During the Pandemic, more companies are offering employees stock options and other stock awards instead of regular compensation. Such assets are not easy to uncover during a divorce process. There are certain things you can do to find out whether your spouse is hiding an employer stock plan and ensuring that you receive an equitable distribution of those assets.

It is essential to retain a divorce lawyer in NYC to help you find the hidden assets of your spouse and an expert to perform a financial analysis of them.

The following documents will help you determine whether your spouse has stock options or restricted stock options awards from his employer.

While child support is meant to provide financial means to care for a child whose parents do not live together, it nonetheless must be fair and reasonable. As such, if the party that is paying or receiving support experiences an event or life change that affects his or her finances, it may be grounds for the modification of a support award. In a recent child support case in New York, the court discussed when a modification of a child support obligation is warranted and what the party seeking the modification must prove. If you or your co-parent are obligated to pay child support, and either of you experienced a change in circumstances, you should speak to an experienced New York child support attorney to assess your rights.

Factual History

It is reported that the mother and father married in 2002 and had a child in 2003. They entered into a separation agreement in 2014 that, in part, imposed a child support obligation on the father. The agreement was modified in 2015, and both the agreement and the addendum were incorporated into the judgment of divorce the court issued later that year.

Allegedly, in 2017, three separate actions related to child support were filed by the parties. Specifically, the father filed a request for a downward modification of his support obligation, the mother filed a pleading regarding the father’s failure to comply with his support obligation, and a second pleading asking the court to hold him in willful contempt for failing to pay. On each of the pleadings, the court found in favor of the mother. The father then appealed, arguing the court erred in denying his request for a downward modification.

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Typically, when a child support order is entered, it aims to meet the child’s needs at that time. As circumstances change, however, it may become necessary to modify a parent’s financial obligation. The court can only consider certain factors in determining what constitutes an appropriate increase in support, though, as demonstrated by a recent New York case. If you are subject to a child support order and you or your co-parent wish to seek a modification, it is critical to meet with a trusted New York child support attorney to assess what evidence the court may weigh in making a determination.

Factual History

It is reported that the mother and the father married in 2001 and had two children. They decided to divorce and, in 2009, entered into a stipulation that was incorporated into their divorce judgment. Pursuant to the stipulation, the mother had residential custody of the children, and the father agreed to pay approximately $800 per month in child support. The stipulation also stated that the parties would confer and agree on extra-curricular activity costs.

Allegedly, in 2015 the father consented to a $1,000 monthly increase to his support obligation. In 2018, the mother sought a second increase, arguing that it was warranted because of increased costs due to the children’s participation in extracurricular activities. The court granted the mother’s petition, ordering the father to pay approximately $650 per week. The father appealed.

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It is not uncommon for parents who share custody of a child to have disparate incomes. Thus, in many instances, one parent will be required to pay child support to his or her co-parent. In general terms, New York courts calculate child support obligations based on the income of both parents. As discussed in a recent New York family law case, however, income is not solely defined as income earned through employment but can include income from other sources as well, such as money from a significant other. If you or your child’s co-parent wish to seek child support, it is advisable to speak to an experienced New York child support attorney to discuss what you can do to protect your rights.

Facts of the Case

Reportedly, the mother and father were married in 2003 and had two children during their marriage. In 2013, the father filed for divorce. The parties came to an agreement with regards to custody but agreed to allow the court to determine property division and financial matters. The court subsequently awarded the mother $1,770 in monthly child support, based on the mother’s imputed annual income of $25,000 and the father’s imputed annual income of $75,000, after which both parents appealed.

Imputed Income in Child Support Cases

Under New York law, a court has broad discretion with regards to imputing income when calculating an appropriate amount of child support and is not limited to what the parties represent with regards to their finances. Specifically, a court may impute income based on a parent’s future earning capacity, employment history, educational background, and money received from friends and family. In imputing income to a parent, however, a court must provide a record that clearly indicates the source of the imputed income, the reasons for imputing income to the parent, and the calculations that resulted from the imputed income.

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Simply because a marriage is ending does not mean that there is animosity and discord. Rather, many married couples mutually agree that their marriage should end and on the terms of their divorce. Thus, in some cases, a couple can seek an uncontested divorce. Simply because parties agree that they should end their marriage does not mean that they should proceed without an attorney, however, and it is prudent for people seeking a contested or uncontested divorce to retain an experienced New York divorce attorney to protect their rights.

Eligibility for an Uncontested Divorce

First, anyone seeking a divorce in New York must meet the residency requirement. This means that either the person or his or her spouse must have been living in New York for a minimum of two continuous years prior to filing for divorce, or that either spouse lived in New York for at least one continuous year and either got married in New York, lived in New York while married, or the grounds for the divorce took place in New York. Lastly, the residency requirement will be met if both spouses are residents of New York on the day the divorce action is filed, and the grounds for the divorce occurred in New York State.

