The Latest News Divorce

Marriage Law Basics: What are the 9 Types of Divorce?

Posted On: July 01, 2019

While this particular article does not address the specifics for a New York divorce (there is no Summary Divorce and no Arbitration for divorce in NY), it does outline the nine different types of divorce, depending upon how complicated the situation is.

Contested & Uncontested:  To obtain a divorce you must commence a lawsuit or "action" against your spouse for divorce.  If that action moves forward where the spouse or "parties" fight over every issue that must be decided in a divorce (distribution of marital assets, child custody and visitation, etc.), then this is a contested divorce.  An uncontested divorce is where the parties settle their lawsuit, or even better, use alternative methods wherein they reach an agreement on all issues before they even file for their divorce, and then these parties DO NOT step into the courthouse...instead their paperwork goes to court.

What are the alternative methods?

Mediation is a process in which an impartial third party meets with a couple to help them reach a mutual and informed agreement for the terms of their separation and/or divorce.  https://www.spiriolaw.com/Practice-Areas/Divorce-Mediation-Long-Island

In the Collaborative Process the attorneys and parties agree that they will not go to Court and will instead focus their energies on settlement. The parties can therefore control certain aspects of their divorce or dissolution, such as the cost and the timing.  https://www.spiriolaw.com/Practice-Areas/Collaborative-Law-Attorney-Long-Island

New York is now a No-Fault Divorce state, which means you do not have to allege or prove fault grounds in your action to obtain a divorce.

Finally, same sex marriage is now legal nationwide and divorce is governed by state law.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of PRFIRE.


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6 Things Wealthy People Do To Protect Their Money When They Get Married

Posted On: July 08, 2019

How to protect your money before marriage...

First, you want to protect individual assets and income, especially if there are multiple streams of income.  This may include income as a result of a family trust, gifts and/or inheritances or separate incomes from different business ventures.  This principle also applies to your non-high net worth individuals that may have multiple sources of income, whether it be from more than one business or a passive stream of income or individual separate property.

Meeting with a Financial Planner is also highly recommended so that you have an understanding of what you want to accomplish with respect to your Estate Planning.  It will also give a perspective with respect to tax consequences based upon your decisions.  After you have sorted out most of these issues, the most important next step is to consider doing a Prenuptial Agreement or a "Prenup".  This legal contract between the parties before they marry sets forth how they intend to hold and divide property that becomes marital and what properties they intend to keep separate and for which their soon to be spouse will have no future claim.  Because this is a contract between two parties, each party should be represented by independent counsel, so that each party's best interests are represented.  In addition to securing and identifying income and assets and how they will be effective by a possible future divorce, it is also important to consider if one of the parties is giving up a career in order to raise a family.  If that is the case, then the Agreement should also take into consideration whether that person is entitled to and should have financial support in the form of maintenance, which is equivalent to spousal support - and for what period of time that support should exist in the event of a divorce.

Another point most couples do not consider in planning for the future and protecting against a possible divorce is what happens to the debt that is acquired during the course of the marriage, or if a party is coming into a marriage with substantial debt...that is something that also should be addressed in a Prenup.

As for celebrities or persons of notoriety who live in the public eye, there are other considerations to ensure with respect to that person's public reputation and the effects that a scandal of a divorce could have.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Sarah Wells, Business Insider, and pitbull2013 via Compfight cc.

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People Who Are Still Married To Their High School Sweethearts Are Sharing Marriage Advice, And It's Too Wholesome

Posted On: September 24, 2019

If you’re planning for your marriage to last long-term, here are some tips from people who married their high school sweethearts...and have stayed married!

• Expect and give each other time and space to grow and change
• Honest and open communication
• Support your partner in public and hold criticism and any argument until you’re in private
• The little things matter...saying thank you and please...paying attention to each other’s needs...asking how was your day, listening to the answer and sharing each other’s day and concerns
• Having true down time together to stay connected
• Practice forgiveness
• Know when to let things slide...choose when and if to complain
• Truly respect and trust each other and if you don't have that, maybe it’s time to figure out why
• No matter how long you are a couple, recognize you are not one single person...you each will have different interests and it’s ok to explore them alone
• Pick and chose your battles, never argue with personal attacks, communicate and embrace compromise AND NEVER go to bed angry
• Support each other and always have each other’s back...stick with each other and stick up for each other
• Be best friends
• Try and get along, or at least respect the in-laws...do not impose a separation or distance with family unless your partner creates that for themselves

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Allie Hayes of Buzzfeed.  Pic courtesy of Pixar.

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7 Expert-Backed Reasons Why You Should Get Married After 30

Posted On: June 03, 2019

Approximately 50% of all marriages end in divorce. Today’s generation generally appears less interested in marriage, and for those getting married, they are choosing to getting married later. Gone are the days of people marrying in their early 20s. According to the most recent estimates, the average age of first marriage is now late 20s. Most people only start to get an idea of who they really are and what is important to them some time after 25. It is easier to find a relationship that will last if you know yourself better.

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What Exactly is a “Family” Lawyer?

Posted On: May 19, 2014

It might seem as if the term “family lawyer” would be used to describe an attorney who works for everyone in a family or a person who is a member of your family and happens to work as an attorney. Though these scenarios are possible, the term “family lawyer” is actually someone who specializes in family law. The field of family law relates to topics including divorce, custody, visitation rights, spousal and child support, division of assets in divorce, protection from abuse, and paternity issues.

Many family lawyers choose their field because they want to work with the “human side” of the law. It can be extremely challenging to practice family law because attorneys must connect with and support their clients during very emotional times in life. Family lawyers see people at their best and worst, and help these people transition through some of the most challenging phases of life. Despite its challenges, most family lawyers find a great deal of emotional reward in their work.

