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In New York and throughout the U.S., divorce and bankruptcy often go hand in hand. For many people, going through a divorce is one of the most financially and emotionally devastating experiences. Sometimes, a couple’s financial difficulties are the main cause of their divorce, and in other cases, the divorce itself becomes so costly that…

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In New York and throughout the U.S., divorce and bankruptcy often go hand in hand. For many people, going through a divorce is one of the most financially and emotionally devastating experiences. Sometimes, a couple’s financial difficulties are the main cause of their divorce, and in other cases, the divorce itself becomes so costly that…

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IDV judges hear cases that involve the same parties or family where there is a family court order of protection case plus a matrimonial case, a criminal case, or both, and the main issue in each case is domestic violence. The cases must be filed in the same county, and the IDV judge must accept…

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At the beginning of 2020, household debt in the U.S. was higher than it had been in years. Nearly 6% of all credit card balances were at least two months in arrears, while delinquencies were being reported for 14% and 16% of car loans and student loans, respectively. When COVID-19 shut down all non-essential businesses…

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Concussions are a mild type of traumatic brain injury. They result from sudden blows to the head or violent skull movements often witnessed in motor vehicle accidents as well as slips and falls and falls from height. Although not as severe as some injuries, they can lead to complications, one of which is post-concussion syndrome.…

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An Order of Protection is an Order issued by a court specifying the type of conduct that the opposing side must follow. An Order of Protection can be issued in a matrimonial action, in criminal court, or family court. If there is a pending divorce action, the party seeking the Order of Protection can file…

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There are basically two ways to resolve your personal injury claim: settle it or go to trial. Most times, you and your attorney will first try to negotiate an agreement on how to conclude the case fairly. If both sides can’t reach an accord, then the matter goes to court for a judge or jury…

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One parent can file for child support if the child lives with that parent for a majority of the time, and the child’s parents do not live together. The petition can be filed in the county where one of the parents resides pursuant to New York Family Court Act Section 421. If the child does…

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The law is full of Latin phrases that may not make sense to those outside the legal profession, although they signify conditions that can affect your case. One of them is res ipsa loquitur, which means “the thing speaks for itself.” When you file a personal injury claim, you are generally required to prove how…

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Pursuant to New York Family Court Act Section 424-a, both parties are required to reveal their financial information except if the party is a social services official. One document that the court requires from each party is the financial disclosure affidavit. The main categories on the financial disclosure affidavit are Income from all sources Assets…

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Does Bankruptcy Affect Alimony or Child Support? Here’s a question I’ve been recently asked by a client. Will a bankruptcy affect alimony or child support? Well, that’s a double question. Actually, it’s four parts.   Bankruptcy and child support or alimony First, if you have to pay child support or alimony, a bankruptcy does not…

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Does Bankruptcy Affect an Inheritance?  I’ve been asked recently how a bankruptcy will affect an inheritance. It’s not an easy question, but you must list anything you’re going to inherit. If you know someone died and you’re listed in the will, or if you know someone died and you were a relative who would receive…

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Does Bankruptcy Affect Wills or Estate Plans? I’ve been asked recently, “How will a bankruptcy affect my will or estate plan?”   A fresh start The purpose of bankruptcy is to give you a fresh start, which will allow you to go forward without the baggage or hassle of all your debts and to start…

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Will A Bankruptcy Affect My Credit Score? A client recently asked me, “Will a bankruptcy affect my credit score, and what can I do about it?” Yes. A bankruptcy does affect your credit score, somewhat. Here’s why.   How your credit score works Your credit score is based on how much money you owe. Are…

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Do I Need a Lawyer to File for Bankruptcy? A client asked me recently whether he can file a bankruptcy on his own, or whether he would need a lawyer to assist him. The answer is that anyone can file papers on their own in court. That’s called a pro se or by yourself petition.…

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Can I Be Turned Down For Bankruptcy?  A client asked me recently, “Can I be turned down for a bankruptcy?” That’s a maybe.   How it works First, you answer all the questions honestly and you provide all the documents to your lawyer. The lawyer prepares the petition, and you fill it out and sign…

