Buffalo Divorce Blog

Todd Palin files for divorce

Sarah Palin came out of nowhere when senator John McCain chose her as his running mate during his 2008 presidential campaign. The former Governor of Alaska was something of a loose cannon and was famously known for “going rogue” because of her habit of going off message on the campaign trail. Palin and her husband Todd Palin also had a tumultuous relationship, which was likely a reflection or their chemistry as well as life in rough-and-tumble Alaska while raising five children together.

Challenging home life

Three sets of numbers mean a lot in a military divorce

Most military personnel are used to alphabet soups of acronyms, abbreviations and numbers. Their spouses, family and friends get used to them eventually. When trying to understand what a military divorce may mean to you and your family, you’re likely to encounter the expressions 10/10, 20/20/20 and 20/20/15.

Hopefully, there isn’t a lot of opportunity to memorize that jargon, since most service members and their families experience a military divorce only once. Here are some brief explanations of these expressions which, like so many blunt and simple military terms, can mean next to nothing some to people and the world to others.

Prenups are rarely ironclad

Robert De Niro is famous for his long and celebrated acting career thanks to such films as “Raging Bull,” “The Deer Hunter” and “Meet the Fockers.” Despite his fame, De Niro closely guards his privacy, so he is likely not happy that his wife of 20 years (1997-1999 and 2004-2019) is dragging their divorce through the press. De Niro’s attorney argues that the wife signed a prenup that entitles her to $500,000 in cash, $1 million in maintenance, a $6 million apartment as well as half the value of the couple’s New York City marital residence.

While this arrangement may seem generous, the wife’s legal team argues that the De Niro estate is currently worth an estimated $500 million and she wants half. The actor made 38 films since 2004, started 35 businesses including the Nobu sushi chain as well as a film production company and The Greenwich Hotel. This all adds up to an estimated $300 million in income. The actor’s team argues that the prenup signed by his wife protects much of those assets from being shared.

Mistakes new stepparents should avoid

A blended family offers a unique chance for love and happiness for spouses after one or both has gone through a divorce. Stepfamilies face different challenges from their previous marriages as they form a new family structure, which can include a new parent or newly-created siblings.

Every family will deal with the changes differently. However, when children are involved, spouses do not have equal relationships with kids or the parenting process. This new dynamic sets up a series of boundaries that stepparents should avoid.

Grey divorce has a more significant financial impact on women

Divorce rates overall have continued to fall for a variety of reasons. The notable exception is couples over the age of 50, whose demographic continues to grow. The reasons for these so-called “grey divorce” often involve couples growing apart over time, children moving out, or realizing that the second marriage was ill-advised.

While the circumstances of each divorce are unique to the relationship, financial experts now see a significant financial setback in living standards for couples in this demographic. Moreover, the wives are the ones who are the most affected financially with their standard of living going down by an average of 45%, which is more than double of their husbands’ average of 21%.

The do's and don'ts of marital property

Property division can be a serious point of contention when couples get divorced. Here in New York, marital property is divided in a fair and equitable manner while an individual's separate property remains theirs wholly. The wrinkle is that couples who bring their separate assets into the marriage often end up commingling them, which turns that house your spouse moved into or that car loan that was paid from a joint account into marital assets that are to be divided.

It takes some vigilance on the part of the couple, but there are some ways to protect those separate assets to ensure that they remain in sole possession of the original owner.

Does social media play a role in divorce cases?

In the last several years, social media has played a bigger and bigger role in divorce cases. With 68% of adults reporting they are Facebook users, three-quarters of those using the social media platform daily, it’s not surprising that for couples facing divorce, social media can complicate the situation.

Same-sex divorces pose unique challenges

Same-sex marriage has been the law of the land here in the United States since 2015, when the Supreme Court repealed the Defense of Marriage Act. Since then there have been an estimated 491,000 same-sex marriages. Many couples live happily together, but some encounter the same problems as their heterosexual counterparts, and their marriage subsequently ends in divorce.

While the marriage may have been a relatively new development for same-sex couples, many had been together for decades before the law changed. As with any long-term relationship, the separation process can be complicated, but more so if the relationship includes a short marriage.

Tips for dads building stronger connections with their kids

Father’s Day is almost here, so we thought it would be nice to share some thoughts on how dads can strengthen bonds with their children after divorce. Regardless of whether the process was acrimonious or amicable, it is a fact that dynamic has changed with parents living in separate homes.

Actions speak louder than words

What is separate property in a divorce?

A divorce can cause a lot of uncertainty. You may wonder about how much time you’ll be able to spend with your children, whether your retirement savings will be divided, how your property and assets will be split, whether you’ll be able to retain your marital home and much more.

Property division can be a complex issue in many divorces. Splitting one household into two can grow quickly contested as both spouses wish to retain their fair share. New York follows equitable distribution guidelines in splitting the property and assets of spouses, meaning that courts split all marital property equitably, or fairly. However, separate property remains separate. What do courts consider as separate property?

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Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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