couple with masks

COVID-19 has presented practically all New York residents with economic and social challenges. Schools and nonessential businesses that cannot operate online remain closed, which means that divorced couples with children are facing parenting challenges that they could not have anticipated at the time of separation. Below is an overview of some general do’s and don’ts…

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money bill with face mask

Last month, the New York unemployment rate went up to 14.5%, taking it to its highest level since the Great Depression. According to the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), it was the biggest monthly drop in employment numbers on record. Nationally, the April unemployment rate was 14.7% (compared to 4.1% in March), mostly…

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employees talking

Even when your divorce is expected, you’re going to struggle with intense feelings like anger, depression, and heartbreak. It’s hard, and maintaining your usual high performance can be difficult, especially if your divorce is contested and you’re facing weeks or months of litigation. Although you are not legally required to tell your boss about the…

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security clearance stamp

There are many occupations that require you to have a security clearance. They include positions in the military and government, weapons manufacturing, software and aerospace engineering, and more. When you work in one of these industries or are planning to seek a job there, you may be worried that bankruptcy will jeopardize your career prospects.…

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mom and daughter arguing

After your divorce, the court awarded joint legal custody of your six-year-old daughter to you and your ex. It was agreed that your former spouse would have sole physical custody while your daughter visited you every other weekend and had one weekday overnight on Wednesday nights. This arrangement worked for nearly ten years. Now your…

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moving furniture

You’ve been in financial trouble since your divorce, so you moved to New York State to live with your parents. Although the reduction in living expenses helped, there’s no way you will be able to make a dent in all those credit card and medical bills before your creditors finally take legal action. You decide…

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health insurance card

One of the biggest questions that arises in the wake of a New York divorce is: how long can you stay on your former spouse’s health insurance? If you are a stay at home parent or don’t qualify for health coverage under your current employer, then you’re likely to be worried about this issue. In…

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domestic violence threat

Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo confirmed that there has been an increase in reported domestic violence incidents across New York during the pandemic. According to his office, there was a 15% increase in March and a 30% increase in April. It is clear that the lockdowns and shelter in place orders have had a detrimental…

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mother daughter piggybank

When you file for bankruptcy, you may be worried about bank accounts belonging to your minor children. For children under 18, most financial institutions require a parent or guardian to be an additional account holder, so does this mean that your Chapter 7 trustee could seize it and distribute the money to creditors? The answer…

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graph down

If you start or own a business while married, then the value of that enterprise is generally taken into account when you divorce, barring a prenuptial agreement that dictates otherwise. If you owned the business while still single, then any appreciation in value can be treated as a marital asset, while a business started while…

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bar

The coronavirus pandemic has had a serious impact on small businesses all over New York. Those in non-essential industries have had to transition their operations online or close down. Restaurants and other foodservice businesses have converted to take-out or delivery only, which may allow them to remain afloat but forces them to lay off a…

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woman with mask and wallet

With over 187,000 reported cases and more than 19,000 deaths, New York City continues to be an epicenter for the novel coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing remains in place, and non-essential businesses that can’t operate online remain closed. If you worked at one of these businesses, you’re probably worried about your financial situation. Below is an…

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teenage boy videochatting

How do you usually celebrate Mother’s Day with the kids? Do you and your daughter(s) plan a day at the spa? Do you enjoy a leisurely brunch or a day trip out of New York? Unfortunately, due to the unprecedented social distancing measures in place, these options are off the table this year, but that…

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money transfer

Although you won’t be able to actually file for divorce until the courts re-open, you know that your marriage is over, and it’s only a matter of time before everything that characterized your married life changes. This could include where you live and how much time you spend with the kids. It will definitely include…

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technicians workers with masks

On April 13, 2020, CNN reported that New York State had more coronavirus patients than any other country in the world (except for the U.S.). As of April 11, 2020, the total number of reported cases was 181,026, which surpassed the numbers reported in Spain (161,852) and Italy (152,271). Many New York employers who could…

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courthouse building

A case gets to Integrated Domestic Violence Court (IDV Court) if the same parties or the same family has a case in family court for an order of protection plus a matrimonial case, a criminal case, or both, in the same county and the main issue in each case is domestic violence. One of the…

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family and house illustration

Parents who have separated face the challenge of protecting their child during COVID-19, while also trying to facilitate visitation. Custodial parents may have safety concerns about their child when they are with the other parent, or the non-custodial parent, especially if that parent is an essential worker and could be exposed to COVID-19. The issue…

