What Happens To Your Inheritance When You Divorce?

You may receive an inheritance before you are married, after your marriage, but before your divorce is started, or while in the middle of your divorce. This blog will explain what happens to your inheritance in all of those situations. I’ll assume that the inheritance was cash and not jewelry, artwork or some other physical personal property. However, the basic rules apply to cash and to personal property.

Inheritance before you are married: Any inheritance you receive before marriage is 100% yours. However, it only remains 100% yours as long as you keep the money in a separate bank account. If you deposit the inherited money into a joint bank account, then it is likely that the money will be considered a joint asset, and one that has to be divided 50/50.

Inheritance after you are married (but before the divorce is started): Provided the inheritance you receive after marriage is clearly designated to go to you, then that inheritance is 100% yours. However, similar to money received before you are married, the money only remains 100% yours as long as you keep the money in a separate bank account. If you deposit the inherited money into a joint bank account, then it is likely that the money will be considered a joint asset, and one that has to be divided 50/50.

Inheritance after the divorce is started: Provided the inheritance you receive after marriage is clearly designated to go to you, then that inheritance is 100% yours. Now that the divorce has started, there should be no reason that you deposit the money into a joint bank account. Yet, if you did, once again, any money deposited into a joint bank account would almost definitely be considered a joint asset, and one that has to be divided 50/50.

Therefore, if you receive an inheritance, before you file for your divorce, or even in the middle of a divorce, you can easily protect the amount that you receive. You need to directly deposit the inheritance into your own separate bank account. You should also document the amount of the inheritance, by photocopying the inheritance check and keeping that in a safe place. You should also keep a copy of the bank statement, showing the amount of the inheritance.

By taking these simple steps, your inheritance will be considered your “separate property” and therefore is not part of the marital assets.

If you have a question about your divorce, or how you can protect your inheritance, then contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. David Badanes has represented countless clients in their divorces and can help you.

If you are thinking of getting divorced, and live in Suffolk County, Nassau County or New York City, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com.

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Five Reasons Why You Should Not Wait To Start Your Divorce

The decision to get a divorce is never an easy one. As many Judges tell me: “No one gets Married thinking they will get Divorced.” Although, you may know that your marriage is “over”, yet, you may be reluctant to start your divorce. Here are five reasons why you should not wait to start your divorce:

  1. Alimony/Maintenance: If there is going to be alimony (now called spousal maintenance), then the longer you are married, the longer you may have to pay alimony.
  2. Marital Assets: Until you start your divorce, every asset and money you earn is typically going to be considered marital property. The sooner you start your divorce, the sooner that you cut-off your spouse getting half of your assets.
  3. Debts: The flip side of marital assets is marital debt. In general terms, any debt that is accumulated before the commencement of the divorce is considered marital debt and you could be required to pay half of that debt. So, if your spouse is accumulating marital debt, then the sooner you start your divorce, the sooner you can stop being held responsible for that debt.
  4. Children: If you have children, staying “unhappily married” or in a “toxic home” will have negative effects on your children. As difficult as a divorce may be for the children, living in a household where the parents are always fighting or the tensions are high are usually worse for the children.
  5. Domestic Violence: If there is domestic violence, clearly you should not wait to start the divorce process.

If you are considering getting divorced, then you need an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have the experience to get you through the divorce process. They have represented hundreds of clients. Check out our reviews on Google. David Badanes can be contacted 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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More Millennials Are Getting Prenups – Here’s Why

More and more millennials are getting prenuptial agreements. Unlike the past, millennials do not view a prenuptial agreement as a taboo or as a negative. So what is a prenuptial agreement?

A prenuptial agreement, commonly referred to as a prenup, is a legal document that dictates how a married couple will divide their assets and also how their debts are handled in case of a divorce.

There are many reasons why millennials are entering into prenuptial agreements. One reason that I have heard is that instead of New York State decide how your assets and debts would be handled in a divorce, you can make those decisions. In other words, you have control instead of New York State.

Another reason is that millennials are getting married later in life then generations before them. Millennials (and anyone else who is older) tend to have more assets. They want to make sure that those assets are protected in case of a divorce.

