Divorce, Summer and Your Children

Well, summer is here, and you are in the middle of a divorce or thinking of getting divorced. How are you going to share the children during the summer? Here are a few ideas:

  • Camp: If your children have traditionally gone to camp, then it probably will be a good idea to keep sending them to the same camp. Although, now your finances may be stretched a bit thin, keeping as much consistency in the children’s lives is paramount. Indeed, in many situations, a Court may order you to keep sending the children to camp. As for who pays for the camp, that would depend on your income and your spouse’s income. Typically, camp is considered a substitute for child care, and in those situations, payment would be in proportion to your income (pro-rata).
  • Vacations: Whether or not your children goes to camp, if you have the time and the resources, this may be a good time to take your children on a vacation. It doesn’t have to be the “all-inclusive, five-star vacation”, almost any vacation or place will do. There are many good ideas on the internet on where to go and how to save money on your vacation. Typically, you should be able to have two weeks of vacation time with your children, although it will be non-consecutive.
  • The so-called “staycation”: If you can’t afford to go away, you can still enjoy a “staycation”. If you live here on Long Island, there are many opportunities and places to visit. Of course, there is the beach, but, there is also New York City, museums, parks, trips to Fire Island, Montauk or the East End.

In your divorce, it is very important to make sure that you include the ability to take vacation time with your children and to include terms and conditions about camp. You want to make sure your divorce agreement is very specific as to vacation and camp, to avoid any issues after the divorce is final.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have represented and help numerous clients in making sure they get vacation time with their children. If you are thinking of getting divorce, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County (Northport) and in Nassau County (Uniondale, across from the Nassau Coliseum).

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Do I Have To Keep Bringing The Children To See My Ex-Spouse If The Ex-Spouse Constantly Doesn’t Show Up?

In some situations, you may be bringing the children to see your ex-spouse, yet, the ex-spouse isn’t there or constantly doesn’t show up. In those situations, here is what you should do.

  1. If your ex-spouse generally does show up, but isn’t there, then you should give him/her at least 15 minutes to show up. You should also send a text message reminder to your ex-spouse stating that you will be meeting them at the specified time. If, after 15 minutes, your ex-spouse doesn’t show up, then send another text message saying that you are leaving and that he/she can call you when they are ready to pick up the children.
  2. If your ex-spouse hasn’t shown up for months, then you should send him/her a letter, via certified mail, return receipt requested, stating that you will no longer bring the children to see him/her. I would highly recommend having your attorney write this letter. If your ex-spouse responds to the letter, stating that he/she will now show up, then you should bring the children to see him/her.

In situations where the ex-spouse doesn’t show up to see the children, there are no “cookie-cutter” answers. It is important to protect your rights and to make sure that you are not violating any court orders. This is why it is best to make sure that you document what you are doing and to inform your attorney.

If you need help with your divorce, post-divorce or any other issue involving child custody or child support, David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have the experience and knowledge to help you. Contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our website: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Can I Make Up Lost Parenting Time With My Children?

After your divorce, if there are children involved, each parent will have designated parenting time (sometimes called “visitation time” or “parental access time”). For example, one parent may have alternating weekends plus weeknight visits, or each parent may have 50% of the time with the children.

Oftentimes, either the non-custodial parent will lose some of their parenting time due to illness, work or some other valid reason. Whether or not that parent is entitled to “make up” time, depends on two factors: (1) Does the divorce agreement address “make up” time for the non-custodial parent’s missing parenting time? and (2) The relationship (or lack thereof) between the two parents.

In most divorces, there will be a divorce agreement (usually called a “Stipulation of Settlement”). The agreement will specify when each parent has parenting time with the children. The agreement can also have a provision for make up time.

However, typically, make up time is for when the custodial parent takes a day or a weekend “away” from the non-custodial parent. This, happens when there is a holiday, birthday, or other special event that takes away from the non-custodial parent’s parenting time. In those instances, the non-custodial parent is “due” make up time as it was the custodial parent who was “at fault” for the non-custodial parent missing parenting time.

In contrast, it is extremely rare for a divorce agreement to address or allow a non-custodial parent make up time for when the non-custodial misses time due to the non-custodial parent’s “fault” (meaning, illness, work or other reason). In those instances, the reason for the missed parenting time was due to the non-custodial parent’s action.

Therefore, unless your divorce agreement explicitly states that the non-custodial parent is allowed make up time due their own illness or other valid reason, in order to obtain make up time, in those situations, is to rely on the relationship between the divorced parents.

If you are lucky enough to have a working relationship with your ex-spouse, then you can always request make up time or to switch parenting time with your ex-spouse. Of course, your ex-spouse is under no obligation to give you make up time, however, perhaps they will realize that in the best interests of the children, it is best that they have as much time with both parents as possible.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have the knowledge and experience to make sure that you receive the best parenting time schedule as possible. If you need an aggressive attorney to represent you in your child custody dispute, then contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office’s phone number is 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Can I Change My Child Custody Agreement Even If I Have Been Divorced a Long Time?

In many divorces, the children are fairly young, and your divorce agreement regarding child custody may be very outdated. However, provided your children are under the age of 18 years of age, it is never too late to change your child custody arrangements.

