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What happens to parental gifts in a divorce?

You got married five years ago. Your parents generously gave you enough money to cover the down payment on a home, the mortgage payments for the first year and all related costs. They knew that you and your new spouse did not have enough saved up, so they helped you get your new life started.

Now, you and your spouse are planning to get divorced. It just did not work out. Neither of you can afford to keep the home alone, so you are going to sell it and split up the money that you make.

What type of evidence helps document discrimination?

Workplace discrimination can be tricky. Even when you know you are experiencing it, what can you do to gather evidence? How can you show someone who does not walk in your shoes every day that you are being treated unfairly?

If you have seen changes to your pay or hours, that is the first place to start. Your pay stubs at least provide a solid record of the change so that you can show you were earning more or working more prior to the harassment. This also helps to prove exactly how it has impacted you in a financial sense.

Collaborative divorce may be the answer to your divorce issues

During your marriage, you may have accumulated a significant amount of assets. You may have purchased an apartment or condominium, built up your retirement plan and purchased numerous personal belongings of value. Now that you face a divorce, you may wonder what will happen to them.

The thought of leaving your fate in the hands of a New York judge who doesn't know you or your family may not provide you with any confidence. You know you could probably end up in a court battle, but that would just cost you more in time and money, which could further jeopardize your future.

Read any commercial lease agreement very carefully

When starting a new business, you may opt to rent out a building or a commercial space, rather than buying it. This gives you less debt if your business does not work out and typically costs far less up front. Most young businesses have a very strict budget and little or no income, so it's important to know how to get your idea off of the ground in an affordable manner.

If you do rent out a space, read your lease agreement very carefully. Make sure you know exactly what is allowed, especially if things do not work out financially. Here are some important questions to ask:

Can your employer take your tips?

You have a tip jar on the front counter when you are at work. Customers frequently stuff in a few dollars or at least their spare change. By the end of the night, you often have a good amount of money in the jar.

You never know how much, though, because your employer always takes your tips. He or she claims they're given to the business in general, and collects them every night. Even if they are "for the business," you never see anything, so it's clear to you that your employer just pockets them.

Do entrepreneurs face a higher divorce rate?

If you own your own business, does that mean your marriage is bound to fail? Official statistics are not kept, but many experts believe that the divorce rate for business owners and entrepreneurs is higher than the rate seen by the rest of the population.

One reason is that many business owners invest all of their time, energy and emotion in the company. Even if the couple has children, it is that company that is really the baby for the business-owning parent. To be successful, people put in 80-hour work weeks, they skip vacations and they miss family functions.

One huge potential issue with same-sex divorce

Landmark changes came to same-sex marriage in 2015, as it became a federal right, but New York was ahead of the curve. Same-sex couples have been allowed to marry since

However, even that is a relatively short amount of time, so all same-sex marriages within the state are fairly recent, unless people moved to New York from somewhere else. Plus, some couples who wanted to marry may have put it off, despite being in a committed relationship, due to social pressures from colleagues, friends and family members.

Is New York an at-will state?

The corporate world does not have as much loyalty as you may assume. In most cases, this means you can be fired -- or you can quit -- for almost any reason at all. Technically, you do not even need a reason. You can quit your job because you're bored or your boss can fire you because "it's just not working out."

This is because New York uses at-will employment. Keeping someone on or not is just a decision that an employer gets to make. Even things that seem unfair can result in firings.

Divorce when your business partner is your spouse

You and your spouse had many things in common. Among them was the desire to work together as partners in business. Perhaps you grew this idea after you met in business school, or you and your spouse dreamed it up after you married. Maybe one of you inherited a family business. Whatever the circumstances, you became business partners and made it a success.

What has not been so successful is your marriage. If you are facing the prospect of a divorce, you may have concerns about what will happen to the business, especially if it has been your livelihood and life's work. You do have options for the future of the business depending on the dynamic that exists between you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

Tips to help you and your ex co-parent successfully

You would love it if you and your ex could just get divorced and never have to see each other again. A clean break would be simple and easy.

However, since you have kids together, you know that's not going to happen. You are going to have to co-parent as your children grow up, and you need to know how to do it well. Below are some tips that can help in this situation.

  1. Do not fight over everything. When you and your ex disagree, pick which battles mean the most to you. You don't have to parent in exactly the same way to be good parents.
  2. Don't insist on a rigid schedule. It can be tough for either parent to always adhere to the schedule when kids are involved. Be flexible. Be open to change.
  3. Talk to your ex without involving the kids. You don't need to send messages to him or her by passing them to the children. Keep them out of it and reduce the odds of a miscommunication by talking directly to one another.
  4. Stay calm when you drop the children off. They see your emotions and feed off of your energy. You may be sad to see them go to stay with your ex for a time, but don't project it and create conflict.
  5. Be respectful of one another's time. You both have a role to play. Do not infringe on your ex's time, and make sure he or she respects your time in return.

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