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Buffalo Divorce Blog

Marriage, divorce and cohabitation agreements in New York

At the end of September 2019, Governor Andrew Cuomo and his longtime girlfriend, Sandra Lee, announced they were calling it quits. News of the breakup came on the heels of the couple's decision to sell their jointly-owned $2 million estate in New Castle, New York. While high-profile splits are always fodder in gossip columns and on social media, the Cuomo matter is instructive to unmarried couples who live together. 

While it is unclear whether Governor Cuomo and Ms. Lee had a cohabitation agreement, unmarried individuals often execute such agreements when they purchase property together. If you have a cohabitation agreement or ever think about drafting one, you should understand a few things about this type of contract. You should also realize the effect of a marriage or divorce on your cohabitation agreement. 

Make sure your New York prenup will stand in a divorce

Prenuptial agreements have become quite popular over the last few years. They help to set expectations from the beginning, and can aid in a smoother process, should a divorce occur.

However, certain stipulations in the agreement can cause it to be void in the eyes of New York courts. To prevent this, parties should include a few key elements in their prenuptial agreements.

How to help make your kids' lives easier during a divorce

Most children expect their parents to be in love forever. They want their family intact. Sadly, this isn't always in line with reality. Sometimes, as couples grow in their personal and professional lives, separation can be inevitable. People grow apart and that is a sad reality.

It is helpful for your kids to understand that they are not to blame for the decision to separate or file for a divorce. It helps them accept the decision and find ways to cope and move forward.

Breakups and divorce: Who gets the dog?

Divorcing the person that you thought you would spend the rest of your life together can prove highly emotional. However, once you remove your emotions from the equation, you need to work through untangling your assets and debts so you can move forward with your own life. While you may be able to divide some assets, such as, say, your home equity, without too much trouble, figuring out what to do with others, such as a shared family pet, can prove far more difficult.

Until recently, judges determining who gets to keep the family dog or pet in a divorce would typically view the pet in the same way he or she would other shared property, such as a motor vehicle or work of art. In recent years, though, many states have shifted how they handle pets in divorce, with many of them starting to view the pet more like they would a child, rather than an inanimate object.

Prenups for millennials increase

Divorce has been a constant presence in American society for decades now. It became much more socially accepted decades ago for couples to divorce. However, an interesting trend has developed in recent years, in which the divorce rate has begun to decline thanks, in part, to millennials. 

The reason for this decline appears to be the fact that many millennials marry when they are older. In the past, couples married in their late teens or early 20s. Now, most millennials do not marry until their late 20s or even 30s. While divorces have begun to drop, the rate at which married couples seek out prenuptial agreements has increased substantially. It appears millennials enter marriages knowing the risks, and they are more proactive about protecting themselves should the marriage end in divorce.

What to keep in mind when divorcing an addict

Living with addiction is never easy, especially when it is your spouse. When alcohol or drugs take hold, your partner can seem like a stranger whose actions you fear.

Deciding to move forward with divorcing an addict may seem like a simple solution, but in reality, divorce under any circumstance may be difficult. Divorcing an addict may throw another set of issues into the mix, especially when you still hold out hope for a turnaround.

Why a Facebook divorce is a really bad idea

If you are like most New Yorkers, you probably spend a good deal of time on Facebook and other social media platforms keeping up with your family and friends. If, however, a divorce looms in your future, now would be a good time to limit what you post online. Why? Because your posts could come back to haunt you in court.

Unfortunately, you do not have as much privacy on social media as you think. No matter how carefully you set your privacy settings, many more people can access your information than simply your friends and family. It may shock you to learn that as far back as 2010, two-thirds of divorce attorneys admitted that Facebook represented their best source to discover damaging evidence against their clients' spouses.

Drawbacks to the right of first refusal clause

If you have children and are going through a divorce, you probably understand the importance of having a well-drafted child custody agreement. After all, the agreement is likely to determine how both you and your ex-spouse parent your children. If you want to retain some control over who cares for your kids, you may want to consider adding a right of first refusal clause. 

Put simply, a right of first refusal clause requires a parent who cannot care for children during designated custodial time to offer the other parent the opportunity to care for them before hiring a sitter, asking family members or making other arrangements. While advantages of including a right of first refusal provisions in a custody agreement abound, some drawbacks exist. Here are four possible problems with this type of clause: 

4 facts about spousal maintenance in New York

When your marriage looks like it's coming to an end, there are a variety of issues to consider--property division, child custody, support payments and more. These issues can be overwhelming and often come down to a common factor--money.

If you have made the decision to get a divorce, you may be wondering how you will make ends meet financially. Now that divorce is imminent, it's a good idea to understand how maintenance (or, spousal support) works in New York. Let's take a look at four facts about spousal support.

Update your will and related documents post-divorce

You may have breathed a sigh of relief if you were among those who finalized their divorce in 2018 before the new tax laws went into effect.

However, there is still more to do. You must also be sure to revise your will and other estate planning documents to reflect the changes in your life post-divorce. 

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