Social Security benefits extend to spouses, and that benefit does not necessarily end with divorce. New York residents who are divorced may be entitled to benefits from an ex-spouse's Social Security, but this depends on various factors, and the rules are somewhat complicated.
Negotiations over the division of marital property are often difficult and delicate for divorcing couples in New York, and this can be especially true when important financial decisions have generally been made by only one of the spouses involved. Decisions about matters such as estate and retirement planning are generally made based upon what makes the most financial sense, but even the most prudent of choices can leave spouses at a disadvantage during divorce negotiations.
Beyond the emotional estrangement and loss of stability commonly experienced by divorcing New York couples, one or both partners is likely to face financial hardship throughout the process. There are some suggestions on important financial steps to take in order to avoid the worst asset division outcomes.
New York divorce lawyers should take heed of Mizrahi-Srour v. Srour, decided by the Appellate Division, Second Department on April 13, 2016. It was an appeal after trial. The wife granted sole custody of the parties' children, spousal maintenance of $100 per week for five years, which would be increased to $200 per week if the husband did not provide a religious divorce ("Get") to the wife within 60 days, child support of $401.21 per week, which would be reduced to $370 per week if the spousal maintenance increased to $200 per week, support arrears of $47,324, distributed 70% of the marital assets to the wife and awarded a $ 70,000 counsel fee to the wife's attorneys.
In arriving at a parental access schedule the concept begins with the goal of protecting and nurturing the children. The schedule should be fair to both parents and healthy for the child, who is not getting a divorce. As the adage goes: future relationships must persist despite the exacerbation of the divorce. Cutting edge mental health science teaches us that the child's ability to accommodate competing loyalties - - parents who do not like each other but who both love the child - - does not fall into place until the child is in her or his early 20s. With that in mind, divorced and separated parents in New York divorces should be steadfast in their committment to minimizing the impact of their breakup on their children. This often requires creativity for both parents to maintain meaningful relationships with the children in different households.
If you have enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's writing, and the Power of Habit by the New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, I heartily recommend Mr. Duhigg's newest work "Smarter Faster Better". Among other things, the author alludes to something called the "locus of control" to explain studies which show that senior citizens in nursing homes benefit from what he calls "subversive" conduct to question authority and take control of their decision making muscles. To express their independence, the senior citizens yanked their bureaus from the wall to re arrange the furniture, and traded food in the dining room. Mr. Duhigg also describes how Marines are trained to cultivate their "locus of control" to survive in combat instead of following orders literally. Fascinating stuff. And no, I do not know Mr. Duhigg. I suspect that sometimes people getting a divorce have a similar ability and need to question the authority of a spouse who has suddenly become a traitor to the marital partnership. I do settle a lot of cases. But I am also a divorce lawyer who litigates, likes it, and doesn't feel guilty about pursuing excellence in the exercise of that skill. So I have grown weary of the perjorative judgments from many mental health professionals and those professionals with licenses to practice law who express strong judgments that the divorcing client should only be influenced to go directly from point "A" to point "B" and not be assisted on any other path. Isn't life a little more complicated than that ? I for one do not consider myself qualified or authorized to act as an arm chair therapist or spiritual adviser. It is after all, in the language of the mental health professionals, a primary psycho social stressor.
New York residents who are considering a divorce may want to start by paying a visit to a financial planner. This can make a difference in the types of decisions made in the settlement. People who have not participated in handling the family finances might be in particular need of financial education. It is important that they understand the current state of the family finances as well as how their own finances will change after the marriage ends. They should not share a financial planner with their spouse even if they have done so during their marriage.
When couples go through a divorce in New York, one spouse might be ordered to make monthly alimony payments to the other spouse. Alimony is usually only a factor in divorces that involve one spouse who is at least partially supported by the other spouse. After the divorce, however, alimony obligations may have to be modified due to changes in the financial circumstances of the paying spouse.
Some New York residents who are in unhappy marriages in which finances are an issue may want to file for both divorce and for bankruptcy protection. Since these two separate types of cases can have major effects on one another, it is important for people to understand the appropriate filing order and timing to avoid problems.
New Yorkers getting divorced may have reason to breathe a sigh of relief following the passage of an early December 2015 alimony law by the State Legislature. Whereas the factors used to decide alimony awards formerly included issues like the individual incomes of the married couple and the duration of their marriage, the new law established income limits that are set to go into effect in late January.