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Broome County Family Law Blog

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.

ADR may beat litigation for your child custody dispute

When you signed your child custody agreement, you thought the bickering was over. Unfortunately, because circumstances change, you may find yourself in the middle of an argument with your former spouse over an existing child support agreement. Rather than taking your dispute to court, you may want to pursue alternative dispute resolution. 

ADR comes in a variety of forms. Instead of fighting your ex-spouse in open court, you may look for a solution through arbitration, mediation, counseling or another type of ADR. Here are four advantages of using ADR to resolve your child custody dispute: 

Medical bills contribute significantly to bankruptcy

Many people in New York have trouble dealing with medical bills. Pursuing necessary medical treatment may leave Americans with substantial debt that is almost impossible to repay. In fact, over two-thirds of all bankruptcy filings across the country involve medical expenses as part of the overall debt burden. According to a recently released study, around 530,000 people and families file for bankruptcy every year due to the financial impact of a serious illness.

The study was the first performed on the relationship between bankruptcy and medical bills since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed in 2010. According to the researchers, many people are "just one serious illness away" from needing to file for bankruptcy. Even people with medical insurance can suffer major financial consequences from health care treatment. This is due to the number of exclusions, copayments and deductibles that are expensive. The researchers examined a random sample of 910 bankruptcy filings across the United States between 2013 and 2016. According to the researchers, 58.5 percent of bankruptcies were tied to medical bills while 44.3 percent were related to illness-related loss of income. Many people filing cited both issues.

Infidelity, substance abuse and money woes motivate many divorces

Many issues drive New York spouses to get divorced. Poor communication skills, lack of commitment, health problems and domestic violence end many marriages. Extramarital affairs, drinking, drug use or financial stress represent some other common reasons for divorce. In one survey, infidelity and substance abuse emerged as "final straws" that forced people to end their relationships.

Divorce survey responses collected by the National Center for Biotechnology Information indicated that 59.6 percent of splits arose from infidelity. People viewed the extramarital affairs as evidence that their relationships had reached an end.

Study examines effects of illness on a marriage

When women in New York develop cancer, heart disease or other serious health conditions, their divorce risk goes up. According to a 2015 study that appeared in "The Journal of Health and Social Behavior," the same divorce risk is not shared by men who suffer from health problems.

Other research supports these findings. Researchers from Purdue University and Iowa State University examined 2,701 marriages and how they were affected by cancer, stroke, lung disease and heart disease. The study found that heart disease or a stroke raised the likelihood of divorce even more than lung disease or cancer for women, but for men, there was no effect.

How social attractiveness could affect a relationship

For people in New York beginning a relationship, physical attraction to a new partner may be one of the most compelling aspects that bring two people together. However, some couples have wide differences in their levels of attractiveness, at least insofar as they are perceived by others. While people have widely variant understandings of which traits are the most physically attractive, social standards of beauty may have a significant impact on how people are treated in romantic relationships. Several researchers have conducted studies to examine how an attractiveness gap may affect the happiness or longevity of a relationship.

Some researchers found that couples with a wide gap in attractiveness were more likely to break up later on. One study noted that tensions arise in these relationships when the partner considered less attractive develops jealousy or controlling tendencies. Another study found that women who reported that they were much more attractive than their male partners were more likely to flirt with others and lack commitment to the relationship. Since that study relied on self-reported attractiveness gaps, however, it may also illustrate serious relationship problems, dislike and contempt. All of these factors are often present in case of a divorce.

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