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Cohabitation before marriage is more common than ever these days. It is super common for couples in a serious relationship to move in together before marriage. In many cases, these couples rent, but an increasing number of couples are buying a home together before they get married. However, this can lead to some legal and financial complications.

It’s tough to say whether or not someone should or shouldn’t buy a property together before they are married. Everyone’s situation is different and every couple has a different dynamic. Some couples may be able to make this purchase together with zero problems, and others may be on the verge of breaking up and may believe a big joint purchase will stabilize them to keep them together. However, there are some precautions that every couple needs to take before making a joint purchase if that’s what they decide to do.

Some Precautions to Take Before Buying a House or Condo with Your Boyfriend/Girlfriend

First, if it is at all possible, make sure that both of your names are on any ownership and financing documents. This ensures that you both have legal control over the asset. It also prevents one party from potentially abandoning the relationship without having to suffer any of the financial consequences of paying for an asset. The worst-case scenario in this situation would be if one party were to abandon the relationship and not have their name on the property’s ownership. In that situation, it would be possible for them to stick the financial obligation on the other party, causing a huge and unmanageable expense.

Of course, the opposite could happen as well. It would also be possible for the legal owner of the property to evict their partner, causing that individual to become homeless and potentially lose possessions. Clearly, both these situations could leave one person in a disastrous situation, which is why having both parties in legal control is the best move to take.

Second, make sure that you are familiar with how the law treats unmarried couples before making a purchase. All fifty states have fifty different laws, and this is why it is so important to understand how your state would treat your relationship both before and after any marriage may occur. Remember, all states have different procedures for a variety of potential relationship circumstances, including common law marriage or no-fault divorce. Ensuring that you have an adequate understanding of these issues can prevent heartache and financial pain for both of you.

What rights do unmarried couples have in New York?

Generally, unmarried cohabitants do not enjoy the same rights as married individuals, particularly with respect to property acquired during a relationship. Marital property laws and other family laws related to marriage do not apply to unmarried couples, even in long-term relationships. The characterization of property acquired by unmarried cohabitants is less clear than that of married couples whose ownership of property is governed by marital and community property laws. Some property acquired by unmarried couples may be owned jointly, but it may be difficult to divide such property when the relationship ends. There is no obligation of financial support attached to a couple who cohabits, absent an agreement to the contrary. If you are financially dependent on a romantic partner and the relationship ends, the effects of the breakup can be much harsher.

Living together, or cohabitation, in a non-marital relationship does not automatically entitle either party to acquire any rights in the property of the other party acquired during the period of cohabitation. However, adults who voluntarily live together and engage in sexual relations may enter into a contract to establish the respective rights and duties of the parties with respect to their earnings and the property acquired from their earnings during the nonmarital relationship. They may also agree to pool only part of their earnings and property, form a partnership or joint venture or joint enterprise, or hold property as joint tenants or tenants in common, or agree to any other arrangement.

Other legal issues that may affect cohabiting couples include estate planning and medical care. Generally, someone who cohabits with another is not considered an heir under the law or has the same rights to make medical care decisions in the same manner as a spouse. Therefore, unmarried cohabitants may consider estate planning and power of attorneys in addition to having a non marital agreement.

COVID-19 has turned the world upside down, and the legal system in New York is no exception. Governor Cuomo and the New York State Chief Administrative Judge, Lawrence K. Marks, have issues several Orders pertaining to the laws in New York State and how same is being handled during this unprecedented time. .

Pursuant to those Orders, no new filings of legal actions, including divorces, can be filed at this time. Additionally, if you were served with a Summons and Complaint prior to the issuance of the order the time frame to respond to same is now suspended and tolled. The dates for discovery demands and discovery responses have also been suspended and tolled. However, a new divorce matter can be filed as long as it accompanied by a motion for an essential emergency matters as discussed below.

While the Courts in the state of New York are closed, motions for essential emergency matters are still being heard virtually, via Skype for Business, and in rare necessities in person. In the context of divorces, motions for essential emergency matters consist of temporary orders of protection (including but not limited to matters involving domestic violence), emergency applications related to the coronavirus. extreme risk protection orders (ERPO). If your issue is not one of the enumerated essential emergency matters, it can still be heard by a Judge is the Court deems essential.

