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January 2015 Archives

Settlement Agreements: What to Include - A Basic Overview

It's always a great thing when two people getting divorced can reach an agreement regarding the issues in their case. This is especially true in New York City, where full litigation of all a divorce's issues in court can take not only months, but sometimes years. A settlement agreement that is negotiated by the parties and their attorneys can save a lot of time, stress, and expense. However, it is important to remember a couple of key points in order to make sure that a settlement holds up over time without issue.

Mediation: What is it and When is it Right for You?

As many would-be and current litigants know, divorce in New York can be extremely time consuming and expensive. One alternate but increasingly popular method for resolving divorce cases is mediation, a process that, when fully embraced, can save time and costs to a great extent, in addition to being less acrimonious.

How New York Handles A Spouse Taking or Hiding Property from the Marital Estate

Unfortunately, as much as divorce can be an emotional conflict, many of the issues in matrimonial litigation are financially driven as well. One of the greatest concerns during the course of divorce litigation is where one or both of the parties tries to transfer, hide, or encumber assets so that their soon to be ex-spouse cannot access or utilize them. Other times, a party is irresponsible and "spends away" the marital estate, or what is known as "dissipating" the marital estate. Dissipating assets can include running up debt by spending, gambling, or losing property (physically). Transferring can involve legally conveying certain properties to oneself or to another individual, or selling off the property itself. Hiding assets can involve underreporting income, or failure to report certain property.

Consequences of Not Paying Child Support

When the parents of a child are no longer together, the court will make determinations about the child's care, including which parent the child lives with and the amount of support the other parent pays to help contribute to the child's upbringing. While the amount of the child support can be negotiated, the final decision of the court is legally enforceable. Neglecting to pay child support is not an option, and the parent that refuses to abide by the court-order can face serious consequences.

Awarding Maintenance in New York: A Basic Framework for Those Getting Divorced

Under New York law, parties in a divorce are often entitled maintenance from their former or soon to be former spouse. The payor spouse is the wealthier or "monied" party, and the payee spouse is the "less monied" party. While many New Yorkers seeking a divorce know that much, they may not know there is more than one type of maintenance, and that the purpose and standards used to determine the amount paid are different under the law.

Marital Agreements: The Elements of Enforceability

Often, it is difficult enough for an engaged couple to determine whether or not to execute a pre or post nuptial agreement with respect to their finances and estates. Since New York City has higher divorce rates than most of the country, a New York couple is, unfortunately, far more likely to have to use their agreement. Therefore, it's even more crucial that any marital agreement executed be enforceable in a New York court. Set out below are some of the important rules to obey when executing a prenuptial or postnuptial marital agreement.

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