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New York City Divorce Law Blog

Why include a social media clause in your prenuptial agreement?

Although it seems like just about everyone is on social media today, the appeal of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram still puzzles many people. If you don't understand why anyone would share their political views, vacation photos or pictures of their latest culinary accomplishment with everyone with friends, acquaintances, colleagues and distant family members, you're not alone.

Moreover, people have very different boundaries when it comes to social media. They may not hesitate to voice their opinion about the latest Tweet from the White House, but would be horrified at the thought of sharing a photo of themselves at the pool.

Taking your kids abroad requires careful legal planning

Once you've gotten through the often-painful process of divorce, you may find that new opportunities abound. One of these may be the chance to move abroad. Perhaps your company has a position open in its London office. Maybe you've been wanting to move to Italy to help run the family business.

You may have stayed put because your spouse didn't want to leave. Now's your chance. There's just one catch -- a big one. It means moving away from your kids, who live with your co-parent most of the time.

Potential financial 'silver linings' of divorce

If you're contemplating divorce, you're likely concerned about the potential negative financial impact on your life. Most everyone who divorces has to do some belt-tightening, at least until they learn to budget for living as a single person (and maybe a single parent) after years of splitting the cost of the mortgage, vacations, groceries and much more.

However, there can be some financial benefits to divorce if you do your homework, get sound financial advice and plan wisely. That's particularly true if your spouse has been making most of the financial and investment decisions, and those choices don't align with your philosophy about money. Following are a few potential financial "silver linings" of divorce.

When should New York fathers worry about paternity?

New York fathers understand the importance of protecting their relationships with their children. In situations in which the father and mother were unwed at the time a child was born or there are disputes over custody rights and visitation, the issue of paternity could play an important role in the resolution of the issue.

If you are a father and you find yourself in a position in which you have to fight for your right to see your kids or there is a dispute over your rightful role in the life of your child, you may have to seek legal help regarding proving paternity. Once you have proved you are the biological father of your child, you can continue your fight for visitation or even custody.

Know what you can and can't do during your pending divorce

Divorce proceedings can be long and complex. Even relatively amicable splits where couples aren't fighting over property, children and/or spousal support don't happen overnight.

Until the final decrees are signed, spouses may find themselves paying for things on behalf of their spouse or that they're no longer using. Health insurance is one of those. If your spouse gets insurance through your policy, you may be required to keep him or her on your policy until the divorce is final.

The new tax plan and your prenuptial agreement

As part of the sweeping tax reform legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the president last year, spousal support payments will no longer be tax deductible for the payers, and recipients will no longer report this support as income. These changes, which take effect the beginning of next year, could have a big net financial impact on alimony for both spouses.

Currently, those in high income brackets can write off a significant portion of those payments. People whose divorces are finalized in 2019 or after won't have that write-off to assuage the financial impact of having to pay alimony. For people whose prenuptial agreements address spousal support, the new law could provide an unpleasant surprise if they divorce. They could end up effectively paying twice what they anticipated if they're in one of the higher tax brackets.

What is Innocent Spouse Relief?

Throughout your marriage, your husband has handled your joint tax returns. You're happy to have him do this. Perhaps your husband has been the primary earner, so it makes sense. (Of course, the genders could be reversed here, but this is the more common scenario.)

Now you're divorcing, and you're learning that your spouse has been less than ethical in a number of financial matters, including your taxes. Perhaps he wasn't as good with numbers as he thought, and was unintentionally under-reporting his income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

What's at stake if Matt Lauer and wife divorce?

Those who follow the troubled marriages of New York City's rich and famous have watched the high-profile problems for former "Today" host Matt Lauer and his wife, former model Annette Roque, for many years. Back in 2006, Roque filed for divorce, citing "cruel and inhumane" treatment by Lauer. She didn't follow through with the divorce.

Last November, as our readers likely remember, Lauer was fired by NBC amid multiple allegations by female employees of inappropriate sexual conduct. The 60-year-old Lauer issued a statement saying, "Some of what is being said about me is untrue or mischaracterized, but there is enough truth in these stories to make me feel embarrassed and ashamed."

Fathers need to prepare for custody hearings too

The day you became a father was likely one of the most wonderful days of your life. Since then, you have doted on your kids while trying to be the best father possible. Unfortunately, the relationship with your wife did not remain as strong as the bonds with your children, and now you face divorce.

After making this decision, child custody arrangements likely jumped to the forefront of your mind. You wanted to make sure that your children would continue to have the best parental relationship possible, and you may have even brought up the idea of coming to terms outside the courtroom with the other parent. However, this suggestion may have met resistance and claims that your spouse would get the kids, and now you face custody hearings.

What you need to know when supervised visitation is ordered

A judge has ordered that you are only allowed contact with your children during supervised visitations. This is usually done when there is a question about the safety and well-being of a child around a parent. Typically, it is ordered when there is a history of alcohol or drug abuse, violence or other types of abuse.

Even if these are still just allegations by the other parent and authorities are still investigating, judges have to err on the side of protecting children while still giving them an opportunity, if possible, to stay in contract with their parents. No matter how you feel about the fairness of the order, it's essential to abide by the terms of it and to make these visits as enjoyable and fulfilling for your children as possible.

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