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Why Get a Prenup or Post-Nup

When most people are getting married, they’re not thinking about the possibility of a divorce. A decision to marry is generally primarily based upon love and affection, not finances. However, the NY State views marriage as a financial contractual union.  In light of the fact that roughly 40 to 50% of all marriages end in divorce, it makes sense to consider the financial ramifications in the unfortunate event of divorce.   Although generally an unpleasant topic during the period of time that you are excited about starting a life with your partner, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may save a great deal on legal fees and time in the future while lessening the stress of wondering what will happen to your finances in the event of divorce.

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Accused of Child Abuse or Neglect? Here’s What You Need to Know

Being accused of child abuse or neglect is a serious allegation that can have dire consequences. The outcome of a child protective proceeding can ultimately impact custody, visitation, related criminal matters, and, in some instances, the accused’s employment. If you are a mother or father who has been accused of child abuse or neglect, it is imperative that you seek the guidance of an experienced in the area of child protective proceedings.

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Adoption Requirements in New York

For many couples and single individuals, adoption may be the ideal option for starting or growing their families. According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), as of September 30, 2017, there are 123,437 children and teens in foster care in the U.S. who are waiting to be adopted. 

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The Divorce Process Can Take Many Forms

The decision to get divorced can be one of the most difficult and traumatic experiences two people may go through.  When one thinks of a divorce, they may picture a courtroom filled with attorneys arguing.  However, what most people do not realize is that there are several ways to go about the divorce process.  Over the last decade, the divorce processes of mediation and collaborative divorce have grown in many jurisdictions to be a costeffective and more efficient manner to obtain a divorce.  There are advantages and disadvantages to court litigated divorces (traditional), mediation and collaborative divorce.  

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Jeff Bezos to Divorce Without Prenup

Founder and lead shareholder of Amazon.com Inc., Jeff Bezos, and wife, Mackenzie, have recently announced via social media that they will be divorcing after 25 years of marriage. Recognized as the wealthiest man in the world, Jeff Bezos possesses a net worth of nearly $137 billion, most of which he acquired during the course of his marriage. Many have been wondering what the outcome will be, considering that Bezos did not have a standing prenuptial agreement in place. As a result, the terms of their divorce may vary depending upon the state in which they dissolve their marriage. 

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Common-Law Marriages in Non-Participating States

common-law marriage is a union between two people that is formed without a marriage license or wedding ceremony. Contrary to what many believe, obtaining a common-law marriage is not as simple as cohabitating for a prolonged period of time, though the determination of marital status varies from state to state. In many instances, to establish a marriage within a common-law state, the couple must be officiated by the state court.

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How New Tax Laws Will Affect Divorcing Couples in 2019

With 2018 ending in a few weeks, unhappily married couples who are thinking of splitting up should consider the tax consequences of waiting until after the new year. 

Under the new tax law enacted by Congress and the Trump administration, the rules regarding alimony will be different. Under the new law, the person who pays the alimony (otherwise known as maintenance in New York State) will no longer be able to write it off their taxes(deduct it from their income); meanwhile, those who receive alimony will no longer have to declare it as taxable income. If the paying spouse wishes to avoid this scenario, it is wise for to file for divorce before the end of the year. Those couples who already divorced will be grandfathered in — which means they will not be subjected to the new alimony law — unless they decide to modify their agreements next year. 

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Child Visitation and the Holidays

The holidays are supposed to be times of joy, to be spent with loved ones, but when divorced parents try to determine who will enjoy parenting time with the kids, it can be a time of anguish and stress.

If the holidays come and both parents still cannot agree on custody and visitation, often the children caught in the middle of the verbal crossfire as the parents fight for time. Continue reading “Child Visitation and the Holidays”

Spousal Support Shift Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

President Donald Trump promised hefty tax changes prior to his inauguration. One substantial tax change under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act concerned the deductibility of spousal support.

Prior to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), those receiving spousal support (alimony) were forced to claim the proceeds as taxable income, while those paying the alimony were allowed to deduct the payments from their taxes. However, under the new statute, it is reversed. Now, those that are receiving the alimony are able to deduct the alimony given by their former spouse from their taxes, while those paying the alimony will have to include it on their taxes. The change becomes effective after December 31, 2018.
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An Increased Number of Millennials are Asking for Prenuptial Agreements

Individuals in the Millennial generation (those born between the years of 1982 and 2004) are more apt to ask their significant others to sign and complete a valid prenuptial agreement prior to marriage. A prenuptial agreement, or “prenup” for short, is a legal contract that is established between future spouses to protect their property and assets, especially in the event of a divorce.

Millennials are much more cautious than their generational counterparts (Baby Boomers and Generation Xers) because many of them are children of divorce. They witnessed what their parents went through and desire to ensure financial security and protection of their interests. Also, by the time millennials have decided to marry, many of them have acquired assets, such as property, 401(k) retirement plans, stock options, among others that they now want to protect in the event that the marriage fails.
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