As of April 13, 2019, Courts are also beginning to hear non-essential matters virtually as well. That means if you already have a matter pending in Court, you can reach out to the Judge presiding over your matter to schedule a Court conference via Skype for Business or telephone conference. However, in order to obtain a conference you case must warrant immediate court attention. An email can be Judge stating the reason a conference is being requested and the specific issues to be addressed and a description of what recent efforts have been made by the attorneys and/or litigants to address the issues. It will then be up to the Judge to determine whether or not the issue warrants a conference.

Despite the fact that Courts are closed, your divorce matter can still be settled whether you have case pending or not. Palermo Law, P.L.L.C. is open during normal business hours, which is Monday to Friday 9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. Right now, we are also available weekends upon request However, due to the fact that the Governor has Ordered that 100% of the employees of all non-essential business have to remain home, we are currently working remotely. All communication shall take place via either telephone call or video conference. Legal documentation, such as Stipulations of Settlement to complete your divorce matter, can even be signed via video Conference as Governor Cuomo has issued an Executive Order allowing notarizations to be performed over video conference so long as certain steps are taken. Please contact our office in Order to speak to one of the attorneys regarding how we can help you with your divorce during this unprecedented time.

In the world of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and all things social media, some of us are reserved, and some of us are glued to our smart phones. Some don’t have much reserve at all when it comes to what they share on Facebook. And that’s all fine. But it’s imperative that you know what you can share and what you can’t share on social media if you are in the middle of a divorce. Your social media accounts, if necessary, will be investigated by your spouse’s divorce attorney. It’s very common. They’re looking for evidence to use against you, and even seemingly benign posts can end up hurting your reputation in the context of a divorce. A damaging post can affect the outcome of division of marital property, allocation of parental responsibilities, and child and spousal support payments. There are several ways your spouses divorce attorney may use information you post on social media against you in your case.

Don’t Attack Your Spouse

For some of us, it feels like somewhat of a pull, especially during a contentious divorce, to vent out your feelings to a friend regarding your divorce. You may make derogatory remarks regarding your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Even electronic communications, such as emails, can be used as evidence against you during court. Bitter comments regarding any matters revolving your divorce or your spouse can make you appear socially unstable or hateful. A divorce attorney may highlight this behavior and use it against you in the matter of child custody.

Don’t Disclose Anything Suggesting Disposable Income

Many of us love showing the world of social media what we do on vacation and during social outings. During a divorce, this is not a good idea. Is suggests you have disposable income and lucrative assets, even when that’s not actually true. These photos may show a contradictory depiction of your financial standing. Your spouse’s divorce attorney can use these photos, which may be contradictory in nature, to sway the court’s decision on matters such as spousal support, child support, or property allotment.

If You’re Dating, Keep It As Private As Can Be

Some people may look down on those dating while going through a divorce. There are opposing sentiments about it. If you do decide to date during a divorce, it’s best not to advertise it. It could call into question your personal morals. If you have children, it’s best not to bring this your new partner around them. For one, it could truly confuse a child to see their mother or father dating someone else when they’re still not fully understanding of divorce and what it could mean for their future. Secondly, you could end up dating someone you don’t fully know everything about. What if they’ve been in trouble with the law? If your spouse’s divorce attorney finds evidence that you are with someone else – especially anyone who has been in trouble with the law – this could hurt the matter of child custody in your divorce case.

Keep It Simple

You may be driven to use social media during a divorce. It can help you get back out with friends, see what the world has to offer for you – there are plenty of benefits. It’s extremely important, however, to keep some of your affairs off social media during a divorce case. Do not delete your social media accounts without consulting with your attorney first.

Is it smarter to divorce when your children are younger, or older? This is a difficult decision many couples must decide on when divorcing. Many parents to feel that waiting until kids are older to divorce will be less challenging for them. At the surface, it does makes sense. Younger children, even those in high school, might be more fragile to the separation of their parents than say, a young adult, who may simply be more matured. But it’s all very circumstantial. Especially when your child is in college, not living at home any longer.