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judge

IDV stands for, “Integrated Domestic Violence,” and there are special IDV courts or “parts” that hear these cases. IDV courts hear cases when one family has a criminal court case along with a family court case, a matrimonial case, or both in the same county, and the central issue in the cases is domestic violence.…

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ambulance hospital

On March 25, a 51-year-old man who worked at a suburban Chicago Walmart died from coronavirus. On April 6, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the store, claiming that it had failed to warn the deceased and other employees that their co-workers had COVID-19 symptoms. (Incidentally, another employee died from coronavirus complications four…

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power of attorney

A power of attorney is a legal document that gives the person who you select the authority to act on your behalf. The person who is selected becomes the agent, and the person on whose behalf they are acting is called the principal. A person should have a power of attorney because it allows the…

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notary stamp

If during the COVID-19 pandemic, you need a notary, then the document will have to be E-notarized, meaning Electronically Notarized. There are a few steps that must be done before the document can be E-notarized. First, you need to find a notary who is able to set up a video conference and have electronic capabilities.…

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doctor and nurse with document

An advanced health care directive is a legal document that allows you to state how health care decisions will be made for you when you are not able to do so yourself. In New York State, there are three types—a health care proxy, a living will, and a do not resuscitate order or DNR. It…

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students taking exam

The New York State Bar Exam is only offered twice every year, in February and in July, on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of those months.  The exam dates can be found on the New York State Board of Law Examiners website. This year the New York State Bar Exam was originally scheduled for July…

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payroll text, bills on forklift

The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, is a loan for businesses. The business can either be for profit or not for profit, and it has to meet the size requirements of the Small Business Administration. In order to qualify for the loan, the business must have been operational as of February 15, 2020, with no…

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money bag and crops

If a small business qualifies for an EIDL, then it can also qualify for an EIDL Grant of up to $10,000, which will be given as an advance on the loan. One must submit an application for the EIDL Loan, and the deadline to submit the application is December 31, 2020. You can get a…

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grant application

COVID-19 has impacted many businesses financially. Luckily, there are many programs out there that are helping businesses provided the business meets the requirements of the loan or grant it is applying for. One company that is offering a small business grant and credits for advertising is Facebook. Facebook is giving cash grants to 30,000 small…

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gavel and computer

On April 18, 2020, the First Department Appellate Division indicated that it will hear cases virtually via Skype, unless there is a subsequent change, in a New York Law Journal article. It will commence “holding May and June special terms that will include oral arguments via Skype, and electronic calendaring of appeals and motions.” The…

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people with masks

When New York on PAUSE took effect on March 22, it affected thousands of businesses and their employees. All companies offering non-essential services were subjected to a mandatory closure, and workers whose jobs could not be transitioned online were laid off indefinitely. Consequently, businesses like hairstyling salons, theaters, gyms, and clothing stores have been shuttered…

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virus particle

Due to this unprecedented health crisis, many New Yorkers are struggling to take care of their families and make ends meet with a diminished income. Sometimes, the financial challenges are so great that you may be wondering whether bankruptcy can lighten the burden. While bankruptcy will make sense for many people, it doesn’t have to…

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divorce on paper, paper heart

A divorce can be a tough, emotional, and challenging process, especially when some of the factors involved are minor children, property, pensions, and businesses. It is important to speak with an attorney before starting a divorce action, so you are aware of your rights and what you are entitled to or possibly entitled to from…

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judge and gavel

This question is difficult to answer during the current COVID-19 situation. Everyone feels that their case is important, and as such, they should be able to see a judge and get some relief or assistance now. But, right now, the court is only hearing a list of cases, which are deemed to be essential cases.…

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bronx county courthouse

Starting this Monday, April 13, 2020, the Bronx County Supreme Court matrimonial part(s) will resume hearing its matrimonial cases. Currently, there are three Matrimonial Parts located within the Bronx Supreme Court, and these parts are presided over by Judge Alpert, Judge Gouldbourne, and Judge McShan, who is transitioning to another division, and Judge Martin. Judge…

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caution wet floor sign

You’re shopping at your local grocery store when you slip and fall in puddled water that the owner should have known about and cleaned up earlier. Your injuries include a fractured wrist and severe bruising that makes it nearly impossible to do more than shuffle. When someone else’s recklessness or negligent actions cause you to…

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man video chat with computer and puppets

If there is a final court order on visitation, then the non-custodial parent or the parent who is supposed to receive the visitation can go to the nearest police precinct to have the police facilitate the visitation as per the court order.  If there is no order of protection or anything else preventing the non-custodial…

