Strategies For Protecting Your Children During Your Divorce

Going through a divorce is a difficult process. When you have children, it makes going through a divorce even that much harder. In the last ten to twenty years, many people who are getting divorced are the children of parents who were divorced. They have a first-hand experience of what a child goes through when parents get divorced.

Many experts recommend the following strategies for protecting and helping your children cope through a divorce:

  • The Child Must Be Able to Continue to Love Each Parent: This is the number one rule. Prior to any marital difficulties, most children are taught to love both their parents and to also accept the differences in each parent. All too often, when parents divorce, one parent will either intentionally or unintentionally send signals that the other parent is to blame for the divorce or has issues. For example, if prior to the divorce, one parent was “sloppy” and the other “neat”, the couple learned to live with this difference. Yet, during the divorce process the “neat” parent may make derogatory remarks about how “sloppy” the other parent is; in converse, the “sloppy” parent may make the “neat” parent out to be “crazy” on how neat they have to be. Instead, of talking negatively about the other parent, for the sake of the child’s mental health, it is very important to keep things positive or at least neutral when talking about the other parent.
  • Do not fight in front of the child: It is likely that before someone filed for divorce, that you and your spouse may have had your verbal disagreements in front of the children. Now that the divorce has started, it is more important than ever, to be conscious that verbal fighting needs to be curtailed and stopped.
  • Make sure the children know it is not their fault: It is very important to let the children know that they are not responsible for your divorce. Too many children, especially younger ones, think they did “something wrong” to make daddy and mommy not love one another. You have to emphasize that this is an adult issue and that the child did nothing wrong.
  • Let the Child’s Friends Visit Both Parent’s Houses: If, while the divorce is in process, you and your spouse will be living apart, then it is a good idea to allow your child’s friends to come visit the child at both houses. This allows the child to continue with their friendships at both homes and gives the child some consistency.
  • Be Honest: Let your children know that you are separating and getting divorced. Indeed, you should use the words: “divorce” and “separate”. This does not mean you share the legal details of your divorce or separation; however, it does mean that is OK to tell your children that “mommy” and “daddy” are getting divorced and what that means.
  • Let the Child See the Other Parent as Much as Possible: If the child states they want to spend the weekend at the other parent’s house, let them. Of course, there has to be some boundaries, but, when it can be accommodated, it is important to let the child see both parents when it fits the child’s needs, not yours.
  • Your Child is Not Your Messenger: Do not use your child as a messenger. If you need to send a message to your spouse, you need to do it directly. No matter how old the child is, they should never act as your messenger.
  • Professional Help (Counseling): Most likely you are not a counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist, and even if you are, it is important to consider seeking professional help for you and your child, either separately or together. A counselor who specializes in divorce cases can help you and your child through the process.

Many children adapt and do well after a divorce. The above strategies will help to make sure that happens.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office remind their clients, who have children, that it is best to follow the above strategies. Not only are the above strategies helpful to the child, they are also helpful in the parties’ divorce. Every Judge wants to make sure that the children are protected throughout the divorce process. If a parent follows the above guidelines, it will show the Court that you are handling the divorce in the right manner and will help you in any child custody dispute.

You can contact David Badanes, Esq.  and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or email at The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City.  Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale.

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Signs That Your Marriage Might Be Failing (From Divorce Lawyers)

If you ask divorce attorneys what are the signs or behaviors that might signify that a marriage is failing, you probably will get the following answers:

  • Financial Issues – Especially “hiding” finances: Typically, the two most common reasons people get divorced are: (i) financial issues and (ii) adultery.  If one spouse is not sharing the financial information with the other spouse, that is a signal that there is a lack of trust. If a couple starts to have trouble paying their bills or if one spouse gets fired or becomes unemployed, then this often leads to a married couple having arguments over their financial situation.
  • Adultery (affairs) – It has been estimated that about 20% to 25% of married couples have an affair. If the affair is discovered, then most marriages will fall apart.
  • Threatening to “get a divorce” – When one spouse starts to threaten that they want “to get a divorce”, they typically mean it. Although, that spouse might not file for a divorce right away, it is a sign that the marriage may be ‘on the rocks”.
  • Hiding their cell phone – If your spouse refuses to give you their passcode to their cell phone or hide their cell phone from you, then most likely it is because they don’t want you to see what is on their cell phone.
  • Change in behavior – If all of a sudden, you find your spouse having a big difference in behavior or interests, this might also be a sign that your marriage is failing.
  • Drug or Alcohol issues – This is probably the third most common reason that people get divorced. If one partner starts to have a drug or alcohol issue, then it can be very hard on the other partner and very hard on the marriage.
  • Domestic Violence – Domestic Violence can be found in both a physical behavior and in abusive language or treatment.