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When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York, there are different obligations that you have to fulfill. To begin with, you must make all of your financial information available for inspection, such as your income, assets, and liabilities, so that the Bankruptcy Court can determine the following: Whether or not you meet the…

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Military parents have the same obligations as civilian parents when it comes to supporting their children financially. When they try to evade that responsibility, you may encounter special challenges because military spouses are employed by the federal government, and there are certain steps that you need to take to collect outstanding child support. How much…

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Last March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law to mitigate the economic effect of COVID-19 on U.S. residents. It included temporary modifications of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, which are summarized below. Some federal income is excluded from the “income” definition Traditionally, courts have looked at your disposable…

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When you’re getting ready to say, “I do,” the last thing you want to think about is that the marriage could break down one day. For many people, a prenuptial agreement is a sign that you don’t trust your partner or the relationship’s stability. The truth is that no one can predict the future, and…

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Thousands of New Yorkers have lost their jobs in the last several weeks because their employers ceased operations to control the spread of COVID-19. Those who rent their homes or have a mortgage are understandably worried. What happens if you can’t pay? On March 20, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order that prohibited enforcement of…

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When you’re struggling with mounting debt balances, bankruptcy can give you the financial relief you need- unless your goal is to eliminate student loan debt. This is not to say that you can’t discharge your student loans, but it’s extremely difficult, and the chance of success has traditionally been low. For a bankruptcy court to…

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If you were preparing for divorce in early March, then the pandemic most definitely stalled your plans. When COVID-19 put New York on pause, everyone was ordered to shelter in place, and the court system was limited to non-urgent matters. If the lockdown took effect before you and your spouse had the chance to separate,…

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Your debts have spiraled out of control, and bankruptcy appears to be your best option for a fresh start. However, your employer requires you to use a company credit card to pay for rental cars, hotel stays, and other expenses associated with your role at the business. Now you have questions. Do you have to…

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When you’re in a motor vehicle accident, you can suffer serious injuries that include deep bruises, lacerations, and broken bones. Although these injuries are painful and the treatments uncomfortable, they tend to heal, allowing you to resume your normal day-to-day activities after you are sufficiently recovered. Catastrophic injuries are different in that you never fully…

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If the unmarried parents of a child separate, then some general issues that they may face are how to establish paternity, how to file for child support, and how to file for custody or visitation. Establishing Paternity Paternity can be established if the father is listed on the child’s birth certificate, and he signed an…

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COVID-19 has presented practically all New York residents with economic and social challenges. Schools and nonessential businesses that cannot operate online remain closed, which means that divorced couples with children are facing parenting challenges that they could not have anticipated at the time of separation. Below is an overview of some general do’s and don’ts…

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Last month, the New York unemployment rate went up to 14.5%, taking it to its highest level since the Great Depression. According to the New York State Department of Labor (DOL), it was the biggest monthly drop in employment numbers on record. Nationally, the April unemployment rate was 14.7% (compared to 4.1% in March), mostly…

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Even when your divorce is expected, you’re going to struggle with intense feelings like anger, depression, and heartbreak. It’s hard, and maintaining your usual high performance can be difficult, especially if your divorce is contested and you’re facing weeks or months of litigation. Although you are not legally required to tell your boss about the…

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There are many occupations that require you to have a security clearance. They include positions in the military and government, weapons manufacturing, software and aerospace engineering, and more. When you work in one of these industries or are planning to seek a job there, you may be worried that bankruptcy will jeopardize your career prospects.…

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After your divorce, the court awarded joint legal custody of your six-year-old daughter to you and your ex. It was agreed that your former spouse would have sole physical custody while your daughter visited you every other weekend and had one weekday overnight on Wednesday nights. This arrangement worked for nearly ten years. Now your…

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You’ve been in financial trouble since your divorce, so you moved to New York State to live with your parents. Although the reduction in living expenses helped, there’s no way you will be able to make a dent in all those credit card and medical bills before your creditors finally take legal action. You decide…

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One of the biggest questions that arises in the wake of a New York divorce is: how long can you stay on your former spouse’s health insurance? If you are a stay at home parent or don’t qualify for health coverage under your current employer, then you’re likely to be worried about this issue. In…

