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New York City Divorce Law Blog

Drafting a prenup that will hold up in court

A prenuptial agreement is a wise idea for anyone getting married who has assets to protect, children from a previous relationship or a business. However, it's certainly not a bad idea for anyone. Even couples going into a marriage with little to their name besides some battered furniture and a ton of student loan debt can benefit from a prenup.

However, if it's not done right, it won't hold up in court if challenged. Following is some advice for drafting a prenup that's as ironclad as possible from a divorce attorney who has handled divorces for wealthy and sometimes famous clients.

The importance of keeping your emotions out of your divorce

Divorce is an emotional experience. However, it's essential not to let your emotions color your decisions. Your financial future as well as the well-being of your children, if you have them, is at stake. One New York divorce attorney says a big mistake she often sees clients make is that they "think emotionally –- which is not financially practical."

It's an attorney's job to remain emotionally detached. If clients come into the office and cry or vent, a good attorney will listen. However, as this one notes, it will cost you. It's better that they spend their time on other matters that will help you. She says, "Try to use your attorney to get the job done -- that's what you hired your lawyer to do, to actually finalize your divorce and get you through that legal process."

Why you shouldn't make your divorce about revenge

Often when couples divorce, one or both has considerable anger toward the other. Perhaps there was infidelity. Maybe one spouse was secretly depleting the couple's shared finances. One spouse may not have shared in the parenting responsibilities.

Whatever the issue, spouses may see the divorce as an opportunity to get revenge. However, as one New York City divorce attorney points out, that's not what divorce is for. She details several reasons why divorce shouldn't be about revenge.

Should you agree to a premarital agreement?

If 2018 is the year in which you will marry, you are likely a very busy person right now. Planning a wedding and preparing for marriage takes a lot of time and attention. You may be looking forward to a very simple New York wedding event or gearing up for the most elaborate, luxurious celebration you've been dreaming of since childhood. Either way, you have to plan, then execute, and that involves time and effort that you must fit into your other normal daily tasks and duties.

You and your intended spouse undoubtedly have a lot to talk about. Among topics, such as guest lists, where you will live when you are married, and other fine details regarding your upcoming marriage ceremony and wedding day celebration, you may also want to broach the topic of a prenuptial agreement. If that sounds extremely unromantic to you at this point, perhaps researching the topic further can help you determine whether it's a worthwhile option in your particular situation.

New York court rules on case of a child's religious training

When parents of different religions divorce, one of the matters addressed in the custody agreement, particularly if one or both is a devout practitioner of a faith, is often who will be responsible for determining the children's religious upbringing. This month, a New York appellate court upheld a family court ruling on a case where that was not spelled out in the custody agreement, but became a serious issue.

The case involved a couple whose daughter was just two at the time of their divorce in 2009. The woman, who was Christian, converted to Islam when she married her husband, who is Muslim. When they broke up, she returned to her Christian faith.

Planning for your post-divorce financial future

Divorce rates among people in their 40s and older have been increasing. Those preparing to be single again at this stage in life, often after many years of marriage, have unique financial issues that they need to consider.

Women, in particular, often find themselves at a disadvantage -- especially since many wives still leave the finances to their husbands while they take the lead in caring for the kids. As one author who has written about the gender wealth gap notes, "Women are just as great at managing money, but a lot of it comes from education and from practice and having the knowledge and the confidence."

Census Bureau data paints grim picture of child support payments

One of the most crucial parts of a divorce for parents is determining how the two of them will share in the financial support of their children. It's generally best if the spouses, with the help of their attorneys, can reach an agreement on their own. If they can't, a court will decide the matter.

However, sometimes for the person granted primary custody of the children (usually the mother) whose co-parent has been ordered to pay child support, that's only the beginning of the battle. Recently-released data from the U.S. Census Bureau provides a disturbing look at just how bad the problem of unpaid child support is.

Child support doesn't always end if paternity fraud is uncovered

Many women who give birth don't list a father's name on the baby's birth certificate. They choose not to if they're unclear as to who he may be or because they they don't want the information made public. Those who list it may do so simply on a hunch of who the father may be or based on what they feel is in the best interest of the child.

Sadly, in instances such as the latter, it's not uncommon for these "dad's" to later find out that they're unrelated to the child. Often times, this happens months or years after they've begun paying child support. This type of scenario is known as paternity fraud.

If I think my spouse is hiding assets, how can I find them?

Divorce is complicated, and it is quite normal for two spouses to find themselves in contention over the details of the financial divorce order. One of the most commonly contested issues in a divorce is over money, and you may have serious concerns about securing a fair agreement in order to have a stable post-divorce future. In some situations, it may be necessary to consider the possibility of hidden assets.

If you suspect that your New York spouse is hiding assets, you would be wise to take quick action to protect your interests. This is a complex issue, but with help, it may be possible to locate, identify and appropriately value the marital assets to which you have a rightful claim. You have the right to pursue a beneficial settlement and the full protection of your rights.

The perils of digitally spying during divorce

Family law attorneys are finding that divorcing spouses are increasingly turning to popular smart devices and software programs to spy on each other. This includes spyware apps that can track financial activity and communications on personal computers, GPS trackers that can be surreptitiously placed on a vehicle to find out where their spouse has been and "security" cameras that can capture who is coming into their homes or what's going on inside them.

People may use these as a means of maintaining some control over an estranged spouse. Other times, the motivation comes out of jealousy or because they believe the evidence gathered will help them get a better divorce settlement or custody agreement.

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