If your spouse is exhibiting any of the above behaviors and you want to explore your options about getting a divorce in New York, then contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office.  In their over 20 years of handling divorce cases, Mr. Badanes has represented clients whose divorce was caused by behaviors stated herein.

You can contact David Badanes, Esq.  and the Badanes Law Office at (phone) 631-239-1702 or email at The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City. Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale.

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The Impact of Divorce on Business Owners

In New York, if you or your spouse own a business (either in whole or in part), then that business is subject to distribution during the divorce process. For purposes of this blog, a “business” can be a corporation, partnership, a sole proprietorship or any entity that is operated and earns income. In analyzing the impact of divorce on a business, there are several issues to consider:

Is it a “Separate Property” or “Marital Property”: As with all assets, the Court will first want to know if the business is one of the spouse’s separate property or is the married couple’s marital property. If the business was created prior to the marriage, then most likely it will be considered that spouse’s “separate property”. If the business was opened during the marriage, it almost certainly will be considered “marital property.”

Even if the business was one spouse separate property, if during the marriage, the  other spouse contributed marital funds to expand the business or to keep the business afloat, then part of the business may be considered marital property.

Valuation of the Business: If the business is strictly one spouse’s separate property, then it may not have to be valued. However, if part of all of the business is marital property, it is very likely that the Court will want a valuation of the business conducted. That valuation will be done by a neutral third party.

What to Do With the Business: If the business is marital property of part of it is marital property, then it is an asset that is subject to New York’s Equitable Division laws. Most courts will want the business to continue in operation. They will encourage the parties to reach a resolution where one party keeps the business and the other party’s share of the business is “bought out”. In some rare situations, the Court will allow both parties to retain ownership of the business. If it is not possible for one or both parties to retain ownership of the business, then the Court could order the business to be sold for its Fair Market Value and the funds to then be distributed to each spouse.

Disruption of Daily Operations: When both divorcing couples are involved in the running of the business, then there is a great possibility that during the divorce process, there will be disruption of the daily operations of the business. Even in situations when only spouse is involved in the daily operations of the business, a divorce can become a serious disruption to the running of the business.

Real-life examples:

Eric D. was a client of the Badanes Law Office. Eric D. owned a marketing company which he organized and started prior to his divorce. Eric D. was the only owner of this business, which was very successful and had about a dozen employees. He created the marketing company prior to his marriage and his wife had very little to do with the business. As it was his separate property, Eric D. was able to keep the entire business and there was no need to value the business.

In another case, the Badanes Law Office represented Lisa B.  Lisa B. and her husband owned a small retail store and they opened that store during the marriage. Both Lisa B. and her husband were very involved in the day-to-day operation of the retail store. During the divorce process, Lisa B. and her husband both agreed to sell the retail store to a neutral third-party. Lisa B. with the help of the Badanes Law Office decided that selling the retail store would result in the most funds for her and also would resolve this issue.

If you are thinking of getting a divorce in New York and you own a business, then you need an attorney that has the experience to help you. David Badanes, Esq.  and the Badanes Law Office has the experience of representing small business owners and can help you as well.

Contact David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C. at  631-239-1702 or email at The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City. Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale.

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The Top 10 Sneakiest Things People Do During A Divorce

Sometimes, a divorce will bring out the worse in somebody. They will do anything in an attempt to make their soon-to-be ex miserable. Below are the top ten sneakiest things that some people do during a divorce. Although, they will try these “sneaky” tactics, they rarely succeed and there are ways to make sure that you are protected.

