Can A Spouse Stay On A Mortgage After The Divorce?

If you and your spouse are both on a mortgage, in most divorces, either the property will be sold or one party will buy-out the other parties’ interest in the property. In those instances, either both spouses will be removed from the mortgage or only one spouse will remain on the mortgage.

However, there are some cases, where both parties want to keep the property and do not want to change the mortgage. Can both spouses stay on a mortgage after the divorce? Can one spouse stay on a mortgage after the divorce? The short answer is “yes”, it is possible that either one or both spouses can stay on a mortgage after the divorce. However, in order for that to happen, you will need to do the following.

1. If the divorce is settled, then in the settlement agreement, it must be very clear that one or both parties will remain on the mortgage. The agreement will also have to specify what happens if the mortgage is not paid. It is very important to place safeguards in the agreement, so that if the mortgage is not paid, on time, that either the other party can pay the mortgage, or the property will be sold.

The agreement should also state what happens when the property does get sold or what happens when one party no longer wants to be on the mortgage.

The bottom line is that the agreement has to think of all the things that can go wrong (i.e. the mortgage not getting paid) and also has to deal with situations where even if the mortgage is getting paid, on time, how long that will be allowed to happen.

2. If the divorce goes to trial, most likely a Judge would not allow both parties to remain on the mortgage (except, perhaps for a very short time). Usually, a Judge would order the property to be sold. If only party was on the mortgage, then a Judge may allow that party to continue to remain on the mortgage, but, the Judge will put strict limits on how long and what happens if the mortgage is not paid.

There are many contingencies and scenarios that have to be considered with a mortgage. David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have drafted numerous divorce agreements that arrange for how a mortgage is handled after a divorce.

If you are thinking of getting divorced, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com. We have offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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Are Separate Bank Accounts Considered Marital Property?

In general terms, all assets acquired after marriage are considered marital property. Also, generally, it does not matter if one person is listed as the owner of the property, it is still considered marital property.

To determine if a separate bank account is considered marital property, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Was the bank account opened after marriage? If yes, then it almost always will be considered marital property. The exceptions would be if the monies placed in the bank account came solely from an inheritance, gift or a personal injury award. If all the monies placed in the bank account did come from an inheritance, gift or personal injury award, then that money is considered separate property and therefore the bank account and the money in it is also your separate property.

If the bank account was opened before the marriage, then go to question number 2.

2. If after the marriage: Did you place any joint monies, your wages or other marital funds into the bank account? If after the marriage, you put your pay check, or other marital funds into this bank account, then at the very least that money would be considered marital property. Furthermore, depending on the circumstances, all of the money in the bank account could be considered marital property.

If you answered no to this question, then most likely all the monies in the separate bank account will be considered your separate property. This is because you did not place any marital funds into the bank account.

If you have questions about what is marital property or separate property, David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. can answer your questions and help you. If you are considering getting a divorce or you have been served with divorce papers, then call David Badanes, Esq. at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale on Long Island, NY.

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Can My Soon-To-Be-Ex Legally Take the House I Inherited?

You may have inherited a house prior to your marriage or even during the marriage. Provided that you have not placed your spouse on the Deed to this house, then your soon-to-be ex-spouse does not have any legal right to the house. However, they may have some rights to be financially compensated.

If you did place your spouse on the Deed, then the house may be considered a marital asset that has to be equitably divided (not necessarily 50/50, but in a “fair” manner).

Even if you didn’t place your spouse’s name on the Deed, if your spouse can show that they paid the mortgage or other expenses for the house, then they may be entitled to financial compensation. For example, if the mortgage was paid from your spouse’s own bank account, then they may be entitled to receive some monies from the eventual sale of the house or from the divorce.

Therefore, if you inherited a house or any type of asset, you should make sure not to place your spouse on the deed. You will also want to keep an accounting of how the expenses were paid for the house.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have helped hundreds of clients in protecting their inherited homes. If you have questions regarding any property that you inherited, and how to protect it, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office’s phone number is 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

In a Divorce, Should You File Your Taxes Jointly?

If you are in the middle of a divorce and it is not finalized by December 31st, then you can still file a joint tax return. You are still considered “married” by the IRS if your Judgment of Divorce is not signed by December 31st. So, in some situations, all your divorce papers could be filed, prior to December 31st, but, if the Court (Judge) has not signed them, by the end of the year, you are still legally married.

In most situations, by filing a joint tax return, you will pay less in taxes than if you filed a separate tax return. Yet, there are some reasons why you might want to file a separate tax return, even if you are still legally married. As one example, if you believe your spouse is committing tax fraud, then it probably would be wise to file a separate tax return.

