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Oneida County Divorce Law Blog

What are the legal grounds for divorce in New York?

What are the legal grounds for divorce in New York?

The breakdown of a marriage is never easy, but when divorce becomes your final solution, you will probably have a lot of questions about the process. Like other states, New York now allows residents to acquire a no-fault divorce, which means you can legally end a marriage if it has become irreparable. However, it is still important to know and understand the accepted grounds upon which you can divorce in this state.

Do you have enough money saved up for retirement?

As you ask yourself if you are saving enough for retirement, you may find yourself wishing you could compare the numbers in your accounts to what your peers have saved. It would make it easier to see if you're on pace or not.

There's one simple problem with doing this: Many people do not have enough money to retire. Even if you're on pace with your peers, you may still be very short.

Should you agree to divide debt with your ex?

The easiest way to handle debt during a divorce is simple: Pay off the debt. Use the assets you have to get rid of what you owe, then split up what assets remain. You can eliminate debt before divorce to keep it from playing a part at all.

Of course, this is easier said than done for many people. If you have a car loan for $50,000 and you pay $800 per month, while you can afford the $800, you may not have $50,000 to pay off the whole loan. That's the reason you bought the car with the loan in the first place.

What does your career mean for the odds of divorce?

You started down your career path when you got to college at age 18. You hadn't even met your future spouse yet. However, the choices you made and the career you chose could have a massive impact on the odds that you'll get divorced.

For instance, the divorce rate for flight attendants is 50.5 percent. That's the No. 3 spot on a recent list of jobs with the highest divorce rates. You can imagine how having a life with so much travel and so little family time can make it hard for a relationship to stay strong.

Divorce isn't the end of dealing with your ex

Divorce is the end of your marriage. That doesn't mean it's the end of your relationship.

Remember that as you move forward with this process. You will likely still need to deal with your ex from time to time. It may be very consistent. You may never fully move beyond it.

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.

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