In no particular order, here are the ten sneakiest things:

  • Hiding Assets: Your spouse may have assets that you don’t know about (jewelry, stocks, hidden money). They will try to hide those assets by giving them to their family or friends.
  • Increasing Credit Card Debt: Your spouse may increase credit card debt, hoping that you will have to pay 50% of that debt.
  • Stealing Assets: This is a version of hiding assets. Your spouse may start to take your jewelry or other assets and “steal” them, by placing those assets in their family or relative’s hands. At first, you might not notice that necklace etc. is missing.
  • Reducing Income: If your spouse is able to reduce their income by not working overtime or by working less hours, they may all of a sudden reduce the amount of income they can earn.
  • Entering into “Secret” Agreements: Your spouse may enter into contracts that purport to sell their business or other assets. They may try to keep these contracts a secret until after the divorce.
  • Sudden interest in the children: In an attempt to obtain child custody, a spouse may all of a sudden have an interest in increasing their time with the children.
  • False allegations of child abuse: Unfortunately, this is one of the most used “sneaky” tactics. One parent will make false allegations of abuse against the other parent.
  • False Domestic Violence allegations: Similarly, one spouse may make false allegations of domestic violence against the other spouse.
  • False allegations of Drug Use: A spouse may falsely accuse the other spouse of illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. Although, this can be easily rebutted, the allegations may still linger in the Court’s mind.
  • Pretending to be sick or ill: In order to delay the Court’s proceedings, one spouse may pretend to be ill.

There are many strategies you can use to counteract a spouse’s sneaky tactics. They are too voluminous to review in this blog.  It is best that you discuss these issues with your divorce attorney. It is rare for any of these sneaky tactics to actually work.

If you need an attorney to help you in your divorce, then call David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C. They have successfully fought false allegations of child abuse and other sneaky tactics. Call 631-239-1702 or email at to schedule a consultation.

The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City.  Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale. We can also meet clients at offices located in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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What Questions Will A Judge Ask Me And How Should I Answer Them?

During the divorce process, it is extremely likely that you will go to Court several times. During those court conferences, it is possible, that a Judge may ask you some questions. The most important thing you need to know is that in Court, you are “under Oath” and that you are to answer questions truthfully.

Most of the time, if a Judge is asking you a question, it is about something that is not in controversy and is about a fact of the case.

Another common question is to get more information about a subject that the Judge is not familiar with.

The following are examples of some of the types of questions a Judge is likely to ask. This is a non-exclusive list, as every divorce is different.

  • What is your job?
  • What are your working hours?
  • Describe the house you live in?
  • Describe the apartment you live in?
  • What car do you drive?
  • How many miles do you have on your car?
  • You told the court that you work with computers, please give me some more information about that?

As you can see, the Judge is not going to ask you a “trick” question or a question that you don’t know the answer to.

As stated above, you are to answer the Court’s questions truthfully. However, you should answer the question and not give any extra or unnecessary information. For example, if the Judge asks you “What is your job”, and you answer “I’m a teacher”, that is sufficient. You should not answer the question like this: “I teach 10th grade Math, mostly algebra, I teach 5 different classes a day and I have one preparation period, one lunch period and one period off, each day.”  While all that information is probably true, it is “too much” information and unnecessary to the Judge’s question.

If you need more information about what happens in Court and how to conduct yourself in Court, then call David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.

The Badanes Law Office, P.C. has helped numerous clients understand the Court process and in their divorce. If you need an experienced Long Island divorce lawyer, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. today at 631-239-1702 or email at

The Badanes Law Office, P.C. has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.

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Is New York a 50/50 State When it Comes to Divorce?

A common question that I hear “Is New York a 50/50 State when it comes to divorce?” The answer is “No.”

Instead, New York divides marital assets (and debts) “equitably”, which means “fairly”.  For assets, New York courts divide marital assets using New York’s “Equitable Distribution”.

In making the distribution and division of marital property, the Court can consider all or some of the following:

  • The income and property of each party at the time of the marriage;
  • The duration of the marriage and the age and health of both parties;
  • The need of a custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and to use or own its household effects;
  • The loss of inheritance and pension rights upon dissolution of the marriage as of the date of dissolution;
  • The loss of health insurance benefits upon dissolution of the marriage;
  • The need, if any, for maintenance and child support;
  • Any equitable claim to, interest in, or direct or indirect contribution made to the acquisition of marital property by the party not having title, including joint efforts and expenditures and contributions and services as a spouse, parent, wage earner and homemaker, and to the career or career potential of the other party;
  • The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property;
  • The probable future financial circumstances of each party;
  • The impossibility or difficulty of evaluating any component or any interest in a business, corporation or profession and the economic desira­bility of retaining such asset or interest intact and free from any claim or interference by the other party;
  • The tax consequences to each party;
  • The wasteful dissipation of assets by either party;
  • Any transfer or encumbrance made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration; and
  • Any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper and the parties have considered every other factor they deem relevant.

