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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 Things to Do ASAP When Your Spouse Wants a Divorce

Posted On: August 18, 2020

This article gives some good advice.  The very first thing someone facing a divorce should do is finding or hiring a good attorney.  I would recommend that you hire a good collaborative attorney.  It is always better to go through the collaborative method which approaches divorce from a holistic perspective of helping you and your family survive the dissolution of your marriage, both financially and emotionally.  It requires full disclosure and transparency as the law requires.  You will work with a team of professionals to help you through that process.

The other good tips in this article include monitoring your credit report, taking an inventory of all your assets and liabilities, and do what is necessary, depending upon your circumstances with respect to protecting your financial future.

Selected photo courtesy of 4 PM production/Shutterstock.com.  Selected linked article courtesy of Emmet Pierce, MoneyTalksNews.

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This Is How Many Years the Average Couple Makes It Before Getting Divorced

Posted On: September 29, 2020

Statistics tell us more than 50% of marriages end in divorce, and 7 years tends to be the magic number for the average length of a couple making it before divorcing.  Obviously the first year is the honeymoon phase.  At about 4 years, tensions tend to arise and by year 7, couples are either in a fight or flee mode, where they will find a way to deal with the tensions and move their relationship forward or decide that a dissolution is where they are heading. 

Multiple studies clearly indicate communication is crucial and misunderstanding left unattended grows into resentment and contempt.  A couple really needs to decide whether they are going to work through their difficulties and make the relationship work.  You have to be willing to spend the time to work at your relationship.  Kindness, good communication and respect for one another are vital.

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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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Getting Divorced Cost This Woman Nearly $1 Million In Retirement Savings — How To Avoid Her Fate

Posted On: September 22, 2020

Michelle Buonincontri lost about $1,000,000 of her retirement savings because she did not understand the difference between separate property and what became marital property.  She used the home that was originally her own home to help an ailing parent.  However, when it came time to divorce, that entire home, notwithstanding how it was utilized to finance her parents medical needs, was considered marital property and her husband was entitled to his equitable share of same.  Once again this drives home the importance of not only understanding the difference between separate property and marital property and commingling what may have been separate into marital (that can occur consciously or not) but the need for either a Prenuptial Agreement or an Agreement that specifies with respect to certain items that you do not ever want to become marital, such as business assets as well as private or separate property that was accrued prior to the marriage.

Selected excerpt(s) and linked article courtesy of Market Watch.  Selected picture courtesy of Michelle Buonincontri.

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9 Unexpected Things That Show a Marriage Won’t Last Long

Posted On: February 26, 2020

Most people despite the harsh realties are looking for the fairytale romantic relationship where you fall in love at first sight or that you find your soulmate and are looking for a relationship that lasts a lifetime.  The harsh reality is that is the rare exception rather than the rule. 

It has long been a statistic that more than half of marriages end in divorce and in some areas those statistics are higher.  In Europe it has been shown that in the last 50 years people have divorced 2 ½ times more often and get married 2 times less often.

Whether you are married legally or in a committed long term relationship, if dissolution of the relationship is a reality, using the Collaborative process for either a divorce or the dissolution of a significant relationship is vital and a much more holistic approach, no matter what your geographical location is.  Further the courts will not get involved with the dissolution of a romantic partnership that is not a legal marriage.  

There is scientific data and research that has been done on foreseeing whether divorce is a possibility in a relationship  and nine most distinctive factors. 

This first factor I find is a humorous one.  They basically did a study of people’s photographs from college and were able to determine by the amount of the impact of their smile or gloom of their photo, the rate of divorce for those people.  The study showed that people who look gloomy in their photos were divorced five times more often than those who smiled. 

This also held true for people with respect to the emotional tone of their voice and the commitment to what they are saying.  So, it’s not only what you say but how you say it 😊  

This article had some interesting points on what to look for in your relationship and factors that can contribute to an early termination.

Selected excerpt(s), photo and linked article courtesy of anton7788, Chowhound.

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