Patrick M. Noe, Jr., Attorney at Law

Patrick M. Noe, Jr. Attorney at Law

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Williamsville New York Family Law Blog

Is your soon-to-be ex entitled to your stock options or bonus?

There are a variety of factors that make for contentious divorce negotiations. Conversations over child custody or support, alimony and property division often get heated. Williamsville judges often consider each spouses' income and their compensation structure when making awards.

If you receive a standard salary, then negotiating a settlement in your divorce will be easier than it will be if you're paid using a variable compensation plan.

Divorce negotiation may lead to a less hostile divorce

You and your spouse have had a hard time seeing eye to eye in many aspects of your lives, which is partly why you are getting divorced. You look forward to finally getting on with your own life. At the same time, you wonder how hostile the process will be for you both.

The good news is that your divorce process does not have to be an acrimonious one. Instead, if both parties can find common ground during informal negotiations, you can resolve your issues outside of court. Let us take a look at how divorce negotiations work in New York.

Co-parenting after divorce takes being on the same page

When New York couples separate or divorce, they often face a number of hurdles in their quests to successfully move on to the next stages of their lives. One of those hurdles is putting together a child custody arrangement that respects the children's need to have a warm and constructive relationship with both of their parents. That may take quite a bit of sorting out. However, the story doesn't end when the child custody arrangement is established and approved by a judge. It just begins there, with the next chapter being about co-parenting successfully, especially if one or both members of the original couple remarry.

When a remarriage happens, there can be serious jealously issues. A father may feel that he is being replaced by his former partner's new husband, or a mother may feel that she is being replaced by her former partner's new wife. Those feelings are real, and need to be talked about by those involved, so they don't wind up having an adverse effect on the children.

Stay at home parents should plan divorces carefully

Some New York couples have one marital partner pursue their career while the other marital partner devotes their time to being a stay-at-home parent.

When a divorce happens, it is important for the stay-at-home parent to understand the family's finances, so that they can be assured the fair and equitable property division that New York law requires. There are several good ways for the stay-at-home parent to get that understanding, allowing them to navigate the financial aspects of their divorce successfully. Here are some recommendations if you're that spouse:

Divorce peacefully for everyone's sake

Many couples in Williamsville and other areas of New York stay happily married for decades. For other couples, however, their love stories end in divorce. Fortunately, divorce does not have to be acrimonious. While the divorcing couple is naturally going to have their issues with each other, they can still proceed with the divorce in a constructive manner. Here are some ways to do so.

1. First, set aside blaming the other person.

Grounds for divorce in New York

When New York couples divorce, they do so for many personal reasons. Those reasons can include affairs (also called infidelity or adultery) or long periods of separation within the marriage due to extended business trips by one marital partner. Other reasons may include an incompatibility about how to rear their children, manage their budget or keep their home. In addition to those personal reasons, couples pursuing a divorce typically reference specific grounds for the divorce in their paperwork.

Grounds for divorce are legally accepted reasons for splitting. One such reason for divorce is an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship. This is the basis for a no-fault divorce. To claim it, the couple should be able to demonstrate that the marriage has been, in practice, over for six months or more. They should also have clear understandings in place about the apportionment of any debt incurred by either party before or during the marriage, how property accrued during the marriage will be divided and how the custody and the support of the couple's children will be handled.

Both sides must play by the rules in divorce

Like most New York parents, one of your highest priorities in life is your children's best interests. This became a central focus when you decided to divorce. The good news is that most kids are adaptable, and with love and support from both parents, they can come to terms with the situation and move on. However, you may not be able to resolve other types of problem issues as easily. For instance, what if you suspect your spouse is not being forthright when it comes to marital assets?

New York is an equitable property state, which means the judge overseeing your divorce will determine a fair split of all property, assets and liabilities that you acquired during marriage. Such division can only be fair if both parties are being honest about what they own. If you think your spouse isn't, you'll want to investigate and perhaps seek the court's intervention.

Child custody options after a divorce

When New York parents divorce, the single most important thing they can do is work out a parenting plan that focuses on what's best for the kids. That often means that the couple needs to be mature enough to let the best interests of the children supersede the personal conflicts between the two spouses. If they do that, they can ensure that the children continue to have healthy relationships with both of their parents as well as with their extended families on both sides.

The parenting plan should address the form of child custody called physical custody, also called residential custody. Physical custody deals with where the children will live and for what periods of each week or month.

Many things affect alimony awards

When New York couples who were once in love decide to end their marriage, there's more at stake than just their shattered personal relationship. The division of the property and money they have is also a major factor to resolve. One part of that resolution is deciding who gets the house, who gets the cars and who gets the stock portfolio and the money in the bank.

Additionally, there may be an award of spousal support, also referred to as alimony or maintenance. Temporary maintenance, essentially payments to cover the lesser-earning person's living expenses, are often awarded when the two former marital partners part ways but have not yet finalized their divorce. That temporary maintenance can be a way of making sure that the lesser-earning person is all right during the period between the separation and the divorce.

Joint custody can work with the right steps

Divorce can be arduous, with two people who took solemn vows to be partners for life becoming adversaries instead. However, even if there are issues to work out over property and money, the most important area in which the two people should work things out is the arrangements for the care of their children. That is especially true if, by mutual agreement or court order, they are going to have joint custody of the children. Joint custody can work out very well if both parents commit to making that happen.

One of the keys to joint custody success is communication. Both parents have to keep track of their children's schedules and know where their children are, who they are with and what they are doing at all times. The parents also need to let each other know about any problems that their children have, including physical, social and personal problems.

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Patrick M. Noe, Jr.
1301 North Forest Road, Suite 2
Williamsville, NY 14221

Phone: 716-803-8741
Fax: 716-565-1575
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