It is rare that all marital assets are distributed “exactly” 50% to each party. For example, if each party owns their own cars, it is very unlikely that each car is worth the same amount of money. However, provided the difference in value is not so different, many Judges will simply award each party their own car without having to equalize the value. Of course, if one car is worth a great deal more than the other car, a Judge may equalize the value by ordering the person with the car worth more to pay the other party enough cash to allow each party to receive 50%.

However, although, the assets will not be distributed “exactly” 50% to each party, in most cases, each party will end with close to 50% of the assets.

If you have more questions about how assets are divided in a divorce or you are thinking of getting divorced, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at

The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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How Long Does It Take to Get Divorced in New York State?

One of the most frequent questions, I get is, “How long does it take to get divorced?” or “How long does divorce take after filing papers?”  Now, most divorce attorneys will tell you “It depends”. And they are right. However, this article will give you a sense of the typical events that happen and how long to expect each event to occur. I’ll also explain some factors that might slow down the process and others that help speed up the process.

Please note that this article will focus on a contested divorce, an uncontested divorce will take much shorter. An uncontested divorce (if it is truly uncontested) can take between 3 – 8 months, depending on how busy the court system is; however, most of that time is waiting for the court’s clerk to process the papers and for a Judge to sign them.

Here are the typical events that happen in a contested divorce:

  • Filing: With e-filing, an attorney can file the initial Divorce papers in one day, and typically the Clerk of the Court will process them in one day or the next day. The initial papers can be the “Summons With Notice” or “Summons” and “Complaint”. Although, there are differences, they will only have a minimal effect on how long the divorce takes.
  • Service: Once the divorce papers are filed, they have to be served upon the other party. Most process servers can get service completed within one to two weeks. In some rare cases, it might be difficult to find the other party and service could take much longer.
  • Response (Answer): After the papers are served, the other party (Defendant) has 20 days to respond (usually with an Answer to the Complaint).
  • Initial Court Conference (Preliminary Conference): The next step will typically be the initial court conference, which is called the “Preliminary Conference.” This is when you will first meet the Judge assigned to your case. Once the divorce attorney requests a Preliminary Conference, it will usually occur within 2- 4 weeks of the request.
  • Discovery: After the Preliminary Conference, the usual next step is for each attorney to request documents from the other attorney/party – what is known as the Discovery Stage. In most divorces, discovery will take 2 – 4 months.
  • Additional Court Conferences: After the Preliminary Conference and usually after the discovery stage is over or close to being concluded, there will be additional court conferences. The goal of the additional court conferences is to let the Judge know how the case is progressing and to see if any issues can be resolved. These additional court conferences can be anywhere from 2 – 12 months.
  • Settlement discussions: Since 90% – 95% of divorces settle, there will be settlement discussions involved in your case. Most settlement discussions happen during the same period of time that the additional court conferences are occurring. So, for purposes of this article, I will not add any additional time.
  • Pre-Trial Conference and pre-trial preparation: If the case has not settled, then the Court will schedule a Pre-Trial Conference. Depending on the Court’s calendar, this could be as few as 2 months after the last court conference or as much as 6 months after the last court conference.
  • Trials: Most divorce trials take 1 – 3 days. They will be scheduled about 1 – 4 months after the pre-trial conference.

As you can see, a “typical” divorce can take between about 9 months to 18 months. However, the following factors can slow down the process:

  • Non-cooperating spouse: If your spouse doesn’t cooperate or purposely delays the proceedings, then it is likely that this will delay your divorce.
  • Illness/Surgery: If you or your spouse get ill or have surgery, this will delay the divorce. Similarly, if the Judge or one of the attorneys gets ill or have surgery, this will also delay the proceedings.
  • Difficulty in getting documents: If it is difficult to get certain documents from a bank or other institution, then this will also slow down the process.

In contrast, the following could help to speed up the process:

  • Productive and Early Settlement talks: If you and your spouse have productive and more importantly early settlement discussions, this will help get your divorce finished earlier than expected.
  • Producing documents in a timely manner: If documents are provided in a timely manner, this will help shorten the time that discovery is necessary.
  • Judges: Some Judges have shorter deadlines and will tend to shorten the process of the divorce.
  • Attorneys: Some attorneys work faster than others.

