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.
There's no sugar coating it: divorce is often complex and almost always painful. You and your ex are likely harboring ill feelings toward one another, but you've still got to hash out issues of child support, custody and property division. Things can get contentious quickly, and that's why a divorce attorney can be an invaluable asset. Your attorney has been through the process before and will know how to prepare you. He or she will also fight for you to ensure your interests are represented.
When you have spent a life with someone, there may be many reasons why only one spouse has been accruing a substantial retirement plan and the other has not. Perhaps one of you stayed home to raise the children or took care of the house or even still, one spouse ran a family business while the other held down a nine to five job.
There are times when divorces go smoothly. Collaboration can occur and the whole process can begin and end with minimal headaches and no ill-will. However, there are also numerous reasons why mediation and collaboration between the two parties cannot work well and when litigation is necessary to successfully divide property.
Even if you and your partner never planned on getting married, that doesn't mean you would never live a life nearly identical to that of a married couple. Maybe you co-own the home you both lived in. Or perhaps you have children together. Like married couples, if you haven't prepared for the potential dissolution of the relationship, you may find yourself having a difficult time logistically following a breakup. Also, if your partner dies, it would benefit you to have an estate plan in place since you won't be the default beneficiary.
Sometimes, it seems we Americans love to create our celebrity idols in order to tear them down. Gossip magazines and websites thrive on spreading rumors about the personal lives of Hollywood celebrities and politicians. Of course, divorce is always a popular topic of speculation, with the most famous celebrity couples seemingly always on the brink of separation.
In a modern marriage, it is common for both spouses to work outside the home and contribute to the household income roughly equally. But this is not true in every marriage. Some couples have one spouse work as a homemaker and primary child-raiser, while the other spouse earns the money. In other households, both spouses earn an income, but one may have a higher-paying job and earn the lion’s share of the dough.
For most divorcing couples who own their home, what to do with that house can be one of the most important decisions they make. Often, one spouse will want to keep the house, especially if he or she has custody of the children. But doing so is not as easy as it may seem.
In any divorce, it is important to know as much about your household’s finances as possible. In many marriages, one spouse handles money matters solo; this prevent many people from filing for divorce, because they feel like they are going into it blind.
In an update to a case we last discussed on Aug. 14, actor Terrence Howard has convinced the court to throw out his divorce settlement. The judge ruled that Howard's former wife used blackmail to coerce him into signing the settlement, invalidating the deal.