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Hudson Valley Divorce LawyerWhen a couple makes the decision to divorce, one of the many issues that needs to be determined is how the assets they have acquired throughout their marriage will be distributed between the two of them. The goal is to achieve an equitable distribution. While this may seem as if it would be simple enough, the reality in many divorces is that their process is anything but simple. There are a number of things a spouse may do, such as hide assets, sell assets without the other spouse’s knowledge or approval, or even engage in dissipation (wasting) of assets, all in an attempt to deprive the other spouse of their fair share of the marital estate.

Hiding Assets

In most states, including New York, a temporary restraining order may be placed on both parties at the beginning of a divorce proceeding, especially in a divorce that appears to be contentious or if there is suspicion that the other spouse may engage in unethical and possibly illegal acts. The order prevents either spouse from disposing of any marital assets in any way. Keep in mind, however, a temporary restraining order usually only applies to marital assets and property and not personal property.

It is against the law for a spouse to hide assets from the other and if the spouse is caught, they will have to make restitution to the other spouse. In some cases, the court may even hold the spouse in contempt of court and could even send the spouse to jail, although that is usually only done in extreme cases.

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Rockland County Bankruptcy LawyerFinancial issues are one of the most often cited reasons for disagreements and stress in a marriage. Unfortunately, it is also often the cause for the couple to file for divorce. Divorce can also be a driving factor in why an individual or couple makes the decision to file for bankruptcy. A couple who has made the decision to both divorce and file for bankruptcy may be unsure which legal process they should initiate first. A Rockland County bankruptcy attorney can help.

Filing for Bankruptcy Before Divorce

Last year, more than 650,000 individuals filed for bankruptcy. That was about a 10 percent decrease from the prior year. However, it is estimated that the number of filings will spike dramatically over the coming months as financial protections and assistance programs put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic are lifted. Many people may find that filing for bankruptcy is their only option for relief and to obtain a fresh start.

A Chapter 7 bankruptcy basically eliminates the majority of a person’s debt. Chapter 13 bankruptcy provides an affordable payment plan for the individual to pay back their debt within a certain timeframe.

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Hudson Valley Area Child Custody LawyerThere is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a deep division within the United States citizenry. Mandatory shutdowns, virtual learning for students, and mask mandates have all generated great debate among people across the country. Perhaps there is no greater disagreement than there is over the COVID-19 vaccines. The vaccine debate has grown from whether a person should or should not get the vaccine to whether or not a person is required to get the vaccine, as governments, businesses, and other entities have begun requiring employees to get vaccinated. Recently, that debate hit an Illinois family law courtroom and it is just a matter of time before New York family courts could also face the issue.  

Illinois Case

Last month, during a virtual hearing that was only supposed to be about child support, the family court judge overseeing the case randomly asked the mother if she had been vaccinated against COVID-19. The mother responded that upon the advice of her doctor, she had not received it because she has had adverse reactions to other vaccinations in the past. The judge responded that since she had not been vaccinated, she could not see her 11-year-old son until she was. The boy’s parents have had shared custody of the child since 2014. The father has been fully vaccinated.

The mother appealed the ruling and weeks later the judge reversed his decision and recused himself from the case. The intense media attention his original ruling made led to the discovery that the judge had asked parents in other cases he was handling if they were vaccinated and had also ordered some parents and children to be vaccinated.

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