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Your initial consultation with a divorce attorney.

Having that initial consultation with a divorce attorney can be a difficult and emotionally draining experience. However, there are some steps you can take to make the process a little easier. First, bring as much financial documentation as possible. Your attorney will want to discuss: – How much income you and your spouse earn, – What your retirement and non-retirement assets are, – Any real estate properties you or your spouse own, – Any businesses or professional practices you or your spouse are involved in, – A list of your current debts – Evidence of any assets acquired either prior to the marriage, or by gift or inheritance. Also, be prepared to detail the history of your marriage: your attorney will want to know the

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Knowledge . . . the best tool in preparing for divorce.

One important reason why divorces do not proceed smoothly is a lack of preparation and knowledge. Too often only one spouse fully understands the family finances, which may leave the other spouse vulnerable to manipulation. When one spouse handles nearly all of the household investments and finances, it is too easy for that financially literate spouse to take advantage of the financially less literate spouse, especially in times of stress and disagreement like a divorce. Thus, it is important that both spouses become financially literate. Each party’s income, the family income tax returns, investment and account statements, should all be reviewed and understood, if necessary, with the help of an accountant and divorce attorney. In addition to learning about the household finances, it is also

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Don’t Forget These Types of Assets in a Divorce

According to a recent Forbes article divorce marks the end of one chapter of your life and the beginning of another, and odds are, you’ll look back at this time and see it as a positive turning point in your life. However, before you achieve that perspective, there’s plenty to go through – and much of that comes down to finances. Read More    

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Courts make mistakes, and can correct them.

Although trial courts have discretion to determine amount and duration of spousal maintenance based upon the unique facts of each case, they do make errors.  In a recent case the husband had a net income of $5,213.92 each month.  After considering the factors required for spousal maintenance, the trial court ordered the husband to pay his wife $2,000 per month in spousal maintenance, even though he had $3,818 in living expenses.  Thus, from his $5,213.92 in net monthly income, he would have had only $1,395 left to pay the maintenance, plus a child support award of $235.34 per week.  On appeal, the Appellate Division remitted the case, instructing the trial court to recalculate the husband’s obligations.  Jaramillo v. Jaramillo, (Second Dept. 2013).

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