter into such an emotionally charged conversation right before tying the knot. They also believe that talking about divorce might jinx a marriage, therefore avoiding the important talk about what to do in the event that a marriage ends. However, it is important to know that married couples who forewent a prenuptial agreement can enter into a postnuptial agreement to protect their assets just as thoroughly.

A postnuptial agreement is similar to a prenuptial one, except that couples enter into it after they have gotten married, rather than before. Similar to a prenup, couples disclose all their property to one another, both separate and marital property, before entering into the agreement. While these were previously unenforceable in most states, their popularity and acceptability are both increasing, both legally and culturally.

Financial stress common cause of arguments, divorces

While the saying "money doesn't buy you happiness" may be true for many New York residents, a recent study also shows that debt might buy couples unhappiness. The study found that more than half of all couples go into their marriages with debt and 40 percent admitted that this has a negative impact on their relationship.

Not only is debt an issue, but also who the debt belongs to. The study also found that 49 percent of couples disagree on with whom the debt responsibility lies. Where debt is hanging over a marriage, couples are more likely to have poor communication and difficulty talking about finances. Couples who fight often are 30 percent more likely to divorce than those who do not. In fact, study after study has found that fighting over money is a top predictor for divorce.

How do the best interests of a child affect custody decisions?

When parents choose to divorce, the law requires that they reach a custody arrangement that outlines how they plan to care for their child, outlining their respective responsibilities and privileges as parents.

In general, courts prefer for parents to work together to reach an acceptable agreement, but the priorities of each parent are not the priorities of the court. Instead, courts focus on finding a custody arrangement that most benefits the child. Many courts insist that parents work together to provide for the child. So what impact does the best interests of a child play on the custody ruling?

We've successfully guided people through divorce for years

During their marriage, and especially if they have children, New York couples have most likely fallen into a dependable daily routine. While the routine may seem boring, it goes to establish a steady environment that both children and adults rely on. On most days, everyone knows what is likely to happen next. A divorce has the ability to completely change that scenario and disrupt the stability of everyone involved. One of the reasons many may hesitate to divorce is because they do not want that instability and uncertainty for their future.

However, once the divorce process ends and a decree is finalized, many are happy that they took the plunge and went their separate ways. There are a number of reasons marriages do not work out. Regardless of the reason why an individual ends his or her marriage, he or she should know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But what about inside the tunnel?

Managing the holidays after a divorce

Scheduling in the holiday season is complicated enough when one is married, as-one has to figure out with whose family the couple will spend time. Add in children, and grandparents are even more eager for them to come and visit, adding another layer of complexity to the celebration schedule. When parents are divorced, it gets even more challenging. However, with open communication and flexibility, it might be possible to navigate holiday season after divorce with minimal stress

The most important step divorced parents should take to make holiday planning easier is to begin planning early. Though broaching the subject can be difficult, approaching it properly can set the tone for the whole conversation. Rather than beginning by stating what one wants, its better to ask one's co-parent what they have in mind. Compromise may be possible for New York parents if they try to understand what the other has in mind rather than announcing their own plans immediately.

How can I protect my right to my spouse's retirement account?

A couple that has spent their life together in New York has probably accumulated assets throughout their marriage. Retirement accounts are often the most valuable assets they own. Therefore, figuring out how to divide these accounts can become a contentious issue during divorce proceedings, whether they are considered high asset or not. Since there may be applicable tax implications and their division is generally a complicated issue, the handling of retirement accounts during marriage dissolution is often improperly dealt with, which is why couples going through a divorce should understand the repercussions of their financial decisions.

If one party has an employer-sponsored retirement plan such as a 401(k) or a pension plan, then the other party is legally entitled to part of the balance as long as their isn't any prenuptial or postnuptial agreement stating otherwise. But what happens if only one spouse is working? In those circumstances, how can the other spouse protect their share of a retirement account? Through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order.

Student loans contributing to divorces

Financial discussions and concerns have the ability to taint a couple's marriage. It is no secret that money issues cause tensions in marriages, but a recent study has shown that college debt is becoming a thorny issue for couples to work through, and it often results in marriage dissolution.

The survey was conducted by an online site that helps students manage their college debt. Its results showed that more than one-third of borrowers who responded said college debt and financial woes such as credit card debt contributed to their divorce. One in eight, or 13 percent of the 800 surveyed, said student loans ended their relationship. New York residents may not be aware of this, but the average outstanding balance on student loans when one graduates has gone up by more than 60 percent in the last decade. The percentage of borrowers who owe $50,000 or more has gone up over the last 10 years as well.

How vulnerable to challenges is your prenuptial agreement?

Many strong marriages begin with a well-crafted prenuptial agreement. This gives each spouse a sense of security in case of divorce, and protects the marriage from pressures that can arise out of shared debts or other liabilities. However, if a marriage dissolves, a poorly constructed prenuptial agreement can cause more problems than it prevents.

When a couple signs a prenuptial agreement, they usually have each other's interests in mind, or at least view each other more favorably than they do when divorce is on the table. By the time that divorce becomes a possibility or likelihood, each party may disagree strongly with the terms of the agreement and may challenge it.

Experienced counsel can help navigate divorce process

Making the decision to end one's marriage is often a difficult one for most New York couples. When the decision is finally made, people usually want to move on as quickly as possible to begin their new life on their own terms, which means they want to untangle their assets and finalize their child custody arrangements as soon as possible. This can be possible with the help of experienced divorce attorneys, such as those at the Law Offices of Kristene M Demo-Vazquez PC.

While it may seem tempting to rush through discussions and finalize divorce settlements just to end the process, the reality is that these decisions carry significant weight for the long-term that many people do not realize. For example, a once stay-at-home mother may struggle to suddenly find employment upon divorce, meaning she may need temporary or long-term spousal and child support. Similarly, as mentioned last week, knowing the date on which assets will be valued can better ensure that property division is carried out more equitably.

On what date are assets valued on for property division?

Dividing property during a divorce is often so complicated that disputes around it can turn am amicable divorce into a acrimonious one. Decisions such as 'who gets to keep the house' and 'who gets the stock portfolio' are important ones that can lead to hours of wrangling in a conference room, but many New York residents may not even be aware of a further complicating factor in property division-the date on which the assets will be valued.

In order to ensure assets are divided as per property division laws in the state, it is important to know to make sure they are valued accurately. For this to take place, a valuation date must be chosen-the point in time at which the asset is going to be assigned a dollar value. Seems straightforward enough-the couple picks a date and assesses an asset's value on that date. However, as with even the least complicated aspect of a divorce, even this can become a bone of contention between a divorcing couple.

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