How Does Life On Long Island Differ For High-Net-Worth Families Versus Lower Or Middle-Class?
Long Island is a costly place to live. The taxes on homes are legion for being very high and unaffordable, and even with mortgage rates being meager, the cost of housing is extremely high. To afford to live here with four, you have to earn over $150,000 and make it more comfortable, $200,000, which most Suffolk County does not achieve.
They have driven up the prices of housing astronomically. An article in the news just yesterday showed that year after year, the cost of houses in Suffolk County went from an average of about $400,000 up to $475,000. Until the pandemic and the exodus of people coming out from the city, people who earned $200,000 or more combined took up approximately 12% or less of the Suffolk County population.
If a foundation is only supporting 12%, that means 88% is crumbling. Suppose you have a high net worth of a couple that’s earning $200,000 or more. In that case, they can afford the lifestyle that they chose. Long Island is a beautiful place if you can afford to live here, but the problem is that most couples living on Long Island cannot afford it. What happens is they go into debt and have power struggles within their marriage, which is the root cause of most divorces. If you’re a high net worth couple and can afford to live here, that takes some of the pressure off, but not all because it’s a question of how to spend money which can become a point of contention.
The middle-class couple is evaporating because they can’t stay here if their income is less than $150,000, which I use to determine the difference between high and low-net-worth couples. If you’re making $150,000 or less, you’re not able to do what you moved to Long Island for, a luxury lifestyle.
When You Have A Couple Who Live In Suffolk County And They Decide That They May Want A Divorce, As The Mediator, What Are Some Of Those First Questions That You’re Probing Them On As Far As Circling Back To The Cost Of Living, Apart From Paying For Two Households Versus Sticking It Out With Kids Without Your Goals, What Does That Conversation Look Like?
In any divorce, the two critical issues are children and money, which are both intertwined. Children indeed involve money because you have child support, health insurance for the children, basic necessities, and any school or extracurricular costs your child requires.
Unfortunately, these children were brought into the world by parents who could not make a marriage work. In fact, in Suffolk County, which has one of the highest divorce incident rates in the nation, over 50%, it results from the relationship people have toward money. The question begin with is, have you worked out the details of custody for your children? If the answer is no, it will not be an issue I will be able to resolve. I can send them to a private pay attorney for the children or a law guardian, who are attorneys particularly appointed by the court to represent the children in custody litigation. The AFC (attorney for children) will act as the judge’s external ears and eyes to help the judge decide at the end as to who is a better suited custodial parent.
Judges in Suffolk County are usually not going to order joint custody. They will order sole custody, and if parents who come to me or anyone can’t decide what to do with their children, shame on them. So the first question is if the parents have made a determination? Then, of course, the next and most broad category is money. The court will look at the date from when the couple married until a date that a summons is filed in court or any other arbitrary date that is picked contemporaneously with the time that a couple is divorcing or separating. We’re going to explore those issues, children, and money, and of course, what they’re looking for, whether it’s a divorce or a legal separation.
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