So, although it is true, that how long your divorce will take – is impossible to answer, you can use the above as a guideline to track your divorce and compare it with the typical guidelines.

If you need more information about divorces and how long they take, then contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.

The Badanes Law Office, P.C. has helped hundreds of clients get a divorce. If you need an experienced divorce lawyer, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. today at 631-239-1702 or email at

We have offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.

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Can I Force My Ex-Spouse to Lose My Last Name?

If you are getting divorced, and both parties have the same last name, can you force your Ex-Spouse to lose (or change) your last name?  The answer is “No.”

Your ex-spouse has a right and an interest in keeping the last name that she/he obtained during the marriage. There is nothing in New York State’s law that allows you to force her/him to change their last name.

However, if you or your ex-spouse wants to voluntarily change their last name, then this can easily be done in the divorce process.

In New York, a divorce is final when the Judge signs the “Judgment of Divorce”. The Judgment will specify the various orders of the Court, for example: child custody (if applicable), spousal maintenance (if applicable), asset division, etc.

It should be noted that the Judgment of Divorce can state that one or both parties may change their last name to their name before marriage. Yet, this is voluntary.

Divorce can be complicated. However, David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office can help you through the process.

If you are thinking of getting divorced, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at

The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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What Happens to the Mortgage in a New York Divorce?

What happens to the mortgage on your home (or other real property) in a New York Divorce?  There are a few possible answers to that question.

Possibility No. 1:  Nothing – although relatively rare, the mortgage can remain the same, with no changes.  However, even here, the fact that “nothing” is changing would still require appropriate language in the divorce settlement agreement to reflect this fact.

Possibility No. 2:  Paid off by one or both parties:  this is typically what occurs.  Either one party pays off the mortgage or the real property (house) is sold and the mortgage is paid off by the sale of the house.

Possibility No. 3:  Assumed by one of the parties:  Here, one of the parties “assumes” the mortgage and takes over paying the entire mortgage.

If there is a mortgage on your marital home, then how that mortgage will be paid is just one of many questions that have to be answered in your divorce.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have drafted numerous divorce agreements that arrange for how a mortgage is handled after a divorce.

If you are thinking of getting divorced, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at

The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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Divorce Mediation: Advantages and Disadvantages

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of divorce mediation.


Less Expensive: As long as your mediation “works” (see below for disadvantages), then mediation is almost always less expensive than a contested divorce. This is because instead of each spouse having their own attorney and paying that attorney, there is only one mediator to pay. Furthermore, the mediator’s hourly rate is most likely less than a typical attorney.

Less Time: Divorce mediation will typically be a much faster process than going to court. Most mediations are done within two to three months.

Less Stressful: Most divorcing couples experience a lot less stress in using a mediator than hiring their own attorneys. With mediation, the couple is working together to create a divorce agreement. In comparison, in a contested divorce, the couple is working against each other.

More Creative: In mediation, a good mediator will be able to present more creative solutions to the issues faced in a divorce.

More Control: In mediation, you and your spouse have more control over the process. With the mediator’s help, you decide how the divorce process will proceed and as stated above, you can be more creative in solving the issues of the divorce.


Potential to be More Expensive: If your mediation “fails”, then you have spent money on the mediator and now have to spend money on attorneys. This most likely will make your overall divorce process more expensive.

Must be Willing to Compromise: If one or both parties are not willing to compromise, then divorce mediation will not work. When using a mediator, both parties must be able to compromise and discuss issues rationally and amicably.

Not For Alcoholics, Drug Abusers: Most mediators will tell you that if one or both parties are an alcoholic or abuse illegal (or prescription) drugs, that mediation most likely is not the proper forum for your divorce.

Not For Domestic Violence: Similarly, if there is domestic violence, then mediation most likely will not work.

Not For Complicated Cases, High Income Couples: If your divorce is one where the parties earn a high income or is a complicated case, then mediation most likely will not work for you.

In addition to being an attorney, David Badanes, Esq. is also a mediator and has helped numerous couples in mediation sessions. If you want a mediator, then call David Badanes at 631-239-1702 or email at

David Badanes typically conducts his mediation in his Northport office; however, mediation is also available in Uniondale and virtually.

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