In order to change any child custody agreement, regardless if it was signed two days ago or fifteen years ago, you typically have to show a significant change of circumstances. This means, that since the date that the agreement was entered into, that there have been many (significant) changes in the children’s lives; the custodial parent’s situation or your situation.

One good reason to have a change in custody, is that the children now want to live with you. However, the children will have to be sincere in their reasons for wanting to change their living situation from one parent to the other parent.

Another possible good reason, is that the custodial parent wants to move out of New York State, but, the children want to stay in New York.

If you are not seeking a change in custody, but, only more parenting time with the children, that may be easier to obtain. Again, you still have to show a significant change of circumstances (i.e. a good reason), why you should have more parenting time. Every situation is different, so depending on how much more time you want, and why, it hard to predict if your request will be granted.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have represented countless clients in their divorce. If you are seeking a divorce or a change in your child custody agreement, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office’s phone number is 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Five Things You Should Not Do In A Child Custody Battle

If you are seeking custody of your child and are involved in a child custody dispute (battle), there are some things you can do to help you and some things you should not do.

Here are five things you SHOULD NOT do in a Child Custody battle.

  1. Using your child as a pawn. Do not use your child as a “pawn” in the battle. For example, despite what your ex may be doing, he/she still has a right to see the child and have parenting time with the child. Typically, the only time you should withhold the child from the other parent, is if there is an Order of Protection, the child is very sick, or for some other emergency reason.
  2. Making false accusations. If you make a false accusation, against the other parent, this will seriously hurt your chances of gaining custody. The courts will not tolerate false accusations and this can be the only reason for a court to deny you custody.
  3. Not communicating with the other parent. In a divorce, or a child custody situation, it takes two parents to parent the child. You will need to communicate with the other parent. If you fail to communicate, the court can view you as hindering the other parent’s ability to parent.
  4. Stating negative things about the other parent. Whether it is on Facebook or other social media sites, or worse yet, to the child, you should not state anything negative about the other parent. If the other parent can show that you have posted negative information about him/her (even if true) or have stated negative information about him/her to the child, the court will hold this against you.
  5. Not paying child support. Although, technically, the Court is not supposed to use the payment or non-payment of child support against you, Judges are human. The failure of not paying child support, will be looked upon as a negative factor.

When you are seeking child custody, you need to avoid any mistakes or negative actions.  David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have helped numerous clients in obtaining child custody. If you are seeking child custody or a divorce, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County (Northport) and in Nassau County (Uniondale, across from the Nassau Coliseum).

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A Parent’s Sexual Identity (Or Preference) Does Not Affect Child Custody

In New York State, a parent’s sexual identity or sexual preference will normally have no impact on the court’s determination in a child custody dispute.

The Court will remain neutral regarding a person’s sexual identity or sexual preference and should not take this fact into account when deciding custody. 

As with any custody determination, the court’s focus will be what is “in the best interest of the children.”  Indeed, it may be improper to even bring up a person’s sexual identity or sexual preference, as there is an element of privacy.  It would also be improper to attempt to show that the parent’s sexual identity or preference is somehow harmful to the child.

It also will not matter if a parent’s sexual identity or sexual preference was exhibited after the child’s birth.

If you have a legal question regarding child custody, please contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office’s phone number is 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Holidays With Children During Your Divorce Proceedings

You have children and you are in the middle of your divorce and are unsure on how to handle the holiday season. The holiday season can be the most stressful and most contentious part of a divorce.

Here are some tips on helping you get through the holiday season:

  1. Make decisions ahead of time: The time to decide on how to split the holidays is NOW, not on the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah. If you and your spouse can’t come up with a plan, then you need to contact your divorce attorney as soon as possible, so that a plan can be worked out. If necessary, your attorney may need to go to Court to make sure that you get to see your children during the holidays.
  1. Allow the children to spend time with both parents: After your divorce, many divorce agreements will alternate the holidays, such that one parent will get Thanksgiving or Christmas Day one year, and the other parent will get Thanksgiving or Christmas Day the next year. If your divorce is still ongoing, and this is the first holiday that is affected by the divorce, you may want to consider splitting the day or even spending the day together.
  1. But, spend some time with the children alone. If you have some vacation days, or simply on of your usual days off, it might be a good time to spend some time with the children alone around the holidays. Each parent should work out a plan so that they can spend the day or a few days, after Christmas or Hanukkah, alone with the children. This should be a non-stressful vacation day, and not about which parent can out-spend the other.
  1. Gifts: You might be tempted to buy the most expensive or best gift for the children in an attempt to out-gift the other parent. However, with a separation and divorce, money can usually be very tight. Gifts don’t need to be expensive to be appreciated. Sometimes, the least expensive gifts are the ones that are most cherished.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have prepared numerous clients in their divorces. If you are thinking of getting divorced, and live in Suffolk County, Nassau County or New York City, call David Badanes at the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com. We have offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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How Is Child Abuse Handled In New York?

Child abuse is one of the worst things that can happen to a child. If someone is suspected of committing child abuse, then there will be: (i) an investigation; (ii) an intervention; and (iii) a possible removal.

