When the New York Teacher Gets Divorced

When the New York Teacher Gets Divorced

Teachers, whether they are in New York or not, are pretty good at staying married for the most part, especially compared to, say, professional athletes. But sometimes they do get divorced for one reason or another. It is a rare thing. But it is a real thing. When New York teachers get divorced, like anyone else, the first thing they think about is finding the right divorce lawyer.

The issues that New York Teachers face when getting divorced are not really all that different from the rest of the population.

They will face custody issues if they have children, for example. It is rare that a judge will find a teacher unfit to maintain at least joint custody of their children, because normally any type of related problem would have spilled over into their jobs in some way and they probably would also be in trouble at school.

But it can happen that a teacher is unfit depending on the circumstances After all, we have all heard nightmare stories of teachers who are having sex with their students, for example and other incredible things so such a teacher would likely face a custody challenge if young children are involved in this marriage. Teachers, like anyone else, can lead double lives. They can suffer from addiction. They can be abusive to their spouse and children. There are other things and reasons that could render a teacher unfit.  But as noted, custody disputes are rarely a topic of huge disagreement in divorces involving teachers, as, perhaps merely by virtue of their jobs, teachers tend to keep their noses clean with stuff like that.

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When the New York Teacher gets divorced, typically, the biggest issue is going to be their teacher pension. It is astonishing how much that can be worth and how quickly it can accumulate. It is not unheard of that some career teachers in New York can retire with pensions worth in the millions of dollars (and this is inspite of their salaries being modest throughout their careers, comparatively speaking).

If this was a long term marriage, then definitely, this is going to probably be one of the main assets that needs to be divided, assuming no prenup puts it out of the marital pot. A Qualified Domestic Relations Order will likely become necessary to determine how the pension will be divided.

Other than the pension, career teachers in New York probably also own real estate and other assets that will be subject to distribution. Yes, New York teachers who have been on the job a few years tend to buy their homes and own rather than rent. It may not be a million dollar spread up in Westchester. But in many of these cases, there will be at least a little bit of equity in the home and this will also be subject to equitable distribution.

Speaking of equitable distribution, New York is not California or any of the other eight community property states that allow a 50/50 split of marital assets. (The community property states are Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas and Washington). The reason this is being pointed out is that it is important for teachers getting divorced in New York to understand that they won’t necessarily have to split all their assets 50/50 with their spouse. It will come down to what the judge deems is “equitable” or “fair.”

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