Robert G. Smith, PLLC

New York High-Stakes Family Law Blog

Tips for dividing your property in a divorce

Going through a high-asset divorce isn't an easy task, especially if the marriage was a longer one. You have to think about all the aspects of your life that have to unraveled from your spouse's life. One thing that you're going to have to split up is the property that you've amassed during the marriage. This process takes a lot of thought, but it also comes with a lot of emotions.

When you're getting ready to handle the property division aspect of the split, take the time to make a list of all the assets that have to be addressed. While your home is likely one of your most valuable assets, retirement accounts and sometimes investments can also be very valuable.

Alimony and taxes: What you need to know during your divorce

People who are divorcing will sometimes want to know whether they qualify for alimony or not. The laws in New York regarding spousal support payments are strict, so not everyone will qualify. Some individuals might be able to work out these payments as part of the divorce settlement. Anyone who is involved in a divorce that may include alimony should understand how these payments might affect them in the future.

One aspect of alimony that some people don't understand is how it affects their taxes. The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017 made a big change to this. People who filed for divorce prior to Dec. 31, 2018 are subjected to the old law. Anyone who filed for divorce after that date must follow the new law. In some cases, divorces that are modified after that date will be subjected to the new law once the modification is finalized.

Fighting a custody battle with a narcissist isn't easy

Child custody cases must focus on what's best for the children; however, this can be virtually impossible for you to make happen if you're walking away from a narcissist. The nature of narcissism means that the person can't think of others. Instead, everything they do is based on what they feel and how things will make them look.

If you're in a child custody battle with a person who has this mental health condition, you're going to have to prepare for a lengthy battle. The chances of them working with you to come up with a child custody agreement quickly are slim. Because of this, you'll have to set up your plan carefully.

Business valuation is important during a divorce

Protecting your company that you've worked hard to build is a priority for most business owners. While you might be focused on things like being able to ensure that you can keep the profits up to cover the bills and protecting it against competitors, there is another thing that some small business owners need to think about. This is what will happen to the business if your marriage ends.

Some businesses are covered in the prenuptial agreement, so you'll be able to turn to that document to find out what's going to happen to the company if it's included. For some people, there wasn't a prenup in place because there wasn't a business to think about when they got married. A postnuptial agreement might work in much the same way, but the protection isn't as strong for this one as it is with a prenup.

Uncovering hidden assets in pending divorce cases

Trust within your marriage disappeared long ago. So did compatibility. Such a combination often leads to couples inevitably divorcing. And where there is mistrust, there often are secrets hidden under stones or hidden in bank accounts and safe deposit boxes. When mistrust prevails within a marriage, the likelihood of hidden assets by one or both spouses is probable.

Uncovering those hidden assets is a necessary chore, especially during a divorce. It is in your best interest to track down every financial account, investment, property and real estate hidden in the netherworld by your estranged spouse.

Know when spousal support payments might be suitable

Not many divorces come with an agreement about spousal support, but there are some instances when this is something that needs to happen. If you think that this is something that needs to happen in your divorce, we can look at the situation to see if the case meets the legal requirements for spousal support.

Typically, spousal support is more common if the marriage has been a lengthy one. There aren't criteria in this state that enable a person to receive an automatic order for alimony payments. Instead, these payments are usually due to terms in the prenuptial agreement or by mutual agreement.

Factors the court considers in child custody cases

For many parents, child custody decisions are handled through mediation or another collaborative method. This enables the two people who know the children the best to make decisions about how they will handle the various aspects of the arrangement. Unfortunately, not all parents can put their differences aside and determine how to set up the parenting plan. In those cases, they will turn to the court to decide what terms will govern the child custody situation.

The sole consideration of the court in these cases is what's best for the child. The judge isn't going to worry about specific things impacting the parents. There are several factors that are considered when the court is trying to make this decision.

  • Involvement with the child: The court will typically look at which parent provides the majority of the care for the child.
  • Stability in the home: If one parent is stable and the other isn't, the court may default to allowing primary custody to the stable parent.
  • Wishes of the child: Some children are old enough to make their wishes known. The court may consider their wishes, but it likely won't be the only thing that's considered.
  • Support for the child: Children need support as they adjust to the new way of life. The judge will consider which parent is more likely to foster relationships, including the relationship between the child and the other parent.

Seven common places spouses try to hide assets

When there are many assets to untangle in divorce, it can be important for each spouse to remain especially vigilant for potential discrepancies. Sometimes these discrepancies are simple errors, but sometimes they are a sign that something more unethical is happening.

All assets and debts should be disclosed honestly during divorce, so they can be fairly divided. However, some spouses take it upon themselves to prevent a fair division by hiding assets that they want to keep for themselves.

The impact of divorce on your credit score

In a high net worth divorce, there is a good chance that you'll have considerable assets to split, but you may also have a lot of debt. When you're trying to work through everything to end the marriage, you must remember that the decisions you make now can have a big impact on your future.

One thing that you may not have thought about is how the divorce will impact your credit. On its own, the end of your marriage won't play a role in your credit score. But, there are some factors that could play a role due to the split that you should understand..

Dealing with collectibles in divorce

Within a divorce settlement, so many matters must be addressed and resolved. This includes everything from alimony and child support to parenting time and property division. Property division includes collectibles, many of which are worth a great amount of money.

What will happen to the Cezanne, de Kooning and David Hockney paintings? Who gets the wine and luxury car collections? The only options are that you will get them, your spouse will get them, you will split them evenly, or if you cannot agree, sell them and split the proceeds.

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Robert G. Smith, PLLC
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