New York City Business Law Blog

Joint Bank Accounts in Divorce

The following is meant as a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon in any specific situation which may differ depending upon the specific facts and circumstances. You may contact Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy LLP for advice relative to your particular situation.

Beware of Foreign Actions if You Reside in New York

The following is meant as a general statement of the law and should not be relied upon in any specific situation which may differ depending upon the specific facts and circumstances. You may contact Cox Padmore Skolnik & Shakarchy LLP for advice relative to your particular situation.

Can a stepparent make medical decisions?

Stepparents naturally find themselves making decisions for their spouse's children. These decisions could include simple day-to-day things like when they will go to bed, what type of discipline they'll see or what activities they can be involved in at school.

But what about bigger things? Say a child needs medical care. Can a stepparent decide what type of care the child gets?

What costs do you have with your commercial lease?

You decide to rent a space for your new business. You want a prime location, after all, and the company doesn't yet have the capital to buy. You figure you can rent for a few years and then invest in a building of your own.

When you sign that commercial lease, make sure you pay careful attention to just what you're going to owe. The terms should spell out your costs, and you never want to assume that it's just rent.

Children benefit from a relationship with their father

After divorce, fathers need to make sure they still have a strong relationship with their children. It's very, very important for the children to have a father figure in their lives. Parents need to think not about what they want or desire, but about how they can put the children first.

How do father figures impact children? Fathers help their children:

  • Have balance and different perspectives
  • Understand men, regardless of the child's gender
  • Have fun, especially with physical play
  • Have high self-esteem
  • Know that they are loved and valued
  • Have stability and structure
  • Have better mental health
  • Get better grades in school
  • Stay out of trouble
  • Have meaningful friendships
  • Understand that they are secure and safe
  • Learn to be competitive
  • Learn how to persevere when things get tough
  • Develop confidence
  • Learn how to have stable relationships when they grow up
  • See how to be excellent parents themselves

Consider your joint debts as you prepare for divorce

Like other married couples throughout New York, when you got married, you symbolically became one with your spouse. When it came to more real world matters, you probably melded at least a portion of your finances. You may have a joint mortgage loan on your home, joint credit cards and more. 

It makes sense to pool your resources in order to build the life you want together. However, when the marriage ends, it becomes necessary to untangle these connections, including those joint debts. How do you do that?

Reasons people get married when they shouldn't

Not all divorces happen because of unforeseen circumstances that ruin a marriage. In a lot of cases, the people who originally decided to get married never should have done so. They made a mistake. It's human. It happens.

Examples of these types of mistakes include:

  • Getting married because the other person wanted to, and you did not want to let them down.
  • Getting married because everyone else in your friend group was doing it.
  • Getting married because you wanted a change in your life, and it was an easy way to get one.
  • Getting married when you did not really have more than a physical connection.
  • Getting married when you didn't realize how much the freedom of being single still meant to you.
  • Getting married before you did a lot of things in life that you wanted to do. For instance, maybe you wanted to travel the world, but your spouse hates traveling and just wants to have children right away.
  • Getting married because of outside pressure from parents or because everyone just assumed you would.
  • Getting married because you were worried about being alone, even though you didn't really want to be with your partner.
  • Getting married because you did not realize how much work it was going to be and how many new responsibilities you were going to have.

Disabled workers cannot face harassment

Disabled workers need to be treated fairly in the workplace. This means they have the same rights to pay, hours, opportunities and much more. They deserve to be treated exactly like other workers who do not suffer from a disability.

But it's not all about the employer/employee relationship as it relates to their official position, pay, benefits and things of this nature. It also extends to harassment, which may come at the hands of co-workers or supervisors. Workers should never get harassed because:

  • They actually do have a disability
  • The other person thinks they have a disability
  • They used to have a disability in the past that they no longer have
  • They have a minor disability or a temporary disability
  • They do not actually have a disability at all, but the other workers believe they do or act like they do

Maintain respect when asking for a divorce

Your spouse has no desire to get divorced. You, however, feel like it's just time to move on. The marriage stopped working a long time ago. Maybe they think it's fine. Maybe they think you can fix it, and you don't. Regardless, the two of you are not on the same page, so you know this is going to be a difficult conversation to have.

When you finally do ask for the divorce, it's important to keep being respectful. Understand that they may be shocked, angry or sad. Don't "attack" them with the news. Try to be compassionate, explain yourself, tell them your reasoning and be as kind as you can be.

Forget about the last-minute prenup

A prenuptial agreement, as important as it is, often becomes something that is all too easy to put off. Maybe you want to ask your soon-to-be-spouse for one, but you're worried about the way they'll react. Therefore, you keep delaying. Finally, when the marriage is a week away and you can't put it off any longer, you bring it up.

You may already have made sure that the prenup will not hold up in court. That's the problem with the last-minute prenup. It's too close to the wedding, and that can force your partner's hand. That's a type of duress, and your spouse can argue as such in court if you get divorced.

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