You always have the option to file a separate tax return during the period that you are still married. However, as stated above, you most likely will have to pay more in taxes compared to if you filed a joint tax return. This is because some tax deductions, credits, and other benefits are not available or are limited when you file separately.

So, in general terms, most likely you should file a joint tax return until your divorce is finalized. However, you should always consult with an accountant or tax attorney, before deciding whether or not to file a joint tax return or a separate tax return.

As with all areas of divorce, David Badanes explains the different tax consequences that occur in a divorce. If you are thinking of getting divorced, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or contact us online.

Child Support Arrears Can Lead to a Driver’s License Suspension

If you are in arrears in your child support payments, then you may face having your driver’s license suspended. In fact, if you are in arrears in your child support payments, then several other types of licenses can be suspended including:

  • Business licenses
  • Contractor licenses
  • Professional licenses (doctor, lawyer, accountant)
  • Occupational licenses
  • Boating licenses
  • Hunting licenses
  • Fishing licenses

In order for your licenses to be suspended or revoked, you would need to be at least four months in child support arrears. However, prior to having any license suspended or revoked, there needs to be a hearing. At that time, you would have the opportunity to either pay all your arrears or perhaps enter into a payment plan to pay your arrears.

It should also be noted, that if your driver’s license is suspended, you may be eligible to receive a restricted driver’s license that will allow you to only drive to and from your place of employment.

It is clear, that you should pay all your child support obligations. If you are in danger of falling behind in your child support payments, then you need to be proactive and contact an attorney to avoid having your licenses suspended.

If you need an attorney to help you with child support issues, then contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office’s phone number is 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.

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Working Dads and Divorce

If you are a working dad and facing a divorce, here is what you need to know to protect your rights.

  1. Keep working. If you quit your job, the court will not reduce your child support obligation. Furthermore, you will need the income.
  2. Open a new bank account. You will need access to your own funds. Although you will most likely need to keep paying the monthly expenses, you are permitted to open up your own new bank account.
  3. Reduce your expenses. Where possible, reduce your expenses and save what you can. You may soon be facing child support and maintenance payments that will strain your budget.
  4. During the divorce process — don’t move out of the house.
  5. Once the divorce is over, if you must relocate from the marital home, then you should find a place to live as close as possible to where your children will be living.
  6. Stay involved with your children.
  7. Make the most of your time with your children. This does not mean that you have to be a “Disneyland Dad”. Find activities that you both you and your children enjoy.
  8. Make a budget.

If you are a working dad, then divorce may be very difficult. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have represented numerous working dads and helped them in their divorce.

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How Does a Divorce Effect Social Security Benefits?

Social Security benefits are available to most American workers. For married couples, even if only one spouse is eligible for Social Security benefits, the other spouse may also receive benefits based on the marriage. When couple’s divorce, in order to collect Social Security benefits from your former spouse, you need to meet the following requirements:

  • Your marriage must have been for at least 10 years
  • You must be at least 62 years of age (at the time that you want to start collecting your benefits)
  • You need to remain unmarried — however, if you do re-marry, then you may still be able to receive benefits from your first spouse
  • Your own Social Security benefits must be less than the amount of benefits you would receive from your ex-spouse

If you do qualify for Social Security benefits, the benefits you receive do not reduce the amount of Social Security benefits paid to your former spouse. Therefore, getting divorced does not reduce your benefits, it only allows your former spouse to collect Social Security benefits as well.

You should also know, that if your ex-spouse qualifies for their Social Security benefits, but, has not applied for them, that you can still receive your Social Security benefits, based on that ex-spouse (provided that you have been divorced for at least two years).
Finally, it is important to know that Social Security benefits are subject to Federal Law and are not subject to change based on changes in New York law.

If you are contemplating divorce and you are close to being married for 10 years, you may want to delay filing for divorce until you are married for more than 10 years. This way you may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits from your former spouse.

If you are thinking of getting a divorce, you need an experienced Matrimonial and Divorce Attorney to guide you through the process. Call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Stay at Home Moms and Divorce

If you are a Stay At Home Mom and thinking of getting a divorce, or have been served with divorce papers, you need to know what your rights are.

You need to know that the courts will recognize your contribution as the caregiver for the children.

As a stay at home mom, while the divorce is in process you may be eligible for temporary child support and temporary spousal support.

Most likely your spouse will be required to pay some or most of your attorney fees.
Here are some other things you should know or do:

  • Keep a log (diary) of your daily and weekly caregiving duties with the children.
  • Determine what the monthly expenses are, including, the mortgage, utilities, car expenses
  • Determine how much support and money you will need after the divorce.
  • Open up your own bank account
  • Get a copy of the important financial documents

If you are a stay at home mom, you face specific challenges. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have represented countless stay at moms and helped them in their divorce.