What Makes a Good Family Lawyer?
Like all attorneys, some family lawyers are more talented and successful than their peers. The best family lawyers have top-notch skills when it comes to negotiation and litigation. They must be good at time management and understand interpersonal communication. In addition to legal counsel, family lawyers often provide emotional support during a client’s most challenging life events. It also helps if a family attorney has an understanding of financial and real estate laws, though most attorneys have a network of expert resources at their disposal when questions arise.

As families continue to evolve, the practice of family law also changes. This includes handling the issues of same sex unions and their resulting families, for which the traditional legal system is still adjusting. Trends in the field of family law also include mediation and collaborative law, a practice that helps couples divorce and legally separate without traditional litigation. A family law attorney’s role is different in cases where collaborative law is used, as opposed to litigation. In some cases, the lawyer might even act as a mediator and work for both partners, as opposed to representing one or the other. It is important to find an attorney that you are comfortable with but has training in these areas. More divorce attorneys are representing that they will follow a collaborative approach but do not truly understand the dynamics nor have they been trained in this discipline.

Nearly 50% of all first marriages end in divorce. The odds are even greater for second and third marriages. Approximately 40% of all couples in the United States are step couples. The ongoing making and breaking of families creates complicated family ties and creates a need for legal protection as things change. Family lawyers provide the guidance and support these changing families need.

Have questions about Family Law or need help in this area, then feel free contact attorney SPIRIO at 631-277-8844.

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These Are The Biggest Money Surprises When You Get Divorced

Posted On: May 06, 2019

Unfortunately, this article is correct.  There are many unforeseen and unexpected financial impacts to a dissolution of a marriage.  You should not only be cautious of capital gains implications when selling a marital home, but if the marital home is being transferred to one party, it is important to do a title search to make sure there are no Judgments and Liens, and the party is truly getting the equity that is believed to be the consideration for the transfer in equitable distribution. 

There should be no tax on the equitable distribution of certain assets, but as this article indicates, depending on cost basis and capital gains, significant tax impact consequence could be incurred.  Another good point that this article makes is the true impact of the cost of children.  Child support, although a statutory creature, only covers room and board, which obviously does not cover the myriad of expenses in raising a child, not to mention how those costs increase as the child ages and the ultimate cost of a college education. 

In addition, now that there is no deduction or tax write-off for maintenance, the tax implications are even greater and more must be considered in negotiating a settlement with respect to the tax implications and impact on the parties. 

It is very important to have a skilled attorney and tax expert review your dissolution so you know exactly what you are getting and the tax implications of your decisions.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Chris Taylor, Considerable.com

Concetta Spirio: A compassionate and aggressive lawyer providing the highest level of legal representation for over 30 years.

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The Benefits of Mediation and Collaborative Mediation and the Differences between the Two

Posted On: July 18, 2014

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is quickly becoming one of the most popular methods for resolving legal disputes. Instead of pursuing a lengthy trial that is expensive and can result in an outcome with which nobody is happy, ADR offers more efficient options for settling disputes. One of the more common ADR methods is mediation.

What is Mediation?
Mediation is a way to settle a dispute without litigation. It involves the disputing parties and a neutral third-party mediator. Often, disputes are settled in as little as a single mediation session, which might last only a few hours. Disputing parties have complete control of the resolution and the mediator is there only to ensure the resolution is legal and that the parties use effective communication and remain focused on resolution. Essentially, the mediator facilitates discussion so disputing parties can resolve a problem. If disputing parties believe they will need additional support during the mediating process, they have the option of choosing collaborative mediation. Like basic mediation, this process is efficient and keeps the control in the hands of the disputing parties, but it provides them with the support of a team of experts that offer counsel during the process. Each party can have his or her own legal representation, and other professional experts might also play a role in the process, including those familiar with financial, psychological, or real estate issues.

What are the Benefits of Collaborative Mediation?
In general, mediation is beneficial because it saves time and money. Collaborative mediation offers these benefits, but it is a better solution when cases are complex or when disputing parties are uncomfortable making legal decisions without sufficient resources. Collaborative mediation is solution oriented with the party’s needs and desires dictating a resolution. Although the parties may be represented by attorneys this is not an adversarial process but again a solution oriented process. For instance, if decisions are to be made during mediation about splitting marital property and the mediator is not an expert in real estate law, collaborative mediation allows an attorney or a real estate expert to provide information during the mediation process. Collaborative mediation is especially helpful during divorce proceedings because there are so many sensitive issues at play. Approximately 40% of divorcing couples are parents and just as concerned about the well-being of their children, as they are for their own. As parents you will always be connected in some fashion to the father or mother of your children. Both Mediation and Collaborative mediation help salvage a working relationship between the parties and provide the tools to go forward in the future. Divorce proceedings include a variety of issues and having expert advice from various fields helps make the decision-making process easier. According to Divorce Magazine, the average length of divorce proceedings is one year. Mediation can shorten this transition period, making it possible for families to move forward and begin their new lives. If you are involved in a legal dispute and you believe traditional litigation will do more harm than good, mediation is an option. Collaborative mediation provides a way to settle a dispute efficiently, but without the uncertainty you might feel using basic mediation.

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We Divorced - And Our Family Thrived

Posted On: May 07, 2019

How do you get through a divorce and have your “family” survive?  More people have begun to understand that divorce does not have to be a total destruction of a family.  There is a better way.  Navigating your divorce through mediation or the collaborative process is the first step which leads to a future that mends the family.  Collaborative divorce gives a family the additional support to make choices that will benefit everyone.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of Wendy Smith Baruc, Mother.ly

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