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Lake Grove Family Law Blog

Addressing assets now may help with property division later

Though the idea of going through divorce may not be what many soon-to-marry or recently-married couples want to think about, it may be useful to do so. There can be many points of contention that come about during divorce, with property division being a major one. By planning ahead, New York residents could better protect themselves from such potential conflict, even if they never divorce.

When considering how assets should be divided during divorce, marital property is equitably distributed according to state law. This also means that any separate or nonmarital property will remain in sole possession of the original owner. However, there is a chance that some separate property could become marital property, such as commingling funds in a joint account.

Facing a high-asset divorce in Suffolk County, New York

Divorce can be an incredibly stressful time for any couple, but for a couple with a high net worth, the stakes are even higher. Especially when one of the partners has a higher net worth than the other, protecting assets can be a critical challenge. 

If you are facing a divorce and concerned that your assets are at risk, you should inform yourself about your rights under New York law. Here is some information for facing a high-asset divorce in Suffolk County.

Choosing where to live during divorce can be a hard decision

When going through the marriage dissolution process, the house may be a point of contention. Not only may it pose a conflict during property division proceedings, but it could also bring  up other questions during the divorce process as well. For instance, some New York residents may wonder whether they should remain in the home while the legal proceedings move forward.

First of all, individuals may want to remember that just because they choose to live outside the home during the divorce, it does not necessarily mean that they relinquish claim to the property. Nonetheless, some parties may feel that leaving the home, even for the time being, could be in their best interests. In the long run, maintaining a home on a single income can prove to be more of a challenge than many individuals suspect.

Divorce is not unusual, but each New York case is unique

Each person's life has distinct aspects, and though many people may wind up in similar scenarios, each situation is different. Divorce in particular is one type of event that numerous couples go through, but each person faces different challenges, decisions, positives and negatives. This means that many individuals may benefit from considering their specific circumstances when it comes time to make divorce-related choices.

As mentioned, numerous people go through divorce. In New York, the population of divorced people makes up 8.7 percent of the statewide population. In particular, the city of Hudson has the highest divorce rate of the entire state. That city holds nearly double the state rate with 16.7 percent of the population having gone through the marriage dissolution process.

It is difficult to know what to expect with divorce

For many New York residents, it may take time before they come to terms with the fact that their marriages are no longer working. They may want to studiously avoid thinking about their marital issues, but before long, it may get to a point at which they feel divorce is the best option. Of course, ending a marriage is no easy task, and many individuals may need to understand its potential difficulty.

First of all, parties may want to consider the length of time it will take to go through the necessary legal proceedings. Certainly, specific details of the case will impact its duration, but most commonly, cases face unexpected twists and turns. If there is disagreement when it comes to each decision, individuals may want to expect a long process.

Divorce, property division could negatively affect businesses

New York business owners know that even a seemingly small issue could cause considerable problems within a company. Even personal issues among co-owners or business partners could negatively impact the business. In particular, when a person goes through divorce and property division proceedings, business assets and interests could be at risk.

If a business has more than one owner, having an owners' agreement in place may prove useful. Even if the co-owners are spouses, having written agreements may help avoid issues. This agreement could detail what may happen in the event that a person goes through divorce, and for spouses who are co-owners, this agreement could go hand-in-hand with a prenuptial agreement that helps them address what should happen to each person's interests in the business. 

Using "nuptials" to deter cheating

One way that some couples try to deter one or both of them from cheating is the use of a prenuptial agreement or a postnuptial agreement. For example, a prenuptial might state that Spouse A is due $200,000 if Spouse B cheats and the marriage has to end. If there is no such stipulation in a prenuptial, a couple could decide to write a postnuptial agreement. This can be especially common if one spouse does cheat during the marriage.

In one regard, such an agreement gives the spouse who cheats a way to show how serious he or she is about committing to the marriage. By signing the agreement, the spouse acknowledges the financial consequences that may come if he or she cheats again. All that said, there can be some problems with using "nuptial" agreements to deter cheating.

Fear of embarrassment may have parties delaying divorce

Deciding on the best time to end a marriage is no easy task. Many New York residents have different reasons for choosing the timing of their divorce filings. However, certain fears may be keeping individuals together longer than they perhaps should be or want to be. Rather than attempting to move toward a happier future, some parties may let feelings of possible fear and embarrassment hold them back.

Feelings of failure are not uncommon when it comes to divorce. Numerous individuals may think that if they had tried harder or found the right solution, their marriage would have been successful. However, that is not always how these situations work. For many people, leaving an unhappy or unhealthy relationship can actually act as a beneficial turning point rather than a mark of failure or indicate that the people themselves are failures.

Emotional abuse may have New York residents considering divorce

When a person is in an abusive relationship, he or she may feel trapped. Unfortunately, many individuals have a difficult time escaping abuse, and finding the best way to do so can prove tricky. In some cases, New York residents may consider filing for divorce in order to remove themselves from the hostile environment.

Though many people may think that physical abuse often causes individuals to feel that relationships are toxic, emotional abuse can cause unhealthy relationships as well. This type of abuse can come in many forms, such as constantly facing blame. If a person is continually blamed by his or her spouse for issues ranging from insignificant to major, he or she may be facing emotional abuse. Even for issues that a person has no control over, an emotionally-abusive spouse may place unnecessary blame on that individual.

Retirement accounts need extra attention during property division

The time has come to inventory assets and work toward finding the best possible outcomes for dividing those assets in divorce. Many New York residents have likely dreaded this part of the legal process, but property division is usually necessary when marital relationships end. Over the years, numerous items and accounts were likely accumulated, and knowing how to divvy up those assets may not always be easy.

In cases of retirement accounts, some parties may wonder whether they can even be divided. Though these funds are typically provided by an individual's employer and remain in one spouse's name, they are not exempt from property division in divorce. However, because of protective measures placed on retirement accounts, certain documents will need to be completed in order for the division to take place properly.

We can help. email or call (631) 615-1724 to schedule a free consultation today.

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Divorce: a Practical Guide

Divorce: A Practical Guide

Attorney Jusino’s new book on divorce is an easy read and full of valuable information. Learn More