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Earlier this month, Governor Cuomo confirmed that there has been an increase in reported domestic violence incidents across New York during the pandemic. According to his office, there was a 15% increase in March and a 30% increase in April. It is clear that the lockdowns and shelter in place orders have had a detrimental…

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When you file for bankruptcy, you may be worried about bank accounts belonging to your minor children. For children under 18, most financial institutions require a parent or guardian to be an additional account holder, so does this mean that your Chapter 7 trustee could seize it and distribute the money to creditors? The answer…

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If you start or own a business while married, then the value of that enterprise is generally taken into account when you divorce, barring a prenuptial agreement that dictates otherwise. If you owned the business while still single, then any appreciation in value can be treated as a marital asset, while a business started while…

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The coronavirus pandemic has had a serious impact on small businesses all over New York. Those in non-essential industries have had to transition their operations online or close down. Restaurants and other foodservice businesses have converted to take-out or delivery only, which may allow them to remain afloat but forces them to lay off a…

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With over 187,000 reported cases and more than 19,000 deaths, New York City continues to be an epicenter for the novel coronavirus pandemic. Social distancing remains in place, and non-essential businesses that can’t operate online remain closed. If you worked at one of these businesses, you’re probably worried about your financial situation. Below is an…

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How do you usually celebrate Mother’s Day with the kids? Do you and your daughter(s) plan a day at the spa? Do you enjoy a leisurely brunch or a day trip out of New York? Unfortunately, due to the unprecedented social distancing measures in place, these options are off the table this year, but that…

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Although you won’t be able to actually file for divorce until the courts re-open, you know that your marriage is over, and it’s only a matter of time before everything that characterized your married life changes. This could include where you live and how much time you spend with the kids. It will definitely include…

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On April 13, 2020, CNN reported that New York State had more coronavirus patients than any other country in the world (except for the U.S.). As of April 11, 2020, the total number of reported cases was 181,026, which surpassed the numbers reported in Spain (161,852) and Italy (152,271). Many New York employers who could…

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A case gets to Integrated Domestic Violence Court (IDV Court) if the same parties or the same family has a case in family court for an order of protection plus a matrimonial case, a criminal case, or both, in the same county and the main issue in each case is domestic violence. One of the…

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Parents who have separated face the challenge of protecting their child during COVID-19, while also trying to facilitate visitation. Custodial parents may have safety concerns about their child when they are with the other parent, or the non-custodial parent, especially if that parent is an essential worker and could be exposed to COVID-19. The issue…

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IDV stands for, “Integrated Domestic Violence,” and there are special IDV courts or “parts” that hear these cases. IDV courts hear cases when one family has a criminal court case along with a family court case, a matrimonial case, or both in the same county, and the central issue in the cases is domestic violence.…

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On March 25, a 51-year-old man who worked at a suburban Chicago Walmart died from coronavirus. On April 6, his family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the store, claiming that it had failed to warn the deceased and other employees that their co-workers had COVID-19 symptoms. (Incidentally, another employee died from coronavirus complications four…

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A power of attorney is a legal document that gives the person who you select the authority to act on your behalf. The person who is selected becomes the agent, and the person on whose behalf they are acting is called the principal. A person should have a power of attorney because it allows the…

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If during the COVID-19 pandemic, you need a notary, then the document will have to be E-notarized, meaning Electronically Notarized. There are a few steps that must be done before the document can be E-notarized. First, you need to find a notary who is able to set up a video conference and have electronic capabilities.…

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An advanced health care directive is a legal document that allows you to state how health care decisions will be made for you when you are not able to do so yourself. In New York State, there are three types—a health care proxy, a living will, and a do not resuscitate order or DNR. It…

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The New York State Bar Exam is only offered twice every year, in February and in July, on the last Tuesday and Wednesday of those months.  The exam dates can be found on the New York State Board of Law Examiners website. This year the New York State Bar Exam was originally scheduled for July…

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The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, is a loan for businesses. The business can either be for profit or not for profit, and it has to meet the size requirements of the Small Business Administration. In order to qualify for the loan, the business must have been operational as of February 15, 2020, with no…

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If a small business qualifies for an EIDL, then it can also qualify for an EIDL Grant of up to $10,000, which will be given as an advance on the loan. One must submit an application for the EIDL Loan, and the deadline to submit the application is December 31, 2020. You can get a…

