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Broome County Family Law Blog

Young Americans face credit card debt troubles

Young people in New York and across the country are facing a growing debt burden. While millennials were once known as a generation averse to borrowing, especially after they came of age during the financial crisis of 2008, an increasing number of young Americans now owe a significant amount to credit card issuers. Of greater concern is the indication that more of them are also having trouble paying their bills. Americans aged 18 to 29 now have a greater amount of debt overdue by at least 90 days than at any time in the past eight years.

Indeed, 8% of all credit card debt held by people in this age group is at least 90 days overdue, which points to serious concerns about delinquency. There are many reasons why people fall behind on their credit card payments. Many individuals open a new card after their financial situation improves and they begin working at a more highly paid professional job. They feel certain that they will be able to repay any debt. However, changing circumstances can confound these plans. People dealing with job loss, medical problems or other issues may be more likely to fall behind on payments. In addition, unpaid credit card debt continues to grow due to relatively high interest rates.

5 ways grandparents can help in a post-divorce family

The grandparent-grandchild relationship is one of the most important in society. After all, when grandparents spend time with grandchildren, everyone benefits. As you may suspect, though, when your child divorces his or her spouse, your relationship with your grandkids may become more difficult. 

With their wisdom and life experience, grandparents always have something to offer their grandkids. When grandchildren have to adapt to a post-divorce family, though, grandparents often play a critical role. Here are five ways you can help your grandkids during and after their parents’ divorce: 

Key financial documents to use in a divorce

During the divorce process, an individual will want to have access to as much information as possible. A person could use a New York state tax return to gather data about his or her household's net worth. A federal tax return may also yield clues about how much a household is worth and whether a spouse may be hiding or obscuring assets. In most cases, returns from the past three years will be most relevant in a divorce proceeding.

Anything gleaned from a tax return can be used to create a statement of net worth. This will include the value of any assets a person holds directly, and it can also include the value of assets of which an individual may have an interest. For instance, an individual may be entitled to a portion of a retirement account held in his or her spouse's name only.

How to deal with difficult child support payments

Some divorced parents in New York complain about child support amounts set by courts. These court-ordered monetary obligations could strain a payor's budget, but legal options exist for those struggling to stay current on their child support payments. Ignoring problems like job loss or reduction in income sends noncustodial parents down the unpleasant path of child support enforcement.

Upon losing a job or suffering a similar financial setback, a payor should approach the family court as soon as possible. Petitioning the court to modify a child support order before a custodial parent alerts the state's child support enforcement agency about unpaid child support could reduce the financial consequences. When presented with documentation about income loss, a court might approve a request to lower the payments. This would reduce monetary burdens on the noncustodial parent and potentially prevent the negative consequences of letting support go unpaid for months or years.

How divorce can negatively affect credit scores

Divorce can be hard on credit scores for some people living in New York. It is the things that happen as a result of a divorce and not the divorce itself that causes a decrease in credit score. Debts may be split as part of a divorce decree, but if a person's name remains on the debt, this is whom creditors will pursue regardless of what the couple agreed on.

Divorce also leaves some people struggling financially on a single income. This impact may fall disproportionately on women. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in the last quarter of 2018, women working full time earned on average $200 less per week than men. A study by the credit agency Experian found that over half of women reported damage to their credit during their marriage, and half said their ex-spouse ruined their credit.

3 signs you may need to assert your grandparental rights

Few things are more rewarding than raising good kids. As you age, though, you may look forward to becoming a grandparent. After all, the grandparent-grandchild relationship is often one of the most dynamic ones in society. In fact, a recent study found fewer incidents of depression in both grandparents and grandchildren who had a close relationship. If you cannot see your grandkids, you may miss out on the experience altogether. 

In New York, both biological and adoptive grandparents may petition the court for visitation rights. As you may suspect, though, asserting your grandparental rights is not necessarily easy. Still, if any of the following apply to you, petitioning the court for visitation rights may be your best option: 

Bezos marriage ends amicably even when dividing large assets

New York residents interested in business and entertainment news may have heard about the divorce of Amazon power couple Jeff and Mackenzie Bezos. The couple reached a settlement agreement that has the potential to be the biggest the world has ever seen.

Both parties in the Bezos divorce have claim to assets relating to Amazon, and the chief executive and founder of Amazon has agreed to give his wife holdings that represent a percentage of their shared company stock. This will involve more than $35 billion. In turn, Mackenzie will give her husband her interests in Blue Origin and the Washington Post.

Tips for coparenting after divorce

After parents in New York get a divorce, they usually also have to coparent together. This can require improving some skills, such as communication, and making sure that they focus on the best interests of the child.

There are online tools that can facilitate communication. Offline, a calendar in the home of each parent helps children and their parents keep track of the custody and visitation schedule. Parents should also make an effort to enforce consistent expectations between households. This is usually less complicated than trying to agree on specific rules since this is often an area of conflict between parents.

How cryptocurrency is impacting divorce

Individuals who are getting divorced in New York are facing a relatively modern challenge when it comes to determining how to divide assets. Cryptocurrencies are creating a unique issue for divorce attorneys.

Cryptocurrencies first came on the scene in 2009 with the launch of Bitcoin. At that time, there was relatively little interest or concern surrounding it. Over the years, however, that has changed: Cryptocurrencies are now becoming an issue for divorcing couples looking to separate or divide assets. While this problem is relatively recent, it is expected that it will continue to grow over the years.

Grey Divorce is a Growing Trend in America

In New York, a trend called "grey divorce" has been steadily growing. A grey divorce refers to an older couple who files for divorce after many years of marriage. Statistics show that more couples in their 50s are getting divorced. Synonyms for the term "grey divorcees" include "silver splitters" and "diamond splitters." The terms refer to older couples with grey or white hair.

Financial difficulties often play a key role. A married couple experiencing debts and low earnings for many years are in a perpetual state of conflict. Money problems usually lead to arguments. Couples grow weary of the constant bickering and finally decide to get divorced. But grey divorces also occur when one spouse earns most of the money and makes every financial decision. The other spouse may feel left out and isolated. Another problem is when a wife starts earning more money than her husband.

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