When young adults go off to college, they’re entering a whole new world. They’re making new friends, getting used to a new environment, putting themselves out there, taking on whole new responsibilities, and getting used to life without both their parents around. This can create a sense of instability in their lives. But they may find relief in knowing that they can return home for holidays or even weekends. The familial situation they’re used to will be there for their comfort, even if their parents are not on the best of terms.

College can be overwhelming in and of itself for young adults. If they learn that their parents are divorcing, this can simply add to their stress. Additionally, just being in college may make them feel as if they’ve lost the parental figures that have guided them their entire lives. When you add divorce to that, they may anticipate that loss of parental guidance even stronger.

Younger children are vulnerable to the effects of divorce, but they do tend to bounce back quicker than young adults. Young adults tend to take on some of the responsibilities, becoming involved in care-taking for their own parents. Young adults already have enough responsibilities on their plate, and this need to take on responsibilities may add to that stress too.

This isn’t to say that younger children don’t feel the effects of divorce though. No matter what, every divorced parent is responsible for their child’s feelings. Every child deserves:

A divorce can shake a child’s world view. But as a parent, you have the ability to help keep your child grounded and well-adjusted after a divorce. The way in which you approach your child on how they are copying should be different, however, based on their age. Throughout the developmental process, a child’s perception of the world and the factors that affect their own world changes. Here’s a guide to approaching a child’s divorce at each developmental stage.

California Psychologist John B. Kelly shines a light on the different developmental stages of a child’s life and the key developmental issues parents must face when helping their child both understand, accept, and overcome the complexities of divorce.

Key developmental issues of 0-5 year olds

Babies & Toddlers:


Kelly points out what emotional symptoms to watch out for in preschoolers that may be signs of emotional distress following divorce. Preschoolers who express fear, anger or emotional instability (clinginess, anxiety, whininess or general instability), and lack of sleep may be having trouble handling a divorce.

Kelly points out the parental priorities of parents who have recently divorced – particularly parents of toddlers and preschoolers. According to Kelly, toddlers and preschoolers require consistent care and nurturing, which gives them a sense of reassurance. Their lives “need to be anchored by the normal routines (meals, play, bath, bed) in the presence of a parent who is ‘there for them’”. This is always important for children, but especially after a divorce. Kelly notes, “‘If things aren’t going well at home, preteens and teenagers can escape by going to hang out with friends. Babies, toddlers and preschoolers can’t’”.

She also notes that preschoolers need “‘simple, concrete explanations.’” She advises parents to stick to the basics, describing who will be moving out, where the child will live, who will look after them and how often they will see each parent. She also advises to be prepared for questions and to provide short, concise answers. One conversation won’t do the job, though, according to Kelly. There may be several short talks.

Key developmental issues of 6-11 year olds

6-8 year olds:

9-11 year olds:

School-aged children may show distress in the form of fear, anxiety, anger, or sadness, according to Kelly. They may also display more clear-cut signs that they are missing one of their parents. Some may even wonder what they can do to reconcile the relationship between their parents. This is something to watch out for. They may blame themselves for the divorce, not understanding that this was an adult decision and that their actions didn’t play a part in the divorce. Children who fantasize about a reconciliation or conjure up ways to help their parents reconcile may have more difficulty with the process of healing and healthily adjusting post-divorce.

Kelly points out that at this age, parents do have some different priorities. Routine and stable care is still very important. Although older kids in this age range have more of an ability to understand how they are feeling and express said feelings does not mean that they will. If you feel your child in this age group is distressed, but won’t speak about it, it may be up to you to open the dialogue. Kelly recommends asking about their feelings indirectly as opposed to directly. Asking a direct question, such as “Are you sad?” can come off as threatening. An indirect statement to open up dialogue, such as, “Some kids feel angry, sad, or afraid after their parents get divorced”, is less threatening. Kelly also recommends books about divorce for children. It can help them understand their feelings and cope with them.

Key developmental issues of 12-14 year olds

12-14 year olds:

With 12-14 year olds, Kelly recommends watching out for irritability and anger – both common – aimed at either parents. With a young teen, it can be difficult to gauge whether or not their moodiness is an effect of divorce. Think about how they were before the separation and how they are acting after. This may give you insight as to whether or not their moodiness is in fact a result of the divorce.

