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New City NY Family Law Blog

Family lawyers clear up confusion for same-sex couples

One of the drawbacks of the information age is that it often seems as if there is simply too much information floating around. For instance, with legal issues, many people initially try to research their legal problems by themselves before realizing the information that they find is confusing, outdated or just overwhelming. By visiting with a qualified family lawyer, many New York state residents gain peace of mind, along with relevant and accurate legal information.

In particular, a same-sex couple is likely to benefit from enlisting an attorney instead of trying to tackle legal issues on their own. Ever since New York passed the Marriage Equality Act in 2011, same-sex partners have benefitted from their newly-recognized rights. Still, with the state's official recognition of these important rights comes new legal issues that same-sex couples may never have had to face before.

Lavish pre-marriage spending may correlate with divorce

In many New York divorce cases, there are countless assets that must be divided between the divorcing couple. Especially in a high-asset divorce, one asset that may not be immediately thought of, but which could later be the source of contention, is the wedding ring itself. According to a recent study issued from professors at Emory University, pricey wedding rings and extravagant weddings may be harbingers of a breakup later on.

After surveying over 3,000 individuals, the professors observed that heavier wedding spending tended to correlate with shorter marriages. In particular, more expensive engagement rings also tended to correspond with less-lengthy marriages. According to the data, couples who shelled-out more than $20,000 for their weddings -- not including the cost of the ring -- were over 45 percent more likely than average to get a divorce later on. Those who spent less than $20,000 but more than $10,000 were 29 percent more likely than average to divorce.

Do grandparents have visitation rights in New York?

As anyone who has ever been involved in a family law dispute is likely to know, a family conflict can involve much more than just parents and their children. Especially with today's diverse families in New York, family law encompasses many issues related to the extended family of couples and their children. One topic that has become increasingly important is the issue of grandparents' rights. Many grandparents want to know: Do I have visitation rights to spend time with my own grandchild?

There are many different reasons why a grandparent might request visitation rights. Perhaps their child got divorced and their former spouse no longer voluntarily allows the grandparents to visit. Or, perhaps the whole family is involved in a dispute over custody or other family legal issues, and the grandparents have been pushed aside and haven't been able to spend time with their grandchildren.

Resolving child custody disputes before they start

While not every family legal dispute is preventable, there are many precautions spouses and parents can take to help safeguard themselves against such conflict. One step is to know your options before a child custody dispute comes to the surface.

Even the most amicable of divorcing New York parents can clash on child custody. Perhaps one of the most emotionally difficult of all divorce topics, child custody is also fraught with legal complications. In the midst of emotional turmoil parents must decide upon the type of custody each parent will enjoy, the residence of the child, the visitation rights the other parent may enjoy and how parenting time will be spent with the child. In addition, parents today must also cope with the status of their children with regard to any future romantic relationships the parents may enter into later on.

String of high-asset celebrity couples declare divorce

It's not uncommon to hear about high-profile couples deciding to divorce. Recently, a string of divorce announcements from famous couples has brought attention to several divorce legal issues faced by non-famous New York couples every day.

Those who love cooking shows may be surprised to see that Pat and Gina Neely, stars of a popular cooking show on the Food Network, have decided to end their marriage. Their divorce papers list irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split. In addition to their cooking show, both are involved in lucrative ventures which are likely to be at the forefront of their property division process. Gina is involved in a George Foreman Weight Loss Challenge as well as a food line, while Pat has partnered with retail stores to help budget-minded food shoppers. Together, the couple owns four properties as well as a restaurant in New York.

Prenup templates: an outline of rights and responsibilities

Just like marriage, every divorce is different - in fact, every family is different and the way people go about forming and reforming their families can vary widely. When it comes to the many legal issues involved in marriage and divorce, many New York residents might be interested in first looking up information online in order to get a good overview of their family law issues. While the web can be a wealth of information, it's important to remember that each person's situation is unique and information found online may not apply to everyone's circumstances.

One of the most useful resources that can be found online is a template for a prenuptial agreement. Countless divorce disputes from Manhattan to upstate New York could be avoided, or at least mitigated, by the presence of a valid prenup. Since these marital contracts are so useful in protecting spouse's property rights, many couples seek out a prenup template before entering a marriage.

How do same-sex partners start the marriage process in New York?

In popular culture, getting married in New York is easy: fall in love, have the perfect wedding and live happily ever after. Understandably, most people don't spend too much time pondering the administrative details and simply want to move on with what is one of the happiest days of their lives. Still, following New York's Marriage Equality Act in 2011, any same-sex couple in the state can benefit from becoming familiar with the legal marriage process.

In order to get married in New York State, a person and his or her same-sex partner need to first get a marriage license. This can be obtained from any city or town clerk; however, both partners must be present during the application for the license. If there is any question about identification requirements or the fees involved, information is available from the State Department of Health. Documentation is important, so it's helpful to check the health department's website beforehand to figure out what to bring. If either same-sex partner is divorced, documentation of the divorce is also needed.

Sparks fly in New York deli owners' high asset divorce

New York's Carnegie Deli is a famous institution, well-known for tasty lunchtime fare that New Yorkers have enjoyed for years. More recently, though, the deli has been in the news for a family law dispute between the owners of the Midtown eatery.

After over two decades of marriage, the owners of the Carnegie Deli are now going through a high asset divorce. Previously, the judge in their case had ordered the wife to pay her currently estranged husband more than $11,000 per month in maintenance. In any high asset divorce, it's not unusual to encounter a dispute over alimony or spousal maintenance, and this case is no different. The wife had motioned for the judge to throw out that order but he has since refused.

Understanding the need to support a spouse post-divorce

Manhattan family law courtrooms are used to disagreements over countless topics. In New York State, divorce legal issues can run the gamut from child custody between unmarried couples, same-sex divorce issues, asset division, spousal support and more. The last item in particular is notorious as a source of contention between divorcing couples, and it can linger far into an individual's post-divorce life.

For any divorcing spouse, it's helpful to understand spousal support in New York. Often known as alimony, spousal support is an order that is part of the property division process. Just as judges consider dividing assets in an equitable manner, so too will they consider the request that one spouse help financially support the other during and after a split. While spousal support is commonly a concern when only one spouse worked outside the home, it can also be paid if both spouses earned an income during the marriage.

Child custody disputes can happen to any parent

In last week's blog entry, readers were acquainted with the ongoing legal saga of former Gossip Girl star Kelly Rutherford. New York residents are likely used to hearing about child custody disputes that arise between two high-profile people. After all, those who live their lives in the public eye naturally endure more stress as a relationship unfolds.

Still, it's important for divorcing New Yorkers to know that a child custody dispute can actually happen to anyone. No spouse can control the thoughts, feelings or actions of the other parent. In fact, during an emotionally heated divorce it's often hard to control one's own emotions. For example, if the other parent decides -- during or after the divorce -- that he or she wants to relocate with the child, a whole host of custody-related issues can arise. Often, the first parent is unsupportive of the relocation plan and may react out of fear that he or she could lose quality time with the children. This could take the form of stalling legal proceedings, threatening the other parent or even interfering with visitation.

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