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White Plains Divorce Law Blog

What is a cost of living adjustment and how is it applied?

There have been many changes in society in New York over the years and things continue to change. These changes are often seen in technology, which seems to be changing all the time. These technological advances can completely change life and lifestyles even over the course of just a decade. There are also other common changes as well and one of those is that the cost of living continues to go upward. Various products and services continue to become more expensive as the years pass.

This means that people need more money in order to keep the same lifestyles as the cost of living continues to grow. Therefore, people can request cost of living adjustments to their child support orders. These are basically increases in child support that correspond to the increases in the cost of living in the area.

Is mediation the right solution for your divorce?

Mediation is often an attractive decision for couples who are still on fairly amicable terms. During mediation, both parties will meet with an attorney who is there to help them reach an agreement. In this process, the attorney remains completely neutral and does not advise either party. The idea behind mediation is that each side will work together to come up with a solution. This way, you can avoid unnecessary conflicts, legal fees and stress on your family. However, mediation may not always be the best decision for every situation. 

Confidentiality of the divorce mediation process

When divorces start in New York, the couple can be in very different places in terms of their willingness to accept the process. They also may be in different places in terms of how they would like to resolve the divorce. Especially early on when emotions are running high, people may want to fight everything and not give the other one anything. However, most likely that will not happen and whether a judge orders it or the parties agree, both sides will most likely concede something.

So, it can be beneficial to the parties to at least attempt to negotiate and resolve at least some of the issues on their own. This may be difficult to do though when the parties are simply having discussions between themselves or between attorneys. Couples may be able to reach agreements through divorce mediation. This is a process when the couple meets with a neutral third-party mediator who will facilitate discussions between the spouses.

Real estate mogul divorcing from his wife of 12 years

Many marriages in New York end in divorce each year. The length of the marriage as well as the circumstances of the marriage vary greatly though. Some couples have children while others do not, or the children are adults when the couple divorces. Some own real property and others do not. Some have investment accounts and others do not. Some also own businesses while others do not. Then there are marriages that have a combination of some of the things listed and not others.

Each divorce is going to be unique based on the circumstances of the marriage and some divorces can be more complicated than others. Often times couples with many assets have more complicated divorces though because the divorces involve using many different professionals to simply value the couple's assets.

Grandparents rights for visitation and custody of grandchildren

Family dynamics vary from family to family in New York. Sometimes two parents are married and raise their children together, sometimes parents are not married, but still raise their children together. Other times parents are not together or are divorced and have child custody arrangements. Sometimes a single parent raises the child because the other parent has passed away or was never in the child's life. Other times grandparents or other relatives raise the children because both parents are unable or unwilling to do so.

Biological mothers generally automatically have custody of their children when they are born and fathers usually gain custody either because they are married at the time the child is born or have paternity and custody established at a later time. These two are the most common custody arrangements but, as stated above, biological parents do not always end up raising their children by themselves. Sometimes grandparents play a big role in the upbringing of the children.

Parents must pay for health insurance separate from child support

Children in New York have many needs and parents are expected to pay for these needs while their children are in their care. These needs include food, shelter and clothing, but children also have health needs as well. They may need to go to the doctor for physicals and other routine procedures. Sometimes they unfortunately need more than that done and may require surgeries and other procedures which can be very costly for the family. However, these are costs that the parents must pay for as well.

When parents are divorced, many times child support orders are in place to ensure that both parents are contributing to all these costs. The basic child support only is meant to pay for the basics of food, clothing and shelter though. The basic child support payment is not designed to pay for the additional health costs. So, judges can also order one parent to carry health insurance for the children. Health insurance includes health, dental and optical insurance.

Collaborative divorce can be faster and cheaper than litigation

When people in New York go through the divorce process, they generally have different emotions. There could be sadness, anger, regret, anxiety about the future and other emotions as well. While going through these emotions the people involved also need to make some very important decisions as the parties go through the divorce process. They must separate one shared life into two separate lives and that is not always an easy process, especially when the couple has children they will continue to raise.

Naturally there will be some disagreements during this process. People usually do not agree on everything and as the couple can be going through a number of emotions during the process, sometimes these disagreements can be very contentious. However, even the most contentious disagreements will be resolved by the end of every divorce. The couple will either reach agreements themselves or eventually have a judge decide for them through litigation.

How 401(k) accounts are divided in a divorce

Throughout a marriage in New York a couple may acquire many different assets. The longer the couple is married, the more assets they can acquire. The assets can come in many different forms as well. The couple may have multiple properties, have large retirement accounts, investment accounts, vehicles, collectables, businesses and other assets. If the couple divorces, the assets that the couple acquires during the marriage will need to be divided.

This can be a complicated process, especially in high asset divorces. This is because not only does the couple have a large number of assets, as stated above, they come in many different forms and each type of asset requires different procedures to divide them. For example real estate must be appraised to determine the value before the couple can divide the asset. Also, other types of assets require special procedures to divide them like retirement accounts such as a 401(k).

Custody and visitation are two different decisions

Raising children in New York can be an adventure. There are many issues that arise while parents raise their children and the different stages of a child's life result in different complications. However, there are two main things that parents do for their children. There are decisions that need to be made and parents also need to spend time with their children. The decisions include medical decisions, deciding where children will go to school and many other decisions. The other main thing is spending time with the children which can include many, many different activities.

These aspects of parenting are important whether the parents are together or not. However, when parents separate, which parent makes the decisions and when each parent see their children are usually determined by child custody orders. There are two different aspects of a custody order. There is the custody determination which states which parent will make the decisions for the children and the visitation determination states when each parent will see the children.

Should you try a "nesting" divorce?

When you get divorced, your children may have trouble adapting to switching between two households. Moving between two homes can be disruptive for your children's social lives and emotional well-being.

Some families try a unique strategy calling a "nesting" divorce at first to give their family the most stable environment possible. It might be a good way to help your children cope immediately after your separation.

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