With young teens, it’s important to keep communication open so emotional problems don’t go unnoticed. They can be difficult to reach, and sometimes even act as if they don’t want to be reached out to. But most still crave connection, in some way, with their parents. So, even if they push back, keep trying if you feel they may be distressed over the divorce. If you are going to talk about it, make sure you meet them half way. Bring in topics of discussion that they want to talk about. Again, this can be a difficult age group to reach. So it’s important to let them feel that their voice matters and that you are truly interested.

Some kid’s books about divorce:

Dinosaurs Divorce: A Guide For Changing Families by Laurene Krasny Brown and Mark Brown (Ages 4-8)

I Don’t Want To Talk About It by Jeanie Franz Ransom (Ages 4-8)

My Mom and Dad Don’t Live Together Anymore: A Drawing Book For Children Of Separated or Divorced Parents by Judith Aron Rubin (Ages 4-12)

What Can I Do? A Book for Children of Divorce by Danielle Lowry (Ages 8-12)

If you are divorcing a narcissist, understanding potential challenges can help you get through the process.

What is a narcissistic personality disorder?

According to the Mayo Clinic, a person with a narcissistic personality disorder has an inflated sense of importance, a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. The individual is very vulnerable to the slightest criticism, causes problems in many areas of life (relationships, work, school or financial affairs) and may be generally unhappy and disappointed when not given special favors or admiration.

When divorcing a narcissist…

According to a Psychology Today article that incorporates input from a therapist and the author’s attorney, here are some factors to consider.

Divorce and Narcissist Statistics

Narcissist Character Traits

Here are some narcissistic traits have that are problematic for divorce:

Being right – Truth does not matter but “being right” does, and if playing the victim serves the goal, then a narcissist will do that.

Maintaining power and an edge – A narcissist is not interested in changing or becoming a better person and would game the system if at all possible, even if that means filing endless motions or false accusations. Dragging you through a court battle can make the narcissist feel empowered, and how long the divorce takes is of no concern. If you give up and go away, the narcissist enjoys the victory.

No empathy – Hurting the other spouse does not matter to a narcissist. This can take its toll on your children and you.

Court battles – The narcissist may prefer a court battle to negotiation because letting a judge decide means not having to take responsibility for the outcome. Beware, because the narcissist often wants to obstruct the process, will refuse to negotiate or settle, run up your bills, paint you as the bad guy, and continue dragging issues to court even after settlement or divorce.

What Should You Do?

Discuss Divorce with a Caring and Competent Divorce Lawyer

There are many factors to weigh when considering divorce, and it is wise to seek legal advice right away. Attorney Chris Palermo takes your divorce seriously and works diligently to help you obtain as favorable an outcome as possible.


Divorce lawyers and counselors often advise clients not to discuss their divorce with family or friends. When it comes to divorce, many people want to weigh in with their opinions. Emotions can fly high and the end results are often unfavorable.

Such was the case in February 2017 for a United Airlines pilot. NBC reported that the female pilot arrived late to work and was dressed in civilian clothes for her flight that was scheduled to fly from Austin to San Francisco.

The pilot announced to passengers she was late because she was going through a divorce and made disparaging comments about presidential candidates Clinton and Trump. One of the passengers videoed the incident and put it on YouTube but then took it down. About half of the passengers walked off the plane because they felt unsafe.

The airlines sent a pilot to replace her, and the pilot walked off the plane of her own accord. By this time she was in tears. United Airlines released a statement that said, “We hold our employees to the highest standards and replaced this pilot with a new one to operate the flight.”

Fortunately, the pilot was not identified, and a passenger who ran into her afterward said she was crying and apologized. Many passengers expressed compassion and concern for the pilot.

How to Avoid a Meltdown During Divorce

Divorce is emotionally traumatic for many people, and this can be true even if you are the one initiating the divorce. Seeking legal guidance can help you dispel confusion about your divorce options and understand what to expect. Mediation is often a way to make the divorce process more amicable and less stressful. In many divorce cases, the husband or wife may find divorce therapy is a great aid for helping them cope with the overall situation. Be proactive and avoid your own divorce meltdown.