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COVID-19 has impacted many businesses financially. Luckily, there are many programs out there that are helping businesses provided the business meets the requirements of the loan or grant it is applying for. One company that is offering a small business grant and credits for advertising is Facebook. Facebook is giving cash grants to 30,000 small…

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On April 18, 2020, the First Department Appellate Division indicated that it will hear cases virtually via Skype, unless there is a subsequent change, in a New York Law Journal article. It will commence “holding May and June special terms that will include oral arguments via Skype, and electronic calendaring of appeals and motions.” The…

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When New York on PAUSE took effect on March 22, it affected thousands of businesses and their employees. All companies offering non-essential services were subjected to a mandatory closure, and workers whose jobs could not be transitioned online were laid off indefinitely. Consequently, businesses like hairstyling salons, theaters, gyms, and clothing stores have been shuttered…

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Due to this unprecedented health crisis, many New Yorkers are struggling to take care of their families and make ends meet with a diminished income. Sometimes, the financial challenges are so great that you may be wondering whether bankruptcy can lighten the burden. While bankruptcy will make sense for many people, it doesn’t have to…

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A divorce can be a tough, emotional, and challenging process, especially when some of the factors involved are minor children, property, pensions, and businesses. It is important to speak with an attorney before starting a divorce action, so you are aware of your rights and what you are entitled to or possibly entitled to from…

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This question is difficult to answer during the current COVID-19 situation. Everyone feels that their case is important, and as such, they should be able to see a judge and get some relief or assistance now. But, right now, the court is only hearing a list of cases, which are deemed to be essential cases.…

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Starting this Monday, April 13, 2020, the Bronx County Supreme Court matrimonial part(s) will resume hearing its matrimonial cases. Currently, there are three Matrimonial Parts located within the Bronx Supreme Court, and these parts are presided over by Judge Alpert, Judge Gouldbourne, and Judge McShan, who is transitioning to another division, and Judge Martin. Judge…

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You’re shopping at your local grocery store when you slip and fall in puddled water that the owner should have known about and cleaned up earlier. Your injuries include a fractured wrist and severe bruising that makes it nearly impossible to do more than shuffle. When someone else’s recklessness or negligent actions cause you to…

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If there is a final court order on visitation, then the non-custodial parent or the parent who is supposed to receive the visitation can go to the nearest police precinct to have the police facilitate the visitation as per the court order.  If there is no order of protection or anything else preventing the non-custodial…

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If the parties reached a voluntary agreement regarding child support payments where the payor pays a certain amount each week, bi-weekly, semi-monthly, or monthly and the payor failed to comply with the agreement, then the payee can file a child support petition seeking court-ordered child support. Additionally, the parent can request for the child support…

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The coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, has affected thousands of people across the globe. Despite the social distancing and quarantine measures, the number of cases in New York continues to go up. On March 28, CNN reported that one-third of the country’s reported cases are in the state. Despite the seriousness of the situation, not…

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If you have a personal injury case in progress, you may be wondering how the COVID-19 pandemic may affect your case. Will it drag on for additional weeks or even months? Could it be put on hold indefinitely? While an indefinite holding pattern is unlikely, increased demand for medical services and amended operating hours for…

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If there are no medical bills involved in your case, can you file a personal injury claim? In general, the answer is no. For a personal injury case to be valid, you need to establish who was negligent and what damages you suffered as a result of their actions or omissions. To satisfy the latter…

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If you were thinking about filing for bankruptcy before the coronavirus pandemic took hold or have a case in progress, then you might be wondering how the social distancing and quarantine protocols currently in place will affect the outcome. Can you still file? Is your case on hold indefinitely? What is going on? Are the…

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The quarantine imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic appears to have had a detrimental impact on already troubled marriages. Divorce rates are going up, which shows that couples who previously enjoyed ample time apart have not reacted well to long hours under the same roof. In Xi’an, China, divorce requests multiplied so fast that appointment slots…

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When Amazon opened its first New York City warehouse in September 2018, it was hailed as a major economic boost. With over 350,000 full-time employees across the globe and a lot more working part-time or seasonally, Amazon is a leading and high-profile employer. For those who work in a warehouse, a typical day involves a…