A few other reasons:

  • Female Millennials tend to have more financial information and assets than females in the past.
  • Student Loans: Unfortunately, millennials also tend to have student loans. With a prenuptial, you can make sure that only the person who has the student loan will be responsible to pay it back.
  • Growing up with Divorced Parents; Many millennials grew up with divorced parents. They recognize that not all marriages last forever.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office have helped many millennials in creating a prenuptial agreement that works for them. If you are about to get married and have assets you would like to protect, 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. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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My Ex Spouse and I Have a Verbal Agreement to Modify Our Divorce: Is that Binding?

After your divorce, especially if you and your spouse have children, there may be many times when you and your ex-spouse want to modify or change what your divorce agreement states. Most likely you will just “verbally agree” (or do it via text messaging or email). Is your verbal agreement binding? Is your text message or email binding?

Generally, a verbal agreement is not binding. Similarly, a text message or email is not binding — even if it is signed.

In New York State, in order or a modification of your divorce agreement to be binding, it has to be in writing, have a proper acknowledgment and also be notarized. Simply, having a written agreement that is signed is not sufficient. Even if the document is signed and it has a notary public stamp that is also not sufficient. The agreement must be signed, notarized and have what is called a “proper acknowledgment.”

A proper acknowledgement states that in an addition to a notary recognizing your signature on the document, the notary must also state that the party signing the document orally acknowledged to the notary public that he/she signed the document and that the notary indicate that they ascertained that the signer was the person described in the document.

Therefore, even if you and your ex-spouse come to a verbal agreement and you then want to challenge that verbal agreement you probably can do so. However, the Court can consider your verbal agreement as evidence and still may uphold the verbal agreement.

There will be many times that in practice, you and your ex-spouse should feel comfortable in entering a verbal agreement. Clearly, having to enter a written agreement every time you want a small change to your agreement could be unwieldy and prohibitive. You and your ex-spouse should have at least enough trust that a verbal agreement should suffice.

Of course, if the modification or change to your divorce agreement is a big change, then it probably would make sense to enter into a written agreement and also to hire an attorney to make sure that the written agreement is property drafted.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office have drafted many modifications and amendments to divorce agreements and have also given advice on what divorced couples need to do to modify their divorce agreements.

If you want to change your divorce agreement or you are considering getting divorced, 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. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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How Are Divorces Being Affected by the Coronavirus?

The Coronavirus is affecting all aspects of our “normal” life. The Court system is no exception. The Courts have decided that only “emergency” applications and filings will be allowed.

So far, in Suffolk County, they are not accepting new divorce actions. In Nassau County, you can commence a new divorce action by e-filing. If you have a pending divorce, most likely any court appearances have been adjourned to a date in May or even to a later month. If there are any pending motions, they will be extended.

If there are any temporary orders of custody or support, they are continued. If there is a temporary order of protection that is scheduled to end, then the end date has been indefinitely extended until the Coronavirus emergency is over.

In summary, your divorce action is basically “on hold”. However, it is important to note that each Judge may be handling your case differently. Therefore, you should always check with your attorney to confirm what exactly has happened to your divorce case.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. is keeping apprised of the new developments as it pertains to the Coronavirus. David Badanes have helped countless clients going through their divorce and navigating them through the process.

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After a Divorce Can I Still Collect as a Beneficiary?

It is fairly common that during a marriage, you will name your spouse as a beneficiary to your life insurance policy, mutual funds, retirement accounts, trust and other similar assets. When you get divorced, your divorce agreement should explicitly state that you revoke that designation — with one very large exception. If there are children involved, the divorce agreement can state that the children are the beneficiary and that your ex-spouse is just a trustee or guardian of the assets.

However, even if the divorce agreement does not explicitly revoke your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, New York State law provides that a divorce automatically revokes such designations. There is an exception to the law, namely if the insurance policy, retirement account or trust expressly states that a divorce does not revoke a beneficiary designation, then in that case, it would not be expressly revoked.

If you have questions about your divorce or you are seeking to get a divorce, contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. If you live in Suffolk County or Nassau County, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.

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Can You Date Before The Divorce is Final?

Unless there is a specific Court Order stating that you cannot date before your divorce is final, you can date someone while the divorce is pending and before your divorce is final.

Although you are typically allowed to date, most Judges do not want you to have your new paramour introduced to any of the parties’ children. This means that you should not have dinner with your children and your new boyfriend/girlfriend. In general terms, you should not be spending time with your new boyfriend or girlfriend and with your children.

Furthermore, you should not be spending marital assets on the new boyfriend/girlfriend. This means that if you still have a joint bank account with your spouse, you should not be withdrawing monies from that account and then spending it on your new boyfriend/girlfriend.

