It is that time of the year again-when we reflect on the year that was and look forward to new beginnings. We also resolve to be better people: help others, exercise more, eat better, stress less, save more are all popular. But what about your business?
Absent a prenuptial agreement to the contrary, everything accumulated during a marriage, with the exception of gifts from third parties, inheritances and personal injury awards, are considered marital property; title is not controlling. This includes all income from employment received during the marriage. Therefore, placing these monies into an account in your individual name will result in that account being considered marital property in the event of dissolution of the marriage.
In New York State, an action for divorce is started by filing a summons and complaint in the office of the county in which either party resides. The summons and complaint seek to alter the marital status of the parties and to have the Court determine appropriate ancillary relief, such as custody of and access to children, support for children, support for a spouse and the equitable distribution of property and debt.
The house is much too quiet. The last child has been dropped off at college and now you are finally free. Free to indulge in all the things you were putting off as part of your job as a full time parent. The laundry is now drastically reduced. The refrigerator doesn’t need to be replenished nearly as often as before. And you get your spouse all to yourself.
Prenuptial agreements used to be only for celebrities, but in the last few years they have become dramatically more common in the U.S., and now it’s quite ordinary for middle-class couples to ask for them.
The divorce process is stressful, costly and highly personal. Therefore, it is crucial that you hire the right attorney to help you. When considering what attorney to hire you should consider the following:
While some divorces can be contentious and high-conflict, many couples have simply grown apart and desire to leave their marriage as amicably as possible. However, even where spouses are in agreement on most or all of the terms of their post-marriage life, they are often left with the uncertainty of whether their intended agreement is permitted under New York State law. Therefore, one of the most common questions in an uncontested divorce is, “Are we allowed to agree to this?”
In many divorces, the most significant assets – even more so than the parties’ residence – are their pension and retirement accounts. It is not unusual in longer marriages that the parties may have 401K or similar plans totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars or a pension plan that will pay a significant monthly benefit upon retirement.
In order to maintain an action for divorce in New York, the plaintiff must meet New York’s residency requirements for filing. And if the plaintiff is seeking any “ancillary relief” (i.e. support, division of marital property, etc.), the court must also have personal jurisdiction over the defendant spouse.
Having a lot of options can be both a blessing and a curse. Often people who are at a difficult stage in their life due to an unhealthy or broken relationship prefer not to have many choices in order to try to simplify things. On the other hand, due to individual circumstances and needs, having flexibility can many times be an important factor as well.