One of the most complicated aspects of many New York divorces is the process of dividing up a couple’s joint property. While many believe that this entails only the division of bank accounts, real estate, retirement savings and other assets, there is one additional aspect of property division that can be very challenging: dividing up debt. More couples are struggling with this task today, after the economic recession and resulting financial rollercoaster of the past few years.
One of the most daunting aspects of the divorce process is figuring out how to divide up your assets and debts, and ultimately make the transition from one joint-income to two single-income households. It can be a complicated process, to be sure. But if you take a few steps to evaluate and look after your finances prior to and during divorce, you can start your new single life in good financial health.
Whether you have millions in assets or significant debt (or are somewhere in between), determining how to divide up your financial portfolio can be one of the most complicated parts of your divorce. The process can become more complex when you or your spouse have assets that are difficult to appraise and evaluate, such as stock options and restricted stock.
According to recent data from the New York State Department of Health, there were 58,792 divorces and annulments in the state in 2012. This is a 17 percent increase from 2009, when just over 50,000 marriages ended. For many, that jump is not a surprise. In 2009, New York and the country were in the throes of the worst recession in recent history, which caused home values to plummet and layoffs to skyrocket.
With less than a month to go until the tax filing deadline, many Erie County residents are already hard at work on their 2014 tax returns. Those who were divorced during 2013 will find themselves with a new box to check. Instead of “Married Filing Jointly” or “Married Filing Separately,” they will now check “Single” or “Head of Household.”
It is no surprise that the number of divorce filings made in Buffalo and across the United States increases during the first few months of the year. With the new year comes New Year’s resolutions and, often, ending a bad marriage is first on that list.