Perhaps the most complicated and, potentially, difficult part of most divorce cases in New York State is splitting up the couple’s assets. This includes the furniture and the record collection, but more importantly the couple must split up their bank accounts, real estate and similarly valuable items.
Untangling the financial aspects of a marriage can be very difficult. While divorce is a complicated process that can hardly be summed up in a brief blog post, there are a few major mistakes than can be highlighted — and thus avoided — in just a few words.
Much has been made in the last several years about the phenomenon of "gray divorce." It is true that the divorce rate among people age 50 and older has noticeably increased. Many of these divorces stem from a second or third marriage after an initial one has ended in divorce. With so many divorces, it might seem that not getting married in the first place might help to eliminate many of these divorces.
When a substantial amount of money is at stake, a divorce case can easily get contentious in a hurry. The process of property division is always a tricky one, but when one or both members of a divorcing New York couple have a sizeable income, then things can get heated.
During many baby boomers’ childhoods, divorce was something that rarely happened. When couples married, they did so with the expectation that the husband would work and earn money, and the wife would take care of the home and children. Even if the couple was willing to risk the social stigma that came with divorce, it would be difficult to imagine how each spouse could survive without the other. So couples remained married, for better or for worse.
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.
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.
As we discussed in our previous family law blog post, the IRS has significant time and opportunity to audit the tax filings of divorced couples. Depending on what is suspected or found in your finances, the statute of limitations for audits could be extended indefinitely. So how do you protect yourself if you have been wrongly accused of tax fraud?