Buffalo Divorce Blog

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Same-sex marriage has been the law of the land here in the United States since 2015, when the Supreme Court repealed the Defense of Marriage Act.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?

7 common financial mistakes when filing divorce

Financial experts see certain mistakes time and again when working with someone going through a divorce. The saddest part is that these are often the doing of the spouse. Some mistakes can be fixed during or after the divorce, but others cannot.

According to finance experts, common mistakes that make the process more difficult and expensive include:

Using cryptocurrency to hide cash

Digital currencies or cryptocurrency have been around since 2009, with Bitcoin being the most popular of a pool that includes thousands of others. While they have surged in popularity, critics worry about the unregulated nature of these markets. Essentially cash stored in the digital format that lives online and is traded on an encrypted blockchain, the concept is a simple one that can nonetheless be challenging to value or divide during divorce, and very tempting to use for hiding money.

Not so fast

Mental illness will impact child custody agreements

Determining child custody is a major concern whenever parents divorce and may even lead to litigation. In determining custody, the judge will weigh several factors to arrive at a decision that he or she regards as the best interests of the children. Because May is Mental Health Month, we thought it would be helpful to share some insight into the court’s thinking on awarding custody when a parent is wrestling with mental illness.

The courts generally favor joint custody because family experts believe that it is in the best interests of the children to have both parents involved. It gets more complicated if a parent is dealing with a bipolar disorder, depression or addiction. However, it is a mistake to try and keep this health issue a secret until after the custody and parenting plan is finalized.

Court rules that both IVF twins are citizens

In vitro fertilization is used by more and more families. Its benefits include enabling same-sex families to start families with biological children rather than adoption. It also helps male-female couples who have trouble conceiving.

The former example was the case when two men living in Canada celebrated the birth of twin sons in 2016. One father was a U.S. citizen, and the other was Israeli. The couple opted to move to the United States to be closer to family and start a new job. The wrinkle was that the twin boys carried by the same surrogate using the same egg donor were fertilized individually, so one is the biological son of one father, and the other was the biological son of the other father.

Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos file for divorce

News of Jeff and MacKenzie’s split ricocheted around the internet last January. Worth an estimated $137 billion, the world’s richest couple split up after 25 years of marriage. To the surprise of many, there was no prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The couple’s home state of Washington dictates that marital assets are divided 50-50 under the community law rule, so MacKenzie stood to get half of the Amazon CEO’s stock, ownership of the Washington Post as well as land and other assets.

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