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Divorce in New York: Tips for a Successful Transition

Divorce is difficult, but these tips can help ease the process.

Although a divorce will likely be difficult, some basic tips can help increase the odds of a more successful proceeding:

  • Logic. As divorce counseling experts recently stated in an article in the Huffington Post, divorce is an "emotional rollercoaster." Although it is healthy to take note of feelings of anger, frustration and sadness it is also important to take a step back from these emotions during the actual divorce proceeding. Emotions are not considered by the Court in making financial awards, and should not be the basis of a party's position.
  • Finances. Aside from issues involving children, the next most important parts of a split is the property division determination. It is important that logic, not emotions, fuel this portion of the divorce. It is important to provide accurate financial information regarding income and debts while carefully reviewing information provided by a spouse. Watch for inaccuracies or missing accounts. A recent article in Forbes notes that spouses still attempt to hide assets and income. Not only are these practices unethical, they are also illegal. Some red flags include a spouse that maintains complete control over financial affairs and bank accounts, starts taking large amounts of debt or claims his or her business is suddenly failing.
  • Taxes. In conjunction with finances, it is also important to keep taxes in mind. Divorces generally impact taxes. This can include penalties or fees for transfers of assets like investments or property.

In addition to these tips, it is also helpful to have a basic understanding of the laws governing the divorce process.

Divorce law in New York

One notable feature of New York state law regarding divorce is the equitable distribution law. This law requires any judge that is involved in the property division determination decision to split the property as "fairly" as possible. One of the first steps involves separating the property into two categories: marital and separate. Marital property includes everything acquired during the marriage, this includes purchases, income and employment benefits. This category is split between the spouses. Separate property includes assets owned prior to the marriage as well as inheritance or gifts obtained during the marriage (as long as they are kept separate) and personal injury proceeds. Separate property is not divided during a divorce. As a result, the categorization is extremely important. This is particularly true for retirement assets and stock options.

Navigating through this process is difficult and is just one of the many issues that may arise during a divorce. Those who are going through a divorce are wise to seek the counsel of an experienced property division lawyer. Your lawyer will review the details of your situation and work to better ensure a more favorable divorce settlement.

Keywords: divorce property division