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Family Court

Common law marriage in New York

living together in hosue concept

New York abolished common-law marriage in 1933, and other states soon followed suit. Today, only a dozen or so states recognize common-law relationships. They include Texas, Utah, Montana, and Rhode Island. This division raises some important family law questions. If you and your spouse had an officially-recognized common-law marriage in Texas (for example), and you…

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Valentine’s Day after divorce

valentines day shirt - proud to be single

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and for the first time in years, you’ll be single. You try to tell yourself that it doesn’t matter, that the entire day is just an overblown social ritual, yet you suspect that you will be either buying a ticket for the Anti-Valentine’s Party in Brooklyn or avoiding…

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Mental illness and divorce in New York

mental illness head concept

Although New York still recognizes fault-based divorces, it differs from states like Georgia, Mississippi, and Texas in that incurable mental illness is not one of the accepted grounds. When one spouse’s mental health condition causes them to behave erratically and aggressively toward their family, the other spouse typically cites extreme cruelty, which is grounds for…

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How divorce or separation can affect your taxes

woman with taxes tablet calculator

If you were separated or divorced in 2018, then there will be certain tax implications, the most basic of which is your filing status. If you are separated but have not received a final divorce or legal separation decree, then you are considered married for the entire year for tax purposes and must file as:…

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If you can’t say anything nice…

woman quiet concept

While some divorces are amicable and involve couples that are committing to treating each other fairly, others wouldn’t be out of place in an old Roman Coliseum. Both spouses are angry and determined to include a pound or two of flesh in the property distribution agreement. Venting is a common byproduct of this hostility. Although…

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How to reduce holiday shopping stress as a single parent

presents for family under tree

If you’re a newly divorced single parent, then the holidays can be more stressful than usual. You have to coordinate the holiday visitation schedule with your former spouse, plan your traditional Christmas dinner, and buy gifts for everyone. If the divorce left you with a lower household income than last year, then you might be…

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A virtual Christmas with the kids

holiday lamp and hat

What’s worse than not having the kids for Christmas? Not having them AND being out of the state or even the country over the holidays. Thanks to an increasingly mobile workforce, this scenario will be a reality for many divorced parents this season. It’s not a happy prospect, but remember one thing: the technological advances…

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When should children testify in family law proceedings?

gavel and figurines

When custody disputes occur, New York judges attempt to resolve the matter without putting the child in the position of having to choose between their parents. In some cases, however, input from the child may be necessary to give the court the information it needs to make the best decision, so a “Lincoln hearing” will…

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Who owes MasterCard? Debts in a New York divorce

credit card

When you and your spouse decide to divorce, you expect that all marital assets will be divided according to New York’s equitable distribution system. But what about the MasterCard bill you ran up together? The line of credit you took out a few years ago that is now at its limit? The student loan you…

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YouTube: Your best friend after divorce

film reel informational

Before divorce, your spouse may have been the one who balanced the household budget, trimmed the hedges, and fixed the occasional leaky faucet. Now that you’re single again, well-meaning friends are probably sending you the contact information for their favorite accountant, landscaper, or handy person. If you’re like most people after divorce, you’ve prepared a…

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Virtual visitation in child custody cases

video chat with child

Thanks to global trade expansion and an increasingly mobile workforce, more divorced parents are relocating to new cities, states, and even countries. According to the National Center for State Courts, nearly 35 million children in the U.S. have divorced or unmarried parents and approximately 25% of them have a parent that lives in a different…

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Apps for co-parenting? They exist!

various apps

Technology is often blamed for situations leading to divorce: social media addiction, flirtation on Tinder, and other gadget-based rudeness and infidelity have all been cited as reasons for relationship breakdown. There are times, however, when technology makes your life easier, especially after divorce. The co-parenting apps listed below all make it easier for you and…

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How to make your kids feel more secure during divorce

mother hugs son

When their parents divorce, children often wonder what went wrong and whether or not they might be to blame. These anxious and confused feelings are heightened when one parent moves out, splitting the household and causing them to see that parent less often. Although there is no way to ease the pain of divorce completely,…

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Tips for single parents going back to school

father children toys working

Children are not the only ones who experience back-to-school excitement and jitters. Divorced parents do too, especially if they have been a stay-at-home mother or father for years and need to brush up on their skills before looking for a job. As the workforce and employer expectations change, many people go back to school to…

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Establishing paternity in New York

DNA for paternity concept

Fatherhood includes certain obligations and rights. Once a child’s paternity is established, the father has the right to see him or her and be actively involved in his or her life. Even if he elects not to do so, then he still has both a moral and legal obligation to support the child. When a…

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Ways that a criminal record can affect your child custody case

court

It’s common knowledge that a criminal record can have a detrimental effect on your life. Not only are there immediate penalties such as significant fines and possible incarceration, but you also face long-term complications such as restricted employment options, loss of access to public benefits, and even challenges when you seek custody of your children.…

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Four tips for summer parenting time

As the last day of school before summer break approaches, we feel a more pressing need to confirm vacation plans for the summer. For divorced parents who have agreed to establish their own vacation schedule, this can be as difficult as it is exciting. We would love to take the kids to Disney World in…

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Child support arrears

Parents are obligated to support their children even if their relationship comes to an end. When this happens, the typical arrangement is that the non-custodial parent pays child support to the parent who retains primary custody, with the amount calculated to cover the children’s needs and help them enjoy a lifestyle similar to the one…

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Four tips for summer parenting time

mother and child

As the last day of school before summer break approaches, we feel a more pressing need to confirm vacation plans for the summer. For divorced parents who have agreed to establish their own vacation schedule, this can be as difficult as it is exciting. We would love to take the kids to Disney World in…

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Bankruptcy and child support

money bill

Imagine this scenario. Your ex has been ordered to pay you child support after your New York divorce, and she does—approximately half the time. As the months pass, many payments are missed and the amount of back child support due to you increases. Then you find out that she has just filed for bankruptcy to…

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Who will provide health insurance for my children after divorce?

divorce and health insurance

When you and your spouse divorce, most situations that you maintained as a family unit will have to be restructured. These include living arrangements, finances, and even health insurance, the latter of which is a special concern if you have children. Technically speaking, medical insurance counts as a form of child support. Making it available…

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Where do gifts fit into New York divorce settlements?

marital property - gifts

When divorcing spouses divide assets, gifts often become a subject of dispute, especially if they are valuable ones. Under New York law, gifts to either spouse from a third party (e.g. a friend or family member) are the separate property of the recipient, but there are ways that they can become part of the marital…

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Hidden assets during divorce

divorce assets

When two parties divorce, the ideal scenario is for both spouses to agree to a fair and equitable division of marital assets. That’s not always the way it happens, however. Spouses have been known to hide assets from each other in order to avoid having to share them. This is often the case when one…

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How to appear in Bronx Family Court telephonically

family court appearance

Sometimes circumstances leave you unable to attend your upcoming appearance date in Bronx Family Court. Perhaps you now live in a different state or even country, or an emergency has come up, forcing you to be out of New York when court is in session. Provided your absence is for a valid reason, you may…

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How to minimize stress for kids during divorce

stress of divorce

Once the decision is made to end your marriage, you’ll likely feel a powerful surge of emotions: grief, anger, sadness, maybe even relief. Chances are that your children are feeling just as strongly about the way their lives are about to change. How a child will react to the news of parental separation will vary,…

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