Saratoga County Divorce Attorneys
Have you or a loved one been going through the divorce process? Check out this article and call our Saratoga County divorce attorneys today.
Going through a divorce is heart-wrenching and can be financially devastating.
If you’re reading this, you may be considering a divorce or going through one. You’re probably worried about the emotional and financial impact it will have on your family, especially your children. You are probably trying to figure out who you can turn to for help with the divorce process.
We are here to help. Call our Saratoga County divorce attorneys today.
The information here will give you an overview of what to expect in a divorce case. We’re going to start with the story of one of our clients in hopes of answering questions you may have. After that, we’ll share the common mistakes people make in their divorce cases. Please read through to the end to learn as much as you can. Then give us a call so we can answer questions about your specific claim.
Saratoga County Divorce Client Story
We are sharing the client story below to give you an overview of your divorce case. The names and specifics have been changed to protect the privacy of our client, but the value of the information remains. Please read to the end to get additional answers about divorce cases, and then give us a call to set up your legal consultation. We’d love to answer about your specific case.
On a crisp November morning not so long ago, Louise Miller packed her small SUV until there was no more room. She topped off the oil, clapping the hood shut as hazy twilight surrendered to darkness.
As she rounded the driver’s side, her husband Dan came down the front porch steps with a thermos of hot coffee and two peanut butter banana sandwiches: her favorite.
“Need to make one last swing through the house to check for anything you might need?” He asked, giving her his brave face.
Louise shook her head, looking past his shoulder at nothing. She couldn’t bring herself to look him in the eyes. “I’m good. Movers will be here Saturday for the rest,” she said, swallowing hard. He gave her one last hug and they stood like that for a while before she pulled away and climbed behind the steering wheel, praying it was dark enough for him not to see her tears.
“Let me know you’ve arrived safely,” he said quietly. She nodded, unable to answer, then fired up the engine and was gone, crunching down the long gravel drive to the main road. The SUV lumbered onto the smooth asphalt as Louise drove southwest to the interstate. In three hours, she’d be in Boston and her new life would begin. She turned up the radio and let the tears fall.
Back in Saratoga Springs, Dan returned to the house, threw another log on the fire, and stared into the flames. He didn’t know when he fell asleep. He woke in the gray light of morning to a cold fire and a hungry herd of alpacas.
Dan walked across their driveway and onto the farm next door. He went about the morning feeding, letting his mind drift. He loved this place, and he’d thought Louise would love it too.
Living where they did allowed his wife time to write. She’d written dozens of short stories in the first six months they’d lived next door to the farm. Then came the freelance work. Before they knew it, Louise was getting book offers. He’d encouraged her, even though he knew what was coming, even as he’d felt her pulling away. He knew her heart was back in Boston. And he knew he’d never leave Saratoga County.
In the end he knew he’d rather lose her because she’d chosen to go rather than because he’d convinced her to stay. They loved each other, but it wasn’t going to be enough.
Their only sticking point was custody of Maia, their eight-year-old daughter. Dan firmly believed she needed the stability of her home, extended family, and the familiarity of the family farm she grew up on.
Louise was convinced Maia needed her mother and all the new experiences awaiting her in Boston. Neither of them wanted to fight about it, but neither would give in.
After the alpacas were fed, Dan drove to the office of divorce Attorney Jean Mahserjian for a legal consultation. Maia had gone ahead to Boston for a visit with Louise’s mother until Louise arrived.
That’s as far as the plans went for the time-being. Right now, Dan knew he needed to get very organized. As much as he didn’t feel ready, he had to put his head down and protect his assets to weather the coming storm.
Are there ways to lower cost of divorce?
As Dan sat down with Attorney Mahserjian, he pulled out a legal pad and started on his list of questions.
“I’m sure my situation isn’t all that unique, he began, “I’m about to inherit a hobby farm from my father. Everything is in transition right now, and I need to continue to be very careful with money. Are there ways to minimize divorce expenses?”
Attorney Mahserjian said that yes, there were ways to lower the expense. “It may sound simplistic, but divorce involves a lot of paperwork. If you can gather all the documentation we need and provide three or four copies to us so that we don’t have to subpoena it from wherever it currently is, that will save time and resources. Whenever you save your attorney’s time and resources, you’ll save money.
“Another thing I always recommend is to do your very best to maintain a cordial relationship with your spouse. Things can get heated in a divorce; especially when children are involved. But the better your relationship, the faster things will go and the less you will spend.”
“Those are good points,” Dan said. “Luckily, my wife and I aren’t divorcing because we don’t love each other. Our paths have unfortunately diverged. She’s still hoping I’ll ‘come around’ and move to Boston. She’s not going to be happy about being served with divorce papers, but I’m confident we can get along through the process. I warned her that this was a likely outcome, because there’s no point if we’re going to live separate lives.”
Can I get divorced if my spouse moves to another state?
“Will there be any issue with getting a divorce with Louise across state lines?” Dan asked.
“No, because you live here, so you’re within the jurisdictional and residential requirements. We can have a process server in Boston hand-deliver the papers, Mahserjian said.
“If she refuses to comply, she’ll face default. That would mean you’d get everything you asked for in the divorce petition. She’d be unable to challenge the legitimacy of your claims as you’ve presented the facts. This usually gets a resistant spouse’s attention.”
Can my ex take my inheritance in the divorce?
“What I really need to know is whether Louise can take the alpaca farm. My father just passed, and he willed it to me. None of the paperwork has been completed yet, so there’s been no transfer of property.