Do You Have Questions about Divorce? Consult with a Divorce Lawyer.

If you are considering divorce, consult with a lawyer early on to avoid actions that could potentially further complicate divorce. Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal assistance and can help you navigate a challenging divorce.




It may come as a surprise, but gray divorce, which describes divorcing couples over the age of 50, constitutes 25% of today’s divorces. In fact, today people who are 50 and older are twice as likely to divorce than they were in 1990.

This research information comes from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. (Reported in

Reasons for Gray Divorce

Five main reasons for couples divorcing later in life include:

Growing apart. Most gray divorces are years in the making and aren’t sudden occurrences. Take Al and Tipper Gore for example. After spending 40 years together, they decided to divorce and it came as a surprise to many people, but couples can grow apart.

Age differences. As people hit middle age, some take stock of their lives and want to reinvent themselves. An age difference at a younger age may not matter to couples, but a viewpoint shift tends to happen around 40.

Boredom. Sometimes people become so complacent that their relationships become boring. They quit giving their partner the attention that keeps that spark alive and makes the marriage vital.

Finances. Conflict can arise when spouses have different financial goals. One spouse wants to save money and the other wants to spend it. When they have increased financial responsibilities, like sending kids to college or paying for medical expenses, it can put stress on the relationship. After awhile, all the minor conflicts add up and reach a tipping point, which leads to divorce.

Sexual incompatibility. As couple age, their sex drives change and hormonal shifts in each person may be quite different for one than in the other. Once again, this is a manifestation of two people growing apart, but in this case the gap is regarding sexual compatibility.

Discuss Divorce with a Caring and Competent Divorce Lawyer

There are many factors to weigh when considering divorce, and it is wise to seek legal advice.  Attorney Chris Palermo is diligent about providing you with sound legal guidance and protecting your interests.



Can You Sue the Party Who “Stole the Affections” of Your Spouse?

During divorce, “alienation of affection” refers to a situation where a spouse believes that another man or woman stole the affections of his/her spouse. Emotions typically fly high in this type of situation. uses “alienation of affection” to describe lawsuits filed against third-party lovers or “home wreckers.” The claim is that the actions of the third party caused the spouse to lose affection and leave the other spouse.

This law used to exist in New York and many other states, but today only a few states still have alienation of affection laws: Hawaii, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Dakota and Utah.

The Alienation of Affection Law

New York was the first state to establish an alienation of affection law in 1864, but at that time, it only applied to men, and men could sue another man for stealing his wife from him. The law regarded women as property back then, and women did not have the same legal right to sue for damages until later on, when they were no longer regarded as property. The law later evolved into being a way to preserve and protect families. However, most courts eventually abolished the law for a number of reasons, and among them was seeing that the law fostered revenge rather than reconciliation.

What About Dating While Divorce Is Pending?

As you fast forward to 2017, while there’s no legal action to sue someone for dating your spouse while divorce is pending, that does not mean dating during divorce is a good idea. In fact, it could negatively influence your case and cause judges to rule against you in custody or child support cases. Potentially, the emotional harm to children is substantial because it exposes them to further confusion and upset. Most judges would view you as insensitive to your children’s needs if you dated while your divorce was pending.

Do You Have Questions about Divorce? Consult with a Divorce Lawyer.

It is important to consult with a lawyer early on in your divorce case so you can avoid actions that would further complicate divorce. Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal representation that helps guide you through a challenging divorce.

While no divorce is ever easy, some divorces are the epitome of divorce gone wrong. Rational thinking is absent and emotions become explosive. As the crazy side of yourself and your partner emerges, you find yourselves arguing over the “kitchen sink.” Maintaining a rational perspective can be difficult, and for this reason it is vital to hire a seasoned divorce lawyer. A divorce attorney will protect your interests and advise so you can listen to a voice of reason.

Examples of Some Outrageous Divorce Entanglements


Consult with an Attorney about Your Divorce

It is important to consult with a lawyer early on in a divorce case to avoid unnecessary entanglements. Don’t allow your emotions to get the best of you. Attorney Chris Palermo offers compassionate legal help and can help you protect their rights.