Top NYC Matrimonial Lawyer Offers Five Predictions For Divorce In 2019

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Attorney Jacqueline Newman, a Manhattan based divorce lawyer and managing partner of an exclusive NYC law firm focused solely on divorce, considered an expert in matrimonial law offers five predictions for divorce in the new year.

Divorce Filings will Increase in January

With the new maintenance (spousal support laws) becoming effective in January, many people are scrambling to try to settle their cases before the end of 2018. However, for some people they are just so far apart on their settlement positions that many agreements will not be signed in time. 


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Inevitably, that will result in some pretty angry spouses who will want to make good on their threats that they will litigate if the ink does not dry before the ball drops. This will result in many court filings in the month of January.

Divorce Cases will be More Difficult to Settle

Beyond clients just being angry about missing the deadline, the new tax laws will make cases more difficult to settle as the government has now become a third party sticking it's hand out for a piece of the marital pot. With less money to go around, it will make it more challenging to come to a resolution that both parties are equally unhappy with.

50/50 Custody Will Become More the Norm

This shift has been happening more and more over time and I think in 2019, it will continue to move in that direction. You can see an attitude change and the courts are beginning to start with the presumption that if both parents want equal time with the children, they should have it unless it can be shown that it is not in the child's best interest. That is different starting point from years ago when Mothers were presumed to be the main parent.


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Spousal Support Awards will be Lower

While the tax laws have changed, the formula which is used to calculate spousal support has not changed (as of now). The formula was originally drafted with the idea that the support would be tax deductible to the payor and includable as income to the payee. 


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However, now that these tax consequences will be no longer, I would think the Court would have to consider that change when using the current formula and ordering support awards (even if the same formula applies). This will most likely result in lower support awards all around.   

Mediation And Collaborative Law Will Become The More Favored Process Choices For Divorce:

As more and more people read about the nasty divorces on Page 6 and on the internet they are going to want to do everything they can to "not be one of those couples".  Meanwhile, mediation classes and collaborative law classes are being taught in law schools and the young divorce lawyers not entering the scene do not always see Mediation and Collaborative Divorce as "Alternative Dispute Resolution" techniques.  Instead, more and more people will learn how tough and expensive litigation is and that there are viable options out there that also result in them getting divorced, but yet maybe with a few less therapy bills.


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About Jacqueline Newman

Jacqueline Newman (http://nycdivorcelawyer.com) is a New York City based divorce lawyer and experienced NY matrimonial law expert. As managing partner of a top tier 5th Avenue Manhattan law firm focused exclusively on divorce, her practice runs the gamut from prenups for high net worth people contemplating marriage to high conflict matrimonial litigation in dissolutions involving complex financial assets and difficult custody issues. She is the Author of "Soon-to-Be Ex: A Woman's Guide to Her Perfect Divorce and Relaunch" and "Soon-to-Be Ex for Men: Preserving Wealth, Fatherhood, and Sanity during Divorce."