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money bag coins and gavel

If the parties reached a voluntary agreement regarding child support payments where the payor pays a certain amount each week, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly and the payor failed to comply with the agreement, then the payee can file a child support petition seeking court-ordered child support. Additionally, the parent can request for the child support…

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hospital room

The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has affected thousands of people across the globe. Despite the social distancing and quarantine measures, the number of cases in New York continues to go up. On March 28, CNN reported that one-third of the country’s reported cases are in the state. Despite the seriousness of the situation, not…

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scales of jutsice books

If you have a personal injury case in progress, you may be wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect your case. Will it drag on for additional weeks or even months? Could it be put on hold indefinitely? While an indefinite holding pattern is unlikely, increased demand for medical services and amended operating hours for…

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medical bill and checkboook

If there are no medical bills involved in your case, can you file a personal injury claim? In general, the answer is no. For a personal injury case to be valid, you need to establish who was negligent and what damages you suffered as a result of their actions or omissions. To satisfy the latter…

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virus cells

If you were thinking about filing for bankruptcy before the coronavirus pandemic took hold or have a case in progress, then you might be wondering how the social distancing and quarantine protocols currently in place will affect the outcome. Can you still file? Is your case on hold indefinitely? What is going on? Are the…

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people in face mask illustration

The quarantine imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have had a detrimental impact on already troubled marriages. Divorce rates are going up, which shows that couples who previously enjoyed ample time apart have not reacted well to long hours under the same roof. In Xi’an, China, divorce requests multiplied so fast that appointment slots…

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warehouse workers

When Amazon opened its first New York City warehouse in September 2018, it was hailed as a major economic boost. With over 350,000 full-time employees across the globe and a lot more working part-time or seasonally, Amazon is a leading and high-profile employer. For those who work in a warehouse, a typical day involves a…

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texting and driving

According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 1,000 injured in accidents involving distracted drivers every day in the U.S.  Like many states, New York has strict laws about using handheld devices while driving, but people keep sending and reading texts when they should have their eyes on the road. When a distracted driver crashes…

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Many people move to the United States to marry an American fiance(e), join family members, accept a job offer, or invest in a business. While a lot of these newcomers eventually become U.S. citizens, others choose to maintain permanent resident (green card holder) status. Although legal permanent residents cannot vote in U.S. elections or remain…

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coronavirus

When the court orders a custody and parenting time schedule, it typically meets the needs of everyone’s present circumstances. But what if an emergency–in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic–makes that arrangement unsustainable? What if you feel that it’s not safe for the kids to travel to visit their other parent? Although everyone’s situation is unique…

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Your spouse always handled the household finances while you focused on managing the home and being a primary caregiver for the children, but now you’re in the process of divorce. To your shock, a review of marital bank accounts and other financial holdings has revealed that the person you once trusted so much gambled away…

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inventory binder

When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are required to surrender any nonexempt property to your trustee, who could then sell it and distribute the proceeds among your creditors. Therefore, many people worry that the trustee may come to their home to inventory everything, distressing the family, and catching the attention of neighbors. While…

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tired man driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that in 2013, drowsy driving contributed to 72,000 collisions that killed 800 people and left 44,000 others injured. It’s an extreme outcome that is, unfortunately, not surprising. Various sleep studies have shown that when you drive after 24 hours without sleep, it is the equivalent of driving with…

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woman baby kid in park

Like every other state, New York requires parents to support their children, which is why child support orders are an essential part of every divorce settlement agreement. These orders are intended to address everyone’s needs at the time Still, if you or your former spouse experiences a significant change in circumstances later, like remarriage and…

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quill

Anyone who files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York will have to include a form called a Statement of Intention, which is used to provide the following information to your creditors, trustee, and the court: Which debts are secured by collateral (secured) How you plan to address your secured debts Although the automatic stay…

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calculator book

When you are injured in a car crash in New York, your insurance provider will cover your basic economic losses in accordance with the state’s “No Fault” insurance law. If you sustained serious injuries (e.g., fractures or permanent loss of a body part) or your medical bills exceed $50,000, then you can sue the other…

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soldiers

In New York state, noncustodial parents are required to support their child financially until they turn 21 or become emancipated. In the latter circumstance, the child is treated legally as an adult instead of a minor, which means that: They can make decisions and act on them without parental consent They can sign contracts and…