“It’s profitable, but it’s far more than a business to me. I grew up on that farm, and the animals, they’re family. I don’t want to live anywhere else,” said Dan. “In a way, my father’s death precipitated the divorce, because Louise just assumed we’d sell off the farm and move to Boston now that she’s got a book deal.”
“Whether or not the farm can be considered community marital property is going to depend on whether assets have been commingled,” said Mahserjian.
“For example, if both your names have been listed in the will, or if you’d already inherited and registered the title in both your names.” The lawyer said. “The fact that the will is still in probate and the farm hasn’t been transferred to you yet simplifies things.
“To keep it out of marital assets, you need to make sure Louise does not have access to the bank accounts the farm operates through; she can’t even withdraw money from it, or it may be converted to a shared marital asset.
“In addition, make sure you don’t use any money from your joint account to fix up the farm, buy supplies, animals, anything. The farm can’t be used as collateral on loans for anything you purchase together.
“Since you’re now filing for divorce, you’re in the best possible position to continue maintaining this inheritance in your name only.”
Does it matter whether I date before the divorce is final?
“Now, I realize dating may be the farthest thing from your mind at this time, but I want to let you know that it’s important to wait to begin any new relationships until after the divorce is settled,” Mahserjian said.
“Yeah, that’s not something I’m even vaguely thinking about right now,” said Dan. “I need to know our daughter will be okay and I need to find out how to keep the farm in the family.”
“I know, but it’s important to that someone makes you aware of this. Many people don’t see how their personal life is in any way relevant to divorce proceedings once they’ve filed.
The obvious issue is that kids need time to adjust after such a big change. If you start dating, your spouse can use the potential for it to cause stress to the children as leverage in a custody battle.
It can also cause spouses to become jealous, shutting down communications and fostering vindictive behavior,” said Mahserjian. “As we’ve said, the more drawn-out divorce proceedings are, the more expensive they get.”
“Yes, I could see that being a mess,” Dan agreed. “You won’t have any worries on my account.”
Dan was satisfied with the information he received during his consultation and retained Jean Mahserjian to handle the divorce.
In the end, Dan and Louise were able to wrap up their settlement without tearing each other to pieces, which helped Maia to adjust well to the changes she faced. Dan and Louise also came up with a shared custody arrangement that enabled Maia to spend holidays, school breaks, and summers with her father. Dan was able to keep the family farm, and Louise was satisfied with settlement arrangements that enabled her to make her move to Boston permanent.
Common Divorce Case Mistakes
There are several common mistakes you can avoid in your divorce case to ensure you receive what you are entitled to. Please look over each of the errors below to protect yourself.
Seeking Advice from Family and Friends
Everyone needs a safe place to talk out the stresses of life. When you’re going through a divorce, it’s natural to want to lean on family and friends. That’s okay, so long as you don’t turn to them for legal advice.
Even if the loved one you’re confiding in has been through a divorce, they are most likely not an expert in the law. In addition, they are not likely to be objective about your divorce.
Having a skilled divorce attorney will give you reliable direction on the complex mix of custody arrangements and division of assets inherent in a divorce.
Giving in to Unreasonable Demands to Get Through the Divorce Process Faster.
You may think it would be easy to refuse requests unreasonable demands from your ex during the divorce settlement. When you’re in the thick of the process, however, it’s tempting to give in and sign away your rights to property, retirement shares, or even your inheritance, just to wrap it all up faster.
The truth is that once you sign off voluntarily on such decisions, it’s extremely difficult to reverse them. Your Saratoga County divorce attorneys will help you work out a divorce settlement that works for you now and in the future.
Making Assumptions when it Comes to Taxes and Other Government Program Requirements
It’s important to be aware of the administrative facts when you go through a divorce. For instance, don’t assume that the alimony payments you make are tax-deductible. Likewise, don’t assume money your ex pays you in alimony or child support is tax deductible, either. Your experienced Saratoga County divorce attorneys will advise you about your taxes to keep you out of trouble with the IRS.
Hiring an experienced divorce attorney will guide you on making sure your name change is processed as quickly as possible, so your tax doesn’t get held up.
Remember that if the divorce will result in you losing healthcare coverage, you may need to use the Special Enrollment Period to get coverage for yourself and possibly your children. This, too, is something your divorce attorney can give you guidance on.
Assuming Your Paperwork is Correct Without Verifying it Yourself
Divorce is often a stressful, messy, painful process. It can be tempting to ease up on fact-checking every document involved in your case. After all, the paperwork is being generated by attorneys, right?
Not checking over your paperwork puts you at risk. Even attorneys with the best intentions can make errors. Take the time to read through all the papers coming from your spouse’s attorney, in addition to paperwork coming from your own attorney. In the event your spouse is not doing their due diligence in checking everything over, you may catch something yourself, and mistakes can be costly when it comes to divorce.
Slowing down to read through your divorce paperwork is worth the investment.
Turning to the Wrong Attorney to Handle Your Divorce
Getting a divorce is a huge life change that can impact every area of your life. It’s something you may never feel completely ready for. Hiring the right person to guide you through can make all the difference not only in your experience of the divorce process, but what you end up with after the paperwork is done.
Like doctors, lawyers have many practice areas from which to choose. You probably wouldn’t go to a heart surgeon for eye surgery. Make sure you put your divorce in the hands of someone who specializes in divorce and family law.
Divorce is a process that requires open communication with your attorney for the best possible outcome. It’s a good idea to interview a few attorneys to select someone you are comfortable talking to. Your divorce attorney should be a great listener and encourage questions.
Call Our Experienced Saratoga County Divorce Attorneys today.