New York City Business Law Blog

Financial preparations useful in high-asset divorce

As someone with a considerable amount of wealth, you likely understand the importance of protecting your assets. You may have many safeguards in place relating to your business or other important financial endeavors, but you may not have fully planned for the effects one event could have: divorce.

Now that you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, you may have concerns about how New York asset division laws will affect your current financial status. Having these concerns is wise because the outcomes of your divorce could affect your finances in significant ways.

What does your wedding stress tell you about divorce?

Wondering if it's likely that your spouse will file for divorce? One key thing to consider is simply how they treated you on your wedding day.

Wedding photographers, who have a front-row seat to all of these interactions, often say that couples who do not act in a respectful manner toward each other are those who will eventually end up going into court for a divorce. Even if they grit their teeth and get through the wedding day, the way that they do it says a lot about their future.

What types of people launch their own companies?

Deciding to start your own company takes more than an idea or the financial means to make it happen. You also need to have the right personality type.

While there are exceptions to this rule, as with most others, people who succeed in business tend to share a lot of personality traits. Experts call these the "Big Five" personality dimensions. They are:

  1. Extraversion: Whether or not you want to be the focus of attention in social settings
  2. Openness: Whether or not you're open to new ideas and new experiences
  3. Agreeableness: If you want other people to like you
  4. Conscientiousness: If you are willing to follow rules and work hard
  5. Neuroticism: Your emotional stability or lack thereof

How long you stay in school impacts divorce odds

People often make the mistake of looking at divorce odds as if they are exactly the same for everyone. For instance, if the divorce rate is really around 50 percent, and you have two couples in a room together, you know that one of those couples will split up.

This makes it feel random, as if you're just hoping your marriage works in the face of long odds. That's not an accurate representation. The reality is that many different factors play into it, making the odds different for everyone.

Who pays taxes on alimony?

Alimony money gets taxed by the government, which is no surprise, but people often wonder who has to pay those taxes. This question has come up a lot lately since there have been some huge changes to the tax laws. Does the person who pays have to pay the tax first, or does the person who gets the money have to pay the taxes on everything that they receive?

It used to be that the person who received the money then had to list it out on their income tax forms as another type of income. They paid taxes on it just like they would on wages from a part-time job or anything else. Alimony came from a unique source, but it was just income. On the other side, the person paying could write it off on their income taxes as a deduction. This way, they did not have to pay taxes on the money as well, meaning it would not get taxed twice.

Is your spouse hiding assets from property division?

One way to ensure your post-divorce life is financially secure is to obtain a full and fair share of assets during property division. New York is an equitable division state, which means you and your spouse will split your joint assets fairly, though not necessarily equally. The court will consider many factors when dividing your assets and debts, but to do this, it must have full disclosure of assets from both parties.

If you suspect your spouse is not being truthful about the amount or value of assets he or she has disclosed, you may want to investigate further. A spouse who fails to disclose all marital assets for property division is in violation of the law, and you have every right to seek out the assets your ex may be hiding from you.

What is an implied contract?

Often, unless you have an employment contract, you can be fired with relatively little reason. As long as they don't fire you because of your gender, race, age or another protected class, your boss has a lot of freedom to keep or terminate your employment.

If you do have a contract, that changes things significantly. Many contracts specify that the company has to show cause to terminate that contract, for instance, or they lay out a system of warnings and write-ups that have to be given out before someone's position can be terminated. This gives you far more protection.

Your spouse can't force you to sign a prenup

You have to sign a prenup because you want to sign a prenup. It's really that simple. If you were forced to do it, the prenuptial agreement is not going to hold up in court.

Typically, the way that one person "forces" the other to sign is by having them do it under duress. They present some outside factor that causes them to agree to sign when it may be the last thing that they really want. They just hope that they'll never get divorced and they'll never need it.

Starting your own business? Here are 10 helpful tips

For years, you have dreamed of the day when you could start your own business. Now, you think that day is rapidly approaching. You're going to make this happen.

While this is exciting, remember that starting a new company is also a massive challenge. You need to be committed and must know exactly what to do to increase your chances of success. Here are 10 tips that can help:

  1. Put your business plan down in writing so that you know exactly what your goals are -- and so do your investors.
  2. Ask yourself if your idea is really plausible and if there is a demand.
  3. Figure out exactly what your up-front costs are going to be.
  4. Take the time to identify the people who make up your intended market.
  5. Craft a budget that is realistic and that addresses all of your costs, both at the beginning and moving forward.
  6. Figure out what type of legal entity you want your new business to be.
  7. Pick a business name and register it to ensure you can use it before doing any branding.
  8. If you have a business partner, create a partnership agreement that you both sign off on.
  9. Figure out exactly what you'll need to do to pay your taxes.
  10. Ask yourself what official documents you need to consider, including insurance policies, proper licenses and legal permits to operate.

Hear From Our Clients

Mr. Skolnik and Mr. Gaboury have represented me on multiple cases over the past two years. They are dependable, knowledgeable, and professional. They provided high quality legal guidance for my small business during a difficult time and brought me a peace of mind. I highly recommend Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy as your legal business representative. -Anonymous

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