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Tag Archive: family law

Separation and Divorce in the age of social media can be dangerous!

Posting an angry rant on Facebook or Twitter is far more dangerous than standing on your front steps and yelling it.  Internet posts never fully disappear, and any attempt to delete your post could be construed as tampering with evidence, if someone wants to use the post in court. Click here for an interesting article on the subject.

Important statutory changes in NY divorce law effective January 31, 2014

The Combined Parental Income Cap under the Child Support Standards Act, i.e., the amount of parents’ combined income that will be applied to the formula for calculating child support, has been adjusted from $136,000 to $141,000;  and The Income Cap under the Temporary Maintenance Guidelines has been adjusted from $524,000 to $543,000.

Preparing for Divorce

Although no two divorces are exactly the same, there are a number of things that can be done to make the process more efficient. First, even before meeting with your attorney, organize your paperwork so that your attorney will have a more accurate idea of the financial issues:  make copies of tax returns, bank statements, credit card statements, loan agreements, deeds, and other financial records.  If there will be a claim that some assets were premarital, assemble proof of when the asset was acquired or  account opened, the source of funds, and copies of old checks, deposit slips, etc. Next, make sure you have your own credit card and checking/savings account, separate and apart from your spouse. Finally, start considering realistic long terms goals, and obligations:  Do you want to stay in the house? Can you afford to stay in the house?  How will the children’s college be paid for? 

The O’Brien doctrine in NY Divorce Law

A recent Appellate Division decision highlights the ongoing saga of the O’Brien doctrine, which held that an educational degree obtained during the marriage has a monetary value which can, and at times should be divided between the parties. In McCaffrey v. McCaffrey, — A.D.3d –, — N.Y.S.2d — (App. Div. 3rd Dept. June 06, 2013) the parties married in 1999 and filed for divorce in 2010.  During the marriage the husband earned an Associate’s degree in telecommunications and a Bachelor’s degree in business administration with a minor in accounting.  The wife claimed that these degrees enhanced his earning capacity, and under the O’Brien doctrine, she sought an award of part of their value.  The Supreme Court found that $76,500 of the husband’s lifetime enhanced earning potential was traceable to his degrees, and awarded her 15% of that amount, totaling $11,475.  On appeal, the Appellate Division upheld the award stating that

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