Investigation: Upon receiving information or a complaint of child abuse, Child Protective Services (CPS) will conduct an investigation. In serious cases, there may first be an arrest, and then an investigation. CPS will interview the suspected abuser, the parents and any other individuals that may have information about the abuse. CPS may also conduct a home inspection. CPS may also examine medical records and school records. In some cases, CPS may question the child’s teachers and doctors.

Intervention: If CPS, after its investigation, believes that child abuse has occurred, then CPS will take intervention measures. CPS can initiate a neglect case in court or can request that the abuse be arrested.

Removal: If CPS believes that it is warranted, then they can remove the child from the abuser’s home.  The child will most likely be placed with foster parents, although, in some situations, the child could be placed with a relative (e.g., grandparent, aunt, uncle).

It is important to know, that certain individuals are “mandated reporters” and if they suspect child abuse, they must report it. There is a very long list of mandated reporters, some of the professions on this list include: Doctors, Physician’s assistant, Dentist, Dental Hygienist, Optometrist, Chiropractor, Podiatrist, Licensed marriage and family therapist, teachers, guidance counselor, school nurse, day care center worker, and police officer. This is an incomplete list, however, you can see that many professionals are required to report suspected cases of child abuse to CPS.

If you need more information about child abuse, and if you believe you have been falsely accused of child abuse, then call David Badanes at the Badanes Law Office. The Badanes Law Office has helped numerous clients who have been falsely accused on child abuse. Call today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Garden City, Nassau County.

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After Divorce: Who Decides Which School The Children Will Go To?

Perhaps you have very young children who are not yet attending school, or you have children in school, but, you and your soon-to-be-ex are in disagreement about which school the children should attend. Which school will your children attend?

Usually, the school the children will attend, will be in the same school district where the primary custodial parent lives. If neither parent is the primary custodial parent, and the parents live in different school districts, then the choice of school districts may be more difficult to determine.

If the parents cannot agree on which school district the children should attend, the court would have to consider several factors. Some of those factors may be: (i) how far is the school from the children’s homes? (ii) are the children currently attending one of the schools? (iii) do the children have friends in any of the schools? (iv) does the school have the services, athletics and extra-curricular activities that the children need or want?

If you want your children to attend private school, then that usually requires an agreement between the parents. However, if your children were attending private school before the divorce, and you can still afford to send them to private school, then typically, the children can remain in private school.

If you need more information about which school your children will attend, then you need to consult with an attorney who has the experience to guide you. The Badanes Law Office can help you and has provided real world advice to numerous client in their divorce matters.

Call the Badanes Law Office today at: 631-239-1702, email us at: dbattorney@optonline.net. The Badanes Law Office is located in Northport, Suffolk County and Garden City, Nassau County.

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In A Divorce: 12 Ways To Get Involved In Your Child’s School

You are either in the middle of a divorce or already divorced, and you want to make sure you are involved in your child’s school. Here are some ideas:

  1. Make sure the principal, assistant principal(s) and all your child’s teachers know that you are one of the child’s parents. Make sure they have your name, cell phone number and email address.
  1. Make sure that you know the principal, assistant principal(s) and all your child’s teachers name and their contact information.
  1. If you will be picking up the child from school, then make sure that the administration and security personnel are aware that you will be picking up your child. You may want to tell them what type of car you drive and the license plate number.
  1. If you will be dropping your child at school, make sure you know exactly where drop-offs are supposed to occur and what time you are to drop them off. You should also know the procedure to handle late drop offs.  You may have to walk the child into school and sign them in, however, check with your school to make sure you have the right procedure.
  1. Attend open house night. If you can’t make the open house night, make sure you call or email each teacher to find out what they discussed.
  1. Attend parent-teacher conferences. If you can’t make the parent-teacher conference, make sure you call or email each teacher to find out what they discussed.
  1. Attend school plays, school sporting events, musical events or other school events. As much as possible, attend your child’s participation in school plays, sporting events, musical events or any other school event.
  1. Never, ever argue with your ex-spouse (or soon to be ex-spouse) at school or in front of the school grounds. This is one of the worst things you can do.  No matter what your ex-spouse may say or do to you, you must “turn the other cheek” and just simply either walk away or ignore it.
  1. Make sure you have a copy of the school’s calendar.
  1. Attend the school board of education meetings. You will be surprised what you might learn about the school.
  1. If your child is having trouble at school, make sure you talk to the appropriate school personnel about this and that they know there is either already a divorce or that there is a pending divorce matter.
  1. If your child has made some new friends at school, have your child invite his/her new friends over.

It is important to remember, that although you and your spouse are getting divorced, this should have as little impact as possible on your children.  You should make an extra effort to make sure your child is comfortable at school and that you are involved.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office have helped numerous clients in providing legal and practical advice in their divorce and child custody matters.  If you are thinking of getting a divorce, then you need an experienced Matrimonial and Divorce Attorney to guide you through the process.  If you live in Long Island, Suffolk County, Nassau County or New York City, we can help you in obtaining a divorce.

Call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com. We have offices in Northport and Garden City.

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