Robert G. Smith, PLLC

New York High-Stakes Family Law Blog

Bird's nest parenting is a unique option for some parents

When parents are trying to make decisions for the children, they have to think about what's best for the kids. This is challenging in many cases, but it is even more complex if you're divorcing. One of the concerns that you'll have is determining what to do with the marital home. For some parents, a unique decision is the one that works for them – they allow the children to live in the home.

Bird's nest coparenting involves the kids remaining in one home while the parents rotate out who stays with them. The parents have another home that they share or they may each have their own. But, when it's one parent's turn to have time with the kids, they go to the children.

Know how to handle your high-asset divorce

A high-asset divorce can be a challenge to go through. You have to worry about all the normal aspects of divorce but you also have to deal with complex asset division. This can be difficult, especially if you don't have a full accounting of the assets that need to be divided. There are some cases in which one spouse might try to hide some assets so that they can keep them after the divorce.

You might think that you know about all of the assets that must be split, but you need to determine whether your ex purchased any expensive items while the marriage was rocky. Don't think only about cars and homes. Look into things that are easier to hide, e.g., jewelry, guns, artwork, electronics and similar items. All of these must be covered in the property division settlement if they're marital property.

Understand child custody modifications

The parenting plan is the backbone of a child custody situation. While these plans work for the child when they're created, there's a chance that those needs might change. This means that the parenting plan must be modified. You'll need to work with your ex to come up with the terms of the new parenting plan.

In some cases, small changes might not require any legal process. The modification process will usually involve larger changes, such as a new parenting time schedule if one parent has to move out of the area. Changes in which parent the child lives with most of the time and modifications in who makes which decisions will probably need legal intervention.

What are some tax implications associated with getting divorced?

Divorce isn't just trying on former spouses' emotions but can be financially taxing as well. Your tax filing status changes after your divorce. There are also other tax implications associated with splitting up that you need to be aware of before you negotiate a settlement in your case.

Your tax filing status will need to change when you divorce your spouse. If you've finalized your divorce by December 31st, then you'll have to file your taxes independently instead of jointly with your former spouse. Filing individually instead of as a married couple can increase your tax burden.

Can my ex avoid making support payments by filing bankruptcy?

There are tens of billions of dollars in child support that are supposed to exchange hands each year here in New York and the rest of the United States. Custodial parents see far less than that from their exes though. Some estimates show that only half of all moms and dads who are supposed to receive child support to help them raise their children get what they've mutually agreed to with their ex or what the court has ordered.

The consequences associated with a parent not paying child support can be quite serious. Interest may be tacked on to what a noncustodial parent owes and their wages may be garnished, driver's license may get suspended and they could even end up in jail. The combination of these may hamper a nonpaying parent's ability to secure future employment.

Be wary of dips in income that coincide with a divorce petition

A person who has decided that their marriage is over will begin to pull away from their partner. While this is challenging in almost every case, it comes with some special considerations if you own a business together. This is especially true if only one person knows about the finances of the company.

It's possible that the spouse with that knowledge might try to tip the divorce settlement in their favor by hiding revenue for the business. This is known as sudden income deficit syndrome (SIDS). In short, it means that they aren't being truthful about what the company is making. While the other spouse may think that the company is doing fine financially, this spouse makes it appear that it isn't.

Children have rights, even when their parents divorce

Children have specific rights as they grow up. These don't go away just because their parents are going through a divorce. As one of the adults in the relationship, you should review these rights so that you're able to ensure your children are getting what they need.

One of the most important things to remember is that your children need to continue to build relationships with family members. The divorce is between you and your ex, but your child should still have meaningful relationships with you and your ex. They also need to know extended family members, but they may feel unsure of how each parent will feel about this. Be sure you're encouraging them to do this.

Parenting plans for young children have special considerations

Parents have children in the hopes of raising them as a team, but things don't always happen that way. When you and your child's other parent end the relationship while the kid is young, you might be facing some unique challenges.

Infants in particular can make the situation challenging, especially if the mother is breastfeeding. In this case, the baby might not be able to be away from her for long periods until the infant will drink from a bottle, and the mother's milk supply is established.

How might divorce affect your kids?

Many parents who face divorce share concern over the effect their divorce could have on their children. There is no denying that children usually thrive with routine and stability, which are usually impacted by divorce. However, most children fare better than parents expect them to fare.

Some factors that might contribute to the effect divorce has on a child include the amount of parental conflict before, during and after the divorce. Other factors may include the child’s developmental stage, the child’s personality and the custody arrangement.

Know what you can reasonably afford during property division

People who amassed a lot of assets during the course of their marriage will often have a complex time trying to divide everything if their union ends. These divorces require that you split everything up, but this often takes a lot of thought. Anyone who's in this position should take the time to think about what they can reasonably support when the marriage is over.

We know that many people know the financial situation they're facing when they go through a divorce. Not only are you dealing with the loss of your spouse's income, you're also working with an increase in bills because of the expense related to the divorce.

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Robert G. Smith, PLLC
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