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April 2013 Archives

Wife argues that prenup is invalid because husband wasn't ID'd

The state of New York has specific laws related to drafting prenuptial agreements. In particular, the Domestic Relations Law requires that soon-to-be spouses go before an authorized person, usually a notary, and acknowledge the terms of the prenup. That acknowledgement must be oral and written for the agreement to be valid. Also, a New York statute requires that the notary confirm the identities of the parties involved.

Gray divorce another step in the pursuit of happiness

It used to be that marriage was seen as a more or less unshakeable legal agreement, whereby a man and a woman decided to remain together unconditionally for the rest of their lives. Emphasis on "used to be." Times have changed. Marriages between men and women, women and women, or men and men are all legal possibilities in New York, and most people, including older individuals, no longer see marriage agreements as unconditional.

Indian father's parental rights in doubt in Supreme Court hearing

Child custody decisions involving the question of fathers' rights are some of the most controversial to make headlines, given that family law courts have in most cases sided with the mother. But the child custody dispute recently heard by the U.S. Supreme Court is especially complicated because it involves an adoptive family, a mother who approved the adoption and a Cherokee Indian father who wants to use the Indian Child Welfare Act to assert his parental rights.

Divorce having little effect on politicians' careers

Aside from the challenging emotional and financial aspects of a marital split, the politics of divorce are rapidly changing. A recent article takes a look at state governors and other politicians and the effect divorce has had (or hasn't had) on their careers. In an earlier post, we discussed the possible business repercussions a divorce can have, but it appears that political careers these days aren't as susceptible to backlash.

Why should New York couples consider a prenuptial agreement?

Because each state has laws determining how marital property will be divided in the event of divorce, essentially every state affords married parties some form of prenuptial agreement, whether or not such a document is ever drafted by an attorney. New York is an equitable distribution state, meaning that a court's determination of property division may or may not be a split down the middle. We discussed this issue about a week ago with reference to the Harold and Sue Ann Hamm divorce.

Judge: Mexican mother can keep children in Brooklyn

Immigrants throughout New York have to confront child custody issues relating to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. What usually happens is that one parent will take a child either out of or into the United States, and the parent who is left behind will petition to have the kids returned to their "habitual" residence. Like other child custody disputes, these cases are not simple and require legal guidance to achieve the best outcome.

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