Archive for April, 2017

How Will Divorce Impact My Health Insurance?

Friday, April 21st, 2017

In most marriages, one spouse often is responsible for both partners, if not the entire family, through their own health insurance plan, whether it is through their job or through a personal plan. Once a divorce takes place, that health coverage for the other spouse, and even the children, could be ended. Both state federal laws protect families that are at risk of no longer having health insurance; this is especially true for children. That being said, it is still important that you look over your family’s health insurance plan prior to divorce to avoid a disastrous situation.

Because of the importance of health insurance in our everyday lives, there are instances where a divorce decree can insure that the spouse who had provided the health coverage during the marriage will continue to do so post-divorce. This is very likely to happen if the other spouse was not working or employed by a company that offered health insurance to its employees, and therefore has no immediate access to health coverage.

If you were the spouse that was responsible for the health coverage, chances are that you will have to pay extra premiums to extend coverage for both your former spouse and children. There are group policies that do allow the continuation of full coverage for your family post-divorce, but be prepared for this to change if you choose to remarry and then want to include your new family in your policy. However, for logistics sake, the premium for a group family plan is usually less expensive than two separate coverage plans for you and your former spouse.

Related Article:

Five Ways Divorce Will Affect My Finances

What Happens To Your Estate Plan When You Get Divorced?

Monday, April 17th, 2017

Have you ever wondered, how is your estate planning impacted by your divorce? If you have, you may find this article very helpful.

Once your divorce is finalized, you may want to unwind and take your mind somewhere else, where you can forget about the emotional and financial chaos that divorce brought into your life. But before doing so, there is one more thing you absolutely need to accomplish. That thing is to revise your estate planning.

When you first did your estate planning you had no plans to be separated with your spouse and most likely appointed him or her as your main beneficiary and executor of your estate. Now, that you are no longer together, if you fail to revise your estate plan, your assets will end up in the hands of the person who is no longer a part of your family.

Here are a few things you need to pay attention to:

Discard your Will. If you had a Will made during your marriage the easiest way to revoke it is to simply tear it up and throw it into the garbage. Then create a new document where you can re-distribute your assets to the people of your choice. If you had a Living Will and/or Power of Attorney, do the same to both documents.

Change Beneficiary Designations. Contact your Life Insurance, IRA, and banks where you have accounts open to update the beneficiary on each account. However, if you want your ex-spouse to remain as designated beneficiary, verify with the officer what needs to be done to make sure that your ex-spouse will receive the money.

For people with minor children, it is important to appoint guardians for the kids. Typically, if one parent dies, the other remains to take care of the children. In the event that both parents are dead or unable to take care of children, the court will appoint a guardian who will continue providing care for your kids. To avoid this situation, you can designate the person of your choice who will raise your children if you are no longer available.

If you are getting divorced or you are already divorced, we advise speaking with an experienced attorney about these issues to ensure that you are revising your estate plan properly. Taking action will help you avoid any issues with your estate in the future.

Lastly, remember to revise your estate plan every 4-5 years in general, so it will reflect any changes in your estate or family structure.

This article was authored by and contributed by Inna Fershteyn, Esq. the founder and principal of the Law Office of Inna Fershteyn and Associates, P.C.

Disclaimer: This article only offers general information.  Please do not use this article for legal advice. Each case has special circumstances and must be reviewed by a specialist.

Does My Spousal Support Duty End When I Retire?

Monday, April 17th, 2017

When you retire, there is the possibility that your financial circumstances will change. In some cases, social security starts coming in – replacing your current method of income. You would need to adjust your lifestyle.

Many still pay for spousal support even when they reach the point of retirement. Some wonder if they are still required to pay spousal maintenance. Unfortunately, alimony is not immediately terminated once you retire. There are many reasons that spousal support can be terminated, but unless the retirement drastically changes the retiree’s financial situation, it is unlikely that the family court will stop or reduce the current support payments required.

The way to go about attaining a modification to your current alimony plan is by presenting your new (and impactful) reduction in your income, via your new social security payments and whatever retirement funds you have saved.

In some professions, this will include a pension as well. By showing that there was a significant reduction in your salary, the judge would be more inclined to grant a reduction.

