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Oneida County Divorce Law Blog

How many workers get defined pension plans?

It used to be quite common for private sector workers to get defined pension plans that allowed them to retire and know that they were financially secure. After putting in enough years for the company, they knew that the company would take care of them after retirement.

Just how common was it? In the early 1980s, reports show that around 60 percent of workers had these plans in place. Most workers felt fairly secure and knew that they were preparing for retirement, even if they did not have large savings accounts of their own.

The court can't touch nonmarital property

When you and your spouse get divorced, the court may have to step in to help you divide your assets and property. There are cases in which you and your ex can agree on certain points and work together, but the court helps ensure things are done properly and it helps resolve disagreements.

As such, the first step for the court is to find out what property it can even rule on. Remember, that must be marital property. The court is presiding over your divorce, or the end of your marriage. It doesn't have the power to make other rulings about nonmarital property. It can just rule on things that you both had a right to as a couple.

How does a QDRO affect your former husband’s pension?

While your husband worked, you devoted your life to raising your kids. While the children turned out great, you and your spouse grew apart. Now that you are divorced, you may want to receive a portion of your husband’s pension. If you do not have a qualified domestic relations order, though, you may be out of luck.

When you and your husband divorced, a judge probably issued a divorce decree. While this decree gives you certain rights, it may not allow you to request a percentage of your husband’s pension. Instead, you likely need a QDRO to seek payments pursuant to the plan’s terms. Unfortunately, many divorcees fail to realize they need a separate QDRO until long after divorce proceedings have concluded.

It is illegal to use race as a factor when determining custody

When deciding how to divide custody, courts consider a lot of different factors. These often include the age of the children, their relationships with the parents, the mental and physical health of those parents, the living situation and related factors -- like what school the children will go to -- and the children's own wishes.

One thing that courts cannot use is race. Just as workers have protection from racial discrimination in the workplace, it cannot be used to determine who should get custody of a child or how custody should be altered and modified in the future.

Late divorces may not leave time to correct for mistakes

If you are thinking of getting divorced after you turn 50, you really have to think about your financial future. You cannot afford to make any mistakes. It's important to get it right the first time around, and you must explore all of your options.

The problem, experts point out, is time. If you make a mistake during the divorce and do not prepare adequately for your retirement, you may not have time to make a correction. You may not be able to fix it before retirement.

Keeping the home could hinder your retirement

If you're getting divorced when you're close to standard retirement age, your instinct may be to give up other financial assets in order to keep your house. You are trying to limit the amount of change in your life. Your marriage may end, but at least you'll know you have a place to live. Isn't that a wise choice?

It may be, as every situation is different, but you do need to be careful. Keeping the house is also a decision that can hurt your retirement plans significantly.

Can you find your spouse's hidden assets?

You and your spouse decide to get divorced. You know that assets should get divided between the two of you, but you worry that your spouse may try to hide them from you. Can you find them? What do you need to do to make sure you really get a fair share?

One great place to begin is by looking at the tax returns for the last few years. They should accurately reflect what your spouse earned, what you have in investments and things of this nature. No matter what your spouse tells you, the tax returns tell the real story.

Moving forward after divorce: What next?

When your spouse asks you for a divorce, you find yourself unsure how to think about your life. All you ever planned for was a marriage. This was the life you imagined. If you're not going to have it, what are you supposed to do to move forward? What comes next?

First off, remember that it is not a bad thing to grieve for the relationship that you're losing. Let yourself feel that. Work through it. Trying to keep it all inside or acting like you feel nothing doesn't give you a chance to move on.

Equitable distribution alternatives to the Majauskas formula

When you navigate your way through a New York divorce, determining how you and your one-time partner plan to split your shared assets is one of the most important matters to address. Aside from your shared home, pension benefits you or your spouse earned over the course of your marriage will also come into play.

You have several options at your disposal in terms of dividing them between you. In most cases, divorcing couples who must divide up pension benefits do so using what is known as the Majauskas formula.

Divorce rate falling with millennials

People often talk about the changes brought on by the next generation, some of which are very unexpected. One prime example comes from a recent study that found that the divorce rate in the United States, which jumped quickly as divorce became less taboo in the past few decades, has started to fall again. From 2008 to 2016, it dropped by a stunning 18 percent.

A professor who did the study specifically compared millennials today who are 35 years old to people who were 35 years old in 2008 and part of Generation X. He found that the millennials were more likely to stay married for at least five years. The odds of divorce overall have dropped.

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