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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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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What Does New York’s “No Fault” Divorce Law Mean?

In 2010, New York enacted its “No Fault” Divorce law.  Here is what you need to know about New York’s “No Fault Divorce Law”.

Before the 2010 law was passed, in order to get a divorce, you needed to show that your spouse was “at fault”.  This meant that you had to “prove” that your spouse did “something wrong” (this is also called “grounds for a divorce”). This sometimes meant that you could not get a divorce because you could not convince a Judge that there were “grounds” for your divorce.

With a “No Fault” divorce, you do not need to prove grounds, all you have to do is state you want a divorce and you will get a divorce. In other words, it does not matter “why” you want a divorce and you do not have to prove “grounds” or that someone was “at fault”. However, not so fast, before a court can grant a “no fault” divorce, you still have to resolve the following issues:

Since the law was passed, virtually every divorce is now a “no fault” divorce.  Although, you have the right to state “grounds” in your divorce (for example, adultery or cruel and inhuman treatment), most Judges will want to resolve your divorce with the “no fault” divorce law.

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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National Law