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Buffalo Divorce Blog

Co-parenting considerations for summertime

When summer is in full swing, the days get longer and (hopefully) sunnier. This is usually a good thing, right? However, summer often poses challenges to some co-parenting plans. Even those plans that addressed summer may no longer work.

Schedules may very well have changed. Vacations may throw schedules off kilter. Perhaps the children have summer camps or other full-day enrichment programs that were not included in the overall scheme. Similarly, a parent may be off work during the summer and want the children during days that would normally be "off weeks" in joint custody situations.

Who gets to keep the cat (or dog) in a divorce in New York State?

Divorce is as much a part of current society as marriage - and even the friendliest of divorces can become incredibly complicated. In addition to the division of real estate, investment portfolios, personal property and debts, divorces now often involve custody of and access to the pets.

Many consider their pets an integral part of the family. During a divorce, it can be tough to decide who will keep the cat, dog or other family animal. If you and your spouse cannot agree on who gets to keep Fido or Fifi, here are a few of the guidelines that govern placement of a pet when a divorce occurs.

Child custody and co-parenting concerns in New York State

You and your spouse have decided it's time to file for divorce. Your main concern now is your children. You are relieved they won't have to see you and your spouse fighting any longer, but you worry about their adjustment to a new living situation and your parenting options.

As you consider the best way to co-parent - and what's best for your children - here are three important considerations. 

Filing for divorce in New York

The last few months have been tough. Over the Holidays, the constant bickering and fighting with your spouse put additional strain on your already rocky relationship. The calm of January may have lulled you into believing you were back on solid ground. But then the verbal blow-up at the restaurant over Valentine's Day dinner led to the big talk - that dreaded conversation about divorce.

The foundation of your family is crumbing. Both you and your spouse agree it will be best for everyone to file for divorce.

What you need to know about annulments in New York

Are you in a bad marriage and need to get out? Is it time to move forward with your life and strive for that "happily ever after" promised in fairy tales? If you're in a legally binding marriage, your path out is through divorce. If, however, your marriage was legally void or voidable from the outset, your road to freedom may be through annulment.

Unlike a divorce, which legally dissolves or ends a marriage, an annulment is legal recognition that a legitimate marriage never took place. Sure, there may have been a wedding ceremony, but the marriage itself was legally unsound and may be declared invalid from the beginning. If your marriage is annulled, it's almost as if your story has been re-written.

What to do if you lose health insurance coverage in divorce

If your health insurance comes through your spouse's employer, you should worry about health care coverage after divorce. You may even rethink untying the knot if you have significant health care needs - especially given all the uncertainty currently surrounding the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Although it's important to think through the financial consequences of divorce, you certainly shouldn't stay in an unhappy marriage solely for the health insurance. After all, that hardly seems healthy.

Equitable Distribution Doesn't Mean A 50/50 Split

When you married, both you and your spouse brought your own assets and debts into the marriage. Some call this non-marital property. New York deems these items as separate property and separate debts.

And through the course of the marriage, you and your spouse acquired other property - maybe a house, vehicle loans, televisions and entertainment equipment, etc. Marital property purchased or acquired after the date of marriage is put in a proverbial pot known as the marital estate. Debts acquired during the marriage are treated in the same manner as assets; they are part of the marital estate.

How to Make Visitation Schedules Work Over The Holiday Season

This holiday season, would you rather be trimming the tree with your children, or fighting with your ex about who will see the children and when? Arguments during the holidays are common and can destroy the holiday spirit for everyone. That may be one partner's plan all along. Think ahead from the time you initially separate to try to avoid unnecessary holiday-related stress and fights.

Common Holiday Visitation Problems

Problems often arise when parents cannot amicably follow the schedule already in place or when the separation is still fresh. One parent may want to see the children because family is in town or because it would be his or weekend but feel resentful that the other parent's holiday access takes precedence. If the holidays are especially important to one parent for cultural or religious reasons, not being able to visit with the children exactly when they would prefer can cause more stress and anger. One parent may try to get more holiday time or prevent the ex from getting their share of holiday time with the kids. 

What is the legal difference between separation and divorce?

Some couples are unsure if divorce is the right answer to their problems and want to legally separate to experience what it would be like to live apart before making a final decision. Other couples are sure they want a divorce, but would like a legal separation first because of financial or other benefits of a legal separation. Some couples also would like to live apart because religious or other reasons prevent them from getting a divorce.

What are the main differences between separation and divorce?

The differences between a legal separation and divorce are that you retain some of the legal benefits of marriage when you are separated but not divorced. With a legal separation, the following benefits still apply to you but do not in a divorce:

Why is DNA testing done in only some custody cases?

Whether you are going through a divorce, petitioning to modify a custody order, pursuing child support or establishing parentage, DNA testing is an effective way of removing all argument or doubt. Once paternity is established, the information can be used for visitation, adoption, inheritance, custody, health care and other relevant matters. 

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