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money transfer

Some debtors who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy try to minimize their losses by paying back preferred creditors like friends and family and transferring property that’s not likely to be protected by a bankruptcy exemption. When this happens, the bankruptcy trustee has the legal authority to undo these transactions and claim the money and property…

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student and hundred dollar bills

A recent Businesswire article stated that 44 million Americans owe student loan debt. If you are one of them and you file for divorce in New York, then who is responsible for paying it off? It actually depends on when you took out the loans. If you received them in your name while you were…

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crowd of people illustration

You will always be grateful to your brother for stepping in when you started struggling financially a year ago. He loaned you $5,000 to stay afloat after you lost your job. Now, months later, you still haven’t found a position that covers more than your basic living expenses, and you’re thinking about filing Chapter 7…

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carpool sign on road

Carpooling has been hailed as a convenient and environmentally-friendly way for employees to travel to work. Consequently, many companies across New York have been offering carpool incentive programs that connect workers who live near one another and enable them to enjoy a less-stressful commute. Carpools, however, are like any other form of travel in that…

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piggy bank

Rising costs of living and years spent pursuing post-secondary education have resulted in many children living with their parents well past the age of 18. When families are intact, they can work together to reach a financial understanding, but when the parents are divorced, it raises questions about child support. In New York State, you…

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woman holding papers

When you file for bankruptcy in New York, the majority of your creditors will file a claim in order to receive any proceeds from the bankruptcy estate. Although not all of them may receive anything, filing their claim provides information about your debt and increases the likelihood that they will receive something if your trustee…

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poor great credit score scale

While money issues are a leading cause of marital breakdown, they can also make it hard to start over after a divorce. In fact, an estimated 15% of couples choose to legally separate instead of divorce due to concerns over the damaging effect that dissolution can have on your income, expenses, and credit score. There’s…

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debt collection letter

When you file for bankruptcy in New York, your debts will become creditor claims. Under bankruptcy law, they are divided into two categories: secured vs. unsecured and, within the latter, priority vs. non-priority. These distinctions dictate which ones get paid first and which ones get paid at all. What are secured claims? Secured debts are…

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headache concept

While it’s not unusual to experience headaches after a car crash, chronic pain that persists after a few months is a cause for concern. Some people report ongoing and disabling headaches for years, which can affect their quality of life and even prevent them from maintaining gainful employment. If you are having chronic headaches, it…

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restaurant valentine's day

You may not have cared much about Valentine’s Day in the past. All those throwaway cards, overpriced roses, and less-than-spectacular chocolate may have struck you as flagrant consumerism more than anyone else. Now that you’re divorced, your feelings may be different, because Valentine’s Day is now a reminder that you’re alone, with no one to…

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gavel

Between 2006 and 2017, there were nearly 13 million consumer bankruptcies filed. Of these, 68% were Chapter 7 filings, while 32% opted for Chapter 13. Chapter 13 has certain advantages: if you have a lot of property that you don’t want to lose in a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy, then it lets you repay your…

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man on phone car crash

According to the New York Department of Health, between 2012 and 2014, an average of 1,098 people were killed in accidents on state roads per year. There were also approximately 12,093 hospitalizations and 136,913 emergency department visits per year. New York State law requires all cars registered in the state to carry the following minimum…

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When you file for Chapter 7 in New York, your trustee is tasked with administering all of the property in your bankruptcy estate. Anything of value that is not covered by an exemption is typically seized and sold so the proceeds can be paid out to your creditors. Sometimes, however, the trustee abandons a piece…

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mand and woman signing contract

No engaged couple likes to think that their upcoming marriage may not last. You may worry about offending your fiance(e) by suggesting a prenuptial agreement, but if you own a business, it may be worth it to risk hard feelings in order to protect the company’s future. The hard reality is that a contentious divorce…

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car crash exam

When you’re injured in a car accident, a key issue in recovering damages is identifying who is at fault. Depending on where the collision occurred, a court may determine fault according to the rules of contributory or comparative negligence. What is contributory negligence? The doctrine of contributory negligence prohibits you from recovering damages if you…

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check and pen

When you’re a stay-at-home parent or only work part-time, filing for divorce can be more stressful than normal. When you have little to no income, how can you afford a divorce attorney who will ensure that you get your fair share of the marital estate and, if necessary, spousal maintenance until you’re on stronger ground…

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2019 and 2020 wooden blocks

Last September, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau released the latest quarterly consumer credit trends report. This document, whose primary purpose is to track how the frequency and types of bankruptcy filings have varied since 2001, also examines issues like: BAPCA effect on the frequency of Chapter 7 filings Discharge rates for Chapter 7 bankruptcies vs.…

