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New City NY Family Law Blog

Could a major website hack lead to more divorces?

New York residents meet their spouses in countless different ways, from being set up by friends to meeting by chance to using online dating sites to meet that special someone. Still, while the internet can be used to bring people together, it can also be used to drive them apart. Recently, a website that functioned as a way for married people to meet each other was hacked, which means users of the site have reason to worry their infidelities could be exposed. What does this mean for divorce in New York?

Some might assume that if their spouse's infidelity is exposed and undeniable, the non-cheating spouse will "win" the divorce case - receive a larger settlement, get custody of the children, etc. However, the hacking of "Ashley Madison," the website specifically designed for affairs, may not necessarily lead to a rash of divorces in New York or elsewhere. First, every spouse deals with infidelity differently; some may seek a separation rather than divorce, some may choose to forgive and forget and some may consider divorce.

The right approach for grandparents in a child custody case

Child custody disputes are among the most difficult cases in New York family law. Whether they come as part of divorce proceedings, some time afterward or in the context of parents who were never married, these disputes cut to the heart of parents' relationship with each other, their individual relationships to their children and even to parents' conception of what kind of person they want to be. However, it is not just parents who may become involved in a child custody dispute.

Does the SSA recognize same-sex couples?

Many residents of New York rely on various benefits from the Social Security Administration in order to make ends meet. As a result, many spouses and family members of these residents also rely on these crucial benefits. As the definition of family continues to evolve and become more inclusive, many local residents may wonder if they qualify for such benefits.

As with all families in New York, same-sex couples must grapple with a host of often confusing legal issues, including divorce, separation, prenuptial agreements and custody issues. There are also many other financial issues to contend with when partners either decide to become a family or decide to part ways. Social Security benefits are one of these important issues that may need to be addressed.

Family law: New York definition of marital property may surprise

When two New Yorkers decide that their marriage has come to an end, usually they will prepare to separate and potentially divorce. Both of these actions, though, can involve many complications, not least of which is the prospect of property division. The distribution of property can be highly stressful for both parties, particularly if it is a high asset divorce. Still, no matter how much property a couple has, it is important to first understand what is considered marital property in the state of New York.

Why is it important to know the definition of marital property? This is because marital property is the property which is subject to division under the law. A New York family lawyer can explain in detail the differences between marital property and separate property, but in general marital property is any property that either spouse obtained during the marriage. This time period is typically defined as the period between the date of the marriage and the beginning of the divorce action.

Financier and former model in Manhattan divorce dispute

Of all the couples who call Manhattan home, many of them are high earners and have amassed significant wealth either together or apart. As a result, there are often divorce disputes over property, child custody, child support and alimony when these couples part ways.

Recently, a financier and a former fashion model have made the news for their heated divorce actions. The pair had married in 2003 and had both a prenuptial agreement as well as a no-litigation clause in their marital contract. The prenup had specified custody of the daughter they have together, a child who is now 10 years of age. The pair broke up in 2007 and their divorce was completed in 2013, but child custody has not been a smooth process.

Can a non-custodial parent's visitation rights be denied?

After a divorce or breakup, a parent's relationship with children is important regardless of whether that person is the custodial or non-custodial parent. For non-custodial parents, visitation rights are a crucial opportunity to maintain the special bond between parent and child. If a child custody dispute arises, agreeing on visitation rights can also be a key part of resolving conflict between parents and keeping the children in a stable environment.

Non-custodial parents are likely to have a lot of questions about visitation rights in New York State. One common concern is whether visitation rights can be denied to a parent. Usually, visitation rights are included in a court's child custody decision. If they are not, the law generally implies that there exists a right to visitation in the absence of extraordinary circumstances. In essence, visitation rights arise out of the fact of parenthood. Thus, there is often a strong presumption by the court in favor of visitation rights.

Protecting your rights in a high asset divorce

Why is it important to have an experienced attorney in a high-asset divorce? In any New York divorce case, much may be at stake. Parties to a divorce often understandably worry about the outcome of child custody proceedings or a dispute over who gets to keep the family pet or items of sentimental value. In a high-asset divorce, in addition to these common concerns there may also be significant financial matters at stake. In a high-asset divorce, it is important to ensure each party's rights are protected.

The law firm of Johnson & Cohen, LLP represents clients in Westchester and Rockland counties as well as throughout New York City. As a result, they are highly familiar with not only the nuances of New York divorce law but also with the intricate layers of wealth their clients have accumulated over the years. Dividing this wealth is rarely simple or easy, as spouses often have retirement accounts, family businesses, artwork, jewelry, real estate and investments. In addition, local families may have family trusts which come with their own sets of rules and priorities.

Domestic partnerships are still an option in New York

Since the passing of New York's Marriage Equality Act in 2010, many same-sex couples have exercised their right to marry in the state. While many couples have tied the knot already, many who are thinking about getting married may not understand all of the legal issues involved. One issue that both same-sex couples as well as heterosexual couples might encounter is the option of a domestic partnership.

What many New Yorkers may not realize is that it is still possible to obtain a domestic partnership in the state of New York. Moreover, this option is available to all types of couples, both same-sex and opposite-sex. The main difference is that there is a relatively smaller set of rights and privileges involved in a domestic partnership when compared to a marriage.

The importance of prenups in subsequent marriages

Getting married is always a happy occasion, and this may be particularly true when marrying after a prior marriage did not work out. Couples in New York who are marrying for the second or third time generally have a lot to look forward to, but also much to be concerned with as they prepare for their big day. Due to the need to protect assets when entering a subsequent marriage, many couples consider the benefits of a prenuptial agreement.

A well-drafted prenup can address many of the legal issues that arise during both marriage and divorce. Moreover, a prenup can tackle the topics unique to marrying for the second time. For instance, if both parties already own homes, will one home be sold as they move in together? Will any furniture need to be sold? What about vehicles? Another aspect of marrying again is overall financial compatibility. Since spouses may have experienced this type of incompatibility in their prior marriages, it's a good idea to review various scenarios, such as how to pay for a child's college education, together during the formation of a prenup.

Family law: how do separation agreements, judgments differ?

When spouses in New York decide that they can no longer live under the same roof, they may consider a separation. At times the separation is a precursor to divorce but, in other instances, it may be needed before a reconciliation can occur. Many times, though, spouses don't know for sure how their separation will end. Thus, both spouses may have lots of questions about the legal nuances of separation in the state of New York.

If a spouse is looking up separation in New York online, for example, the individual may encounter two different commonly-used terms on the subject: separation agreement and judgment of separation. These are two different forms of separation and spouses can learn more from an experienced family lawyer. Since a separation will almost always involve multiple family law issues, a family lawyer can explain how the separation process works and how it will impact related concerns.

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