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, over 1,000 injured in accidents involving distracted drivers every day in the U.S.  Like many states, New York has strict laws about using handheld devices while driving, but people keep sending and reading texts when they should have their eyes on the road. When a distracted driver crashes…

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Many people move to the United States to marry an American fiance(e), join family members, accept a job offer, or invest in a business. While a lot of these newcomers eventually become U.S. citizens, others choose to maintain permanent resident (green card holder) status. Although legal permanent residents cannot vote in U.S. elections or remain…

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When the court orders a custody and parenting time schedule, it typically meets the needs of everyone’s present circumstances. But what if an emergency–in this case, the COVID-19 pandemic–makes that arrangement unsustainable? What if you feel that it’s not safe for the kids to travel to visit their other parent? Although everyone’s situation is unique…

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Your spouse always handled the household finances while you focused on managing the home and being a primary caregiver for the children, but now you’re in the process of divorce. To your shock, a review of marital bank accounts and other financial holdings has revealed that the person you once trusted so much gambled away…

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When you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy, you are required to surrender any nonexempt property to your trustee, who could then sell it and distribute the proceeds among your creditors. Therefore, many people worry that the trustee may come to their home to inventory everything, distressing the family, and catching the attention of neighbors. While…

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that in 2013, drowsy driving contributed to 72,000 collisions that killed 800 people and left 44,000 others injured. It’s an extreme outcome that is, unfortunately, not surprising. Various sleep studies have shown that when you drive after 24 hours without sleep, it is the equivalent of driving with…

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Like every other state, New York requires parents to support their children, which is why child support orders are an essential part of every divorce settlement agreement. These orders are intended to address everyone’s needs at the time Still, if you or your former spouse experiences a significant change in circumstances later, like remarriage and…

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Anyone who files for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in New York will have to include a form called a Statement of Intention, which is used to provide the following information to your creditors, trustee, and the court: Which debts are secured by collateral (secured) How you plan to address your secured debts Although the automatic stay…

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When you are injured in a car crash in New York, your insurance provider will cover your basic economic losses in accordance with the state’s “No Fault” insurance law. If you sustained serious injuries (e.g., fractures or permanent loss of a body part) or your medical bills exceed $50,000, then you can sue the other…

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In New York state, noncustodial parents are required to support their child financially until they turn 21 or become emancipated. In the latter circumstance, the child is treated legally as an adult instead of a minor, which means that: They can make decisions and act on them without parental consent They can sign contracts and…

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Some debtors who file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy try to minimize their losses by paying back preferred creditors like friends and family and transferring property that’s not likely to be protected by a bankruptcy exemption. When this happens, the bankruptcy trustee has the legal authority to undo these transactions and claim the money and property…

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A recent Businesswire article stated that 44 million Americans owe student loan debt. If you are one of them and you file for divorce in New York, then who is responsible for paying it off? It actually depends on when you took out the loans. If you received them in your name while you were…

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You will always be grateful to your brother for stepping in when you started struggling financially a year ago. He loaned you $5,000 to stay afloat after you lost your job. Now, months later, you still haven’t found a position that covers more than your basic living expenses, and you’re thinking about filing Chapter 7…

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Carpooling has been hailed as a convenient and environmentally-friendly way for employees to travel to work. Consequently, many companies across New York have been offering carpool incentive programs that connect workers who live near one another and enable them to enjoy a less-stressful commute. Carpools, however, are like any other form of travel in that…

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Rising costs of living and years spent pursuing post-secondary education have resulted in many children living with their parents well past the age of 18. When families are intact, they can work together to reach a financial understanding, but when the parents are divorced, it raises questions about child support. In New York State, you…

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When you file for bankruptcy in New York, the majority of your creditors will file a claim in order to receive any proceeds from the bankruptcy estate. Although not all of them may receive anything, filing their claim provides information about your debt and increases the likelihood that they will receive something if your trustee…

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While money issues are a leading cause of marital breakdown, they can also make it hard to start over after a divorce. In fact, an estimated 15% of couples choose to legally separate instead of divorce due to concerns over the damaging effect that dissolution can have on your income, expenses, and credit score. There’s…

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