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snow on car

New Yorkers have enjoyed a comparatively mild winter so far, but we are now heading into a season well-known for sudden and fierce ice storms. In January 1998, a now-famous storm devastated northern New York and New England from January 5-9, leaving roads impassable and causing an estimated 40 deaths. Another one gripped the Northeastern…

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pension investigation

When you file for divorce in New York, all property acquired while you were married is subject to an equitable division and distribution. This includes real estate, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, and, to the surprise of some couples, pension benefits earned while you and your spouse were still together. If you are divorcing on amicable…

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capital building

Veterans of the U. S. military sometimes struggle financially after they return from active duty.    Physical and/or emotional injuries (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2018 an estimated 41% of Gulf War-era veterans had a disability related to their service) or a personal crisis like divorce can make it impossible for them to…

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person sitting on bed Insomnia concept

After you’ve been injured in a car accident, your healthcare providers will likely advise you to rest often and get plenty of sleep, but what can you do if it takes you hours to doze off or, even worse, you can’t sleep at all? Instead, you stare at the ceiling until daylight, awake but physically…

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QDRO qualified domestics relations order text

QDRO is an acronym for “qualified domestic relations order.” If you file for divorce in New York and one spouse has a retirement plan through their workplace, a QDRO provides the other spouse with the right to receive a specified percentage of the payable benefits. A QDRO can be applied to various types of retirement…

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car bluetooth control buttons

Distracted driving has long been a concern for New York lawmakers. In 2001, it became the first state to ban handheld phones use while driving, and in 2009 a law was passed that prohibited texting and driving. Under New York’s current law, using your cellphone while driving is strictly prohibited. Anyone who uses their phone…

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debt coins

A third quarter report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data found that in the third quarter of last year, overall household debt jumped 0.7% to $13.95 trillion. Nominally speaking, this total exceeds the previous peak of $12.68 trillion, which was reported in the third quarter of 2008. The report…

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group spinning class

Liability waivers have become such a routine part of using recreational facilities that we automatically assume that they’re valid. Even if we are injured after using gym equipment or taking a cycling class, we believe that we aren’t entitled to compensation and fail to determine whether that is really the case. This is what the…

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delivery person

When the holiday season begins, many retailers and shipping companies hire seasonal help. Last month United Parcel Service (UPS) hired 100,000 temporary workers to handle an anticipated 32 million packages a day. The activity rate at this time of year goes up by an estimated 60%, so seasonal help is an essential part of making…

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gift card

Luxury retailer Barneys, which recently filed for bankruptcy, outraged loyal customers when it declared that after November 7, store gift cards could no longer be used. One of them, who was now out $100, griped to the New York Post, “This is theft.” It’s a situation that has made New York shoppers justifiably nervous. Gift…

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christmas lights

The holiday season in New York involves a lot of decorating, cooking, gift exchanges, and overall good cheer. It can also involve some injuries that include falling while setting up the Christmas tree, burns from electrical equipment or candles, stepping on broken ornaments, and slipping on icy walkways leading to your house or apartment building.…

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video chat visitation

For many people, divorce leads to long-distance parenting. According to the National Center for State Courts, nearly one-quarter of the nearly 18 million children of divorce have a parent living in another city. In addition, an estimated 75% of single mothers will move at least once within four years after divorce or separation. As a…

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man and woman shopping with Christmas lights

Most of us have a tendency to overspend during the holiday season, even when we’re months behind on our credit card payments and other bills. Although you want your loved ones to have a memorable Christmas morning, excessive spending during the months leading up to bankruptcy can cause serious problems for your case. If you…

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holiday shopping

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been divorced: the holidays can be a challenge, especially when you have kids who are enthusiastic about the latest iPhone or video game. As the last week of December draws closer, the financial and emotional pressure can be considerable. Fortunately, there are ways that you can give your kids…

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cancdle window hat

During the holiday season, candle use surges in New York households. There’s something especially festive about a flickering taper combined with the scent of vanilla, apple cider, gingerbread, and that perennial favorite, evergreen. No wonder stores like Bath and Body Works are filled to capacity throughout December! Unfortunately, candle use has also led to tragedy.…

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smartphone

If you’ve owned a smartphone for long, then you know that there’s an app for practically everything, and post-divorce holiday shopping is not an exception. Buying gifts for friends and family can be fun, but there are a couple of downsides: you’re likely on a budget and when you’re buying for the kids, you want…

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