Additionally, the judge will also take into consideration your former spouse, who is receiving the alimony. Their income and expenses are equally as important as the fact that you are now retired and may have a lower income, as they might also be on the brink of retiring as well, facing similar circumstances as yourself. Without them being able to support themselves, the chances of a complete end to alimony payments are slim.

 

Related Articles:

How Long Do You Have To Pay Spousal Support?

2 Types of Alimony In New York

 

 

3 Most Common Divorce Myths

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

Some of us know someone who in some way either has been affected by divorced or getting divorced but either way, they have a story to tell.

The problem about their stories is that we accept them on face value, and then from that, we make assumptions. And these start to circle around until we have inaccurate summations, otherwise known as “myths.”

Here are 3 most common (yet still untrue) divorce myths:

Divorce is relatively inexpensive. False… so terribly false. Unfortunately, getting divorced can be extremely expensive, especially as issues and disagreements mount higher and higher. Motions and depositions conducted by attorneys all cost money – in fact, anything a lawyer does for you will be billed.

You and your spouse can still have a friendship post-divorce. As sad is it is to say, it is pretty rare that you and your former spouse will get along to a point where you can have and maintain a friendship. That is the result of battling in court over expenses and possibly family.

Your lifestyle won’t change after divorce. Unless your settlement includes a very lucrative spousal support order, chances are you are on your own to start providing for yourself, and whether you have to start your career or are in the midst of one post-divorce, one salary is not going to allow you the financial freedoms that two salaries did.

Don’t believe everything you hear and read from friends or written experiences of divorcees, because personal feelings often cloud the memory. Trust and rely on legal counsel to give you the facts about divorce and the law.

Things You Must Know Before Going To Divorce Court Hearing

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Prior to heading into the courtroom, your attorney will most likely give you a brief overview about what the initial court appearance will be like, feel like, and most importantly, what will be addressed. Ideally, you would want your divorce to be handled outside of court, in mediation, but it doesn’t work for everyone. Here are a few things to keep in mind before your first date in court.

  1. Mind your manners: Acting inappropriately in court, regardless of who it is directed at, can ruin your case, and even your life. Getting on a judge’s bad side can only work against you, as if they get upset with you, there is a good chance they will remember that for the length of the case. When it comes to settlement time, you need the judge to think of you in a positive light, especially if you are involved in a custody battle.
  2. Ask your attorney to take you to the courthouse prior to the trial date. There, you can see how people dress and carry themselves, as well as get a preview of how the trial might go. Dress formally, as you want to look serious and civil in court.
  3. On the actual date, you would rather be there early than late.
  4. Never, under any circumstances, interrupt the judge. See the first tip.
  5. Try not to address the other party; look at and talk to the judge. There should be no side conversations at all. Say thank you to the judge at the end of the hearing, regardless of the outcome.
  6. Check in the bailiff in court, stating your name and case name so it is known that you have arrived.
  7. Don’t interrupt the opposing party; you will be given the chance to speak and respond to their statements. You can also politely ask to respond to the last question, which will often be granted.

This will be a new environment for you, and you should trust your attorney to properly prepare you for your day in court. You should carry yourself as if the judge’s opinion of you matters – because it does.

How A Biological Father May Be Denied Parental Rights In New York

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

In the state of New York, the courts definition of “legal parent” is not always necessarily based on biology.

For instance, if the mother was married at the time the child was either born or conceived, then that husband is considered to be the legal father of the child. Note that he does not have to be the biological father, and likewise, an unwed, biological father is not considered the child’s legal parent unless the father has signed what is known as an Acknowledgement of Paternity.

For fathers that didn’t know of the pregnancy or the child, sometimes there can be major hurdles if attempting to adopt the child.

The biological father must start to establish a significant parental role in the child’s life, which can include paying for birth expenses or child support expenses. Like most other custody cases, the fitness of the father to parent will be something that the judge will take into consideration when determining the custody dispute.

Conversely, fathers who do not provide support during and after pregnancy, who don’t show the ability to even provide the support, or those who have developed drug and/or alcohol problems are more likely to be denied the right to battle for the child in the event that they are placed in the care of either the biological mother or adopting parents.

An unmarried father is sometimes limited in how often they have the chance to be a significant parental figure in the child’s life, so it is important to form a parental relationship with the child. Get legal recognition that you are the child’s father, and the right to have a say in parental decisions.