If residency requirements are met, a petition for an uncontested divorce can be filed if both parties agree on several key factors. Specifically, both parties must agree to divorce and for the grounds of the divorce. They must also come to an agreement regarding how any marital property or debt should be divided, and whether either spouse should pay spousal support. In cases in which a couple has minor children, the parties must also come to an agreement regarding custody of the children and parenting time, and whether either parent will be required to pay child support, and if so, the amount of the support.

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With the ever-expanding global economy, it is not uncommon for a married couple to reside in more than one country. If an international couple decides to end their marriage, which country has jurisdiction over a divorce action often becomes a point of contention. In a recent New York case in which the parties disputed whether Thailand or New York was the proper forum to proceed with a divorce, the court discussed the standard for enjoining a party from proceeding with a divorce action in a foreign court. If you or your spouse intend to seek a divorce internationally, it is prudent to speak with a trusted New York divorce attorney regarding what measures you can take to protect your rights.

Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the husband and the wife married in Thailand in March of 2012. They signed a prenuptial agreement on the same day as their marriage. The wife was a citizen of Thailand and Canada, and an overseas citizen of India, while the husband was a citizen of the United States. The couple resided in Thailand for five years and then moved to New York. Ultimately, there was a breakdown of the marriage. The wife filed a Hague petition seeking a declaration that the couple’s son was a resident of Thailand but ultimately conceded that New York had jurisdiction over child custody and support matters. The wife then filed a divorce petition in Thailand in August 2019.

It is reported that in October 2019, the husband filed a divorce action in New York, seeking, in part, a declaration that the prenuptial agreement was unenforceable. The husband also filed a motion in February 2020, seeking an order prohibiting the wife from proceeding with the Thai divorce action.

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Chief Administrative Judge Marks released a Memorandum today announcing that, beginning Monday, May 25, “e-filing through the NYSCEF system – including the filing of new non-essential matters – will be allowed in all five NYC boroughs (certain restrictions apply) Read the entire Memorandum here.

If you contemplate filing for divorce in NYC or looking to file a custody or child support modification petition in any of the five NYC boroughs, consult with a divorce attorney at Rudyuk Law Firm, P.C.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant financial losses for many people. Thus, many parents who owe child support are late on making payments, and consequently, many parents who rely on child support are not receiving the payments they are owed. As many of the courts throughout the State are closed for new filings except for emergencies, parents seeking enforcement of child support orders and agreements are uncertain of their options.  Fortunately, despite the pandemic, there are measures parents who are owed support can take to seek any payments that are in arrears. If you are a resident of New York and have concerns regarding late child support payments, it is in your best interest to consult an experienced New York child support attorney regarding your rights.

Enforcement of Child Support Orders During the Covid-19 Pandemic

Parents who are owed child support should continue to receive payments during the pandemic, as all payments received are still being processed. Thus, any payments made should be disbursed as usual. If a noncustodial parent can no longer afford to make payments due to a loss of income, he or she can seek a modification. Absent a modification, however, a parent obligated to pay child support pursuant to a court order must pay the full amount owed, on the date, it is owed, despite the pandemic.

Parents who fail to make timely payments in full may be subject to enforcement actions, such as the suspension of driver’s or professional licenses, interception of State and federal tax refunds, freezing of financial assets, and liens against real and personal property. Parents who fail to make child support payments may also be reported to credit bureaus. These actions are referred to as administrative penalties and are available without going to court. The action available in an individual case depends on the amount overdue and the length of the delay in making payments. Currently, the Child Support Offices in many areas throughout the State are closed, as are New York Family Courts for child support matters. Thus, parents who are owed support should seek assistance by contacting their local child support office or the State offices via telephone or email. Parents who are obligated to pay but cannot pay due to a loss of employment, also have options.

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The novel Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the U.S.

A lot of states ordered nonessential businesses to close for some period, which causes significant financial losses for many of them.  Thousands of people lost their jobs as a result. U.S. Media reported that over 16 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the last three weeks.

Parents who are divorced or separated now face challenges providing financial support to their children. How can an unemployed parent continue to pay child support? What can you do while the Courts are closed?

Those fighting on the front lines are now faced with additional challenges – custody of their children. Because medical providers, firefighters, and other essential workers are exposed to COVID-19 more than anyone else, they are now getting denied parental access to their children.
Unfortunately, there is not enough guidance from the courts in NYS regarding custody during the global pandemic, and the only hope is that parents will be reasonable.
Co-parenting is easy for parents who get along well but is challenging for those who feel animosity towards each other during normal times. Now, in the times of social distancing and the quarantine in NY, co-parenting for them becomes hell.
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