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What Cats Can Teach You About Divorce

Yes, you read that right, cats can teach you something about divorce. As someone who has watched several cat videos, their behavior offers lessons for us humans on the divorce process. So, what can cats teach us:

  1. Cats don’t listen to other cats. Cats are not pack animals, they don’t blindly listen or follow what other cats do. When going through a divorce, your family and friends may give you lots of advice on how to handle your divorce. They may mean well, but, all too often their advice is not helpful. It is better to listen to your attorney’s advice.
  2. Cats can take care of themselves. Most cats are pretty independent and are good at taking care of themselves. In your divorce, you may need to learn how to take care of yourself.
  3. Cats are tough. If you have watched those cat videos, you are probably amazed at what cats can endure, and come out as if nothing happened to them. You will need to apply this advice in your divorce. A divorce can be very stressful and you may be faced with some difficult issues. Like a cat, you need to be tough and find a way to be successful, no matter what a divorce throws at you.
  4. Cats don’t need expensive jewelry or anything expensive. You buy a cat a cute little cat toy, and most likely it will play with the box it came in. Cats make do with what they have. So, in your divorce, you may be focused on what “things” you used to have, but, it may be better to focus on what is really important than on “things”.
  5. Cats will not tolerate bad behavior. Cat owners know that cats will not put up with crazy or annoying behavior. The same goes for your divorce. You may not be able to change your ex’s behavior, but, there is no need for you to tolerate it. If your ex’s actions are negatively affecting the children, you must take action.

You don’t have to love cats to know that they can teach you something about divorce. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office recognize that a divorce is a stressful time, but, like a cat, will help you navigate the process. If you need a divorce attorney with cat-like reflexes, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. Contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our website: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County (Northport) and in Nassau County.

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What a Billionaire’s Divorce Can Teach You

You may not be a billionaire, but the laws apply equally to billionaires as it does for everyone else. Harry Macklowe and Linda Macklowe are billionaires, they are the owners or an impressive art collection that according to Mr. Macklowe’s expert, is worth $788 million dollars, but, according to Ms. Macklowe’s expert is worth $625 million dollars. This illustrates that when it comes to personal property (which is what an art collection is considered), that valuation can be difficult and can vary widely. The same principle applies to any personal property that you and your spouse may own and that you may be arguing over. You may say that your car is worth $20,000, while your spouse says it is worth $10,000. So, what will happen? Well, similar to the Macklowe’s divorce, there are a few choices that the Court can choose from.

The court could decide to:

  1. Sell the asset (here, the car, in the Macklowe divorce, some of the art collection).
  2. Retain a receiver to determine what to do with the asset. A receiver is a third party that is appointed by the Court. A receiver will get a fee for performing its services, and in some cases, their fee is based on the amount of money they can obtain from selling the asset. Typically, receivers are used to manage and sell real estate property, but, as with the Macklowe divorce, a receiver can also be used to sell personal property. In the Macklowe divorce, the receiver decided to sell some of the art and give some of it to each party.
  3. Give the asset to one party, and compensate the other party with cash. In my car example, the Court could decide to let you keep the car, but, then you would have to give 50% of your valuation to your spouse, so, you would have to give $10,000 to your spouse. This is why, you don’t want to overvalue your asset, if you do, you may end up giving more money to your spouse then what the property is really worth. However, you also don’t want to undervalue your asset, because the Court could also give the car to your spouse (who said it was worth only $10,000), in that case, your spouse would only have to give you $5,000 and that may be a lot less than what the car is really worth.
  4. Allow the parties some time to reach a settlement on how to distribute personal property. Typically, this is the best method for dividing up personal property. It allows you and your spouse control over the process, and typically, will result in none of the property being sold and with each party getting a fair share of the property.

So, although you may not own an art collection worth millions of dollars, it is likely that you do own personal property, which includes, as some examples: cars, furniture, tools, equipment, jewelry, and sports collections. In many instances, determining the value of the personal property can be difficult. Just as in the Macklowe divorce, the Court has a few choices on how to distribute that personal property. In most cases, the best course of action is to reach an agreement with your spouse on how to distribute the personal property.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office can help you with your divorce, including issues of dealing with personal property. David Badanes has helped numerous clients in their divorce cases. The Badanes Law Office handles all types of divorce cases, from the extremely complicated to simple uncontested divorces, and everything in-between.

If you are thinking of getting a divorce, or are thinking of hiring a new attorney for your divorce, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. Contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our website: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County (Northport) and in Nassau County.

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