You should also refrain from taking your new boyfriend/girlfriend on any vacations or on spending any exorbitant amount of monies on the new paramour.

If you need legal advice and are seeking an attorney, 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 us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

Your Ex Never Shows Up For Scheduled Visits – What You Can Do

Unfortunately, in some divorces, one of the parents will constantly not show up for their scheduled visits (parenting time) with the parties’ children. This can be especially frustrating when the location for the exchange of the children is at a location that is not your residence. Here are some things you can do if your ex is not showing up for scheduled visits.

  1. Keep a log (diary) of each time that your ex does not show up. Make sure your log states the date and how long you waited. In general, you should wait at least 15 minutes before leaving the exchange location.
  2. Text your Ex. Since virtually everyone has text capability, you should text your ex prior to the exchange time (about 30 minutes before) and then also text your ex when you are at the exchange location. If the exchanges are at your residence, then you can text at the time when the ex is supposed to be there. Make sure to save and print out your text messages.
  3. Send letters to your Ex. After three or more “no shows”, you should send a letter to your ex, stating that he/she did not show up at the exchange time or location. In the letter, you can state that unless your Ex gives prior notice that he/she will arrive on time for the next visitation time, that you will not be there for the next exchange. It is good advice to have your attorney send this letter. It is also good advice to send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  4. Go to Court. You may want to go to Court to get a Court order stating that you do not have to wait for your ex to show up at the exchange location.

If you are seeking a divorce or need to hire an attorney, please 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 us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

Am I Responsible for the Debt My Spouse Had Prior to Our Marriage?

If you are going through a divorce, you might be wondering if you are responsible for the debt that your spouse had prior to your marriage? Typically, the answer is that you are not responsible for any pre-marital debt that your spouse had.

Any debt prior to a marriage is not considered as part of the “marital debt” and therefore is not your responsibility. However, in order to escape any reliability that such debt is not your debt, you need to show documentation which shows that the debt existed prior to the marriage. Furthermore, if the debt was a credit card debt, then you have to show that you did not add to that credit card debt after the marriage. If you did use that credit card or added to that credit card debt, then it might be difficult to show which debt is pre-marital and which credit card debt is post-marriage.

In many cases, one party may have had student loan debt prior to the marriage, in almost all cases, you will not be responsible for your spouse’s student loan debt that was incurred prior to the marriage.

Similarly, if your spouse had personal loans or automobile loans that existed prior to the marriage, and that still exist after the marriage, you should not be responsible for that debt.

Although, it is a good idea to have a pre-nuptial agreement that discusses each parties’ debt, it is not necessary to avoid paying for your spouse’s pre-marital debt.

In a divorce, there are many questions about debts and assets that will need to be answered. David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. can answer those questions for you. If you are seeking an attorney to represent you in your divorce, then contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. If you live in Suffolk County or Nassau County, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

What if My Ex-Spouse Excessively Calls or Texts Our Children During My Parenting Time?

With the ease of cell phones, your spouse may abuse his/her privileges to call or text your children during your parenting time. Here are a few tips of what you can do.

  • Establish Set Days & Times For Calls & Texts: One of the most effective methods to limit excessive phone calls and excessive texting, is to have set days and times for such communication. For example, depending on the age of the children, you might want to state that your ex can call or text every night from between 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. You also need to explain to your ex that any other calls or text messages will be ignored.
  • Use a Specialized Application (e.g. Family Wizard): If your ex still abuses phone calls and texting, then you can use a co-parenting application that can keep track of the excessive phone calls or text messages.
  • Contact Your Attorney: You can contact your attorney who can then send a “cease and desist” letter to your ex (or your ex’s attorney). The cease and desist letter will inform your ex that they are not to continue their excessive phone calls or excessive texting. If need be, your attorney may have to file a petition to court.

Although, there is no excuse for excessive telephone calls or excessive texting, your spouse does have the right to call and text the children (unless there is a court order that states otherwise). If your spouse is only calling once a day or has a few text messages, then that will be allowed.

Whether you are going through a divorce or you are already divorce, many times one of the issues that leads to conflict is your ex-spouse excessively calling or texting the children. If you are contemplating a divorce or you have been served with divorce papers, then contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County and Nassau County. Their phone number is 631-239-1702, David’s email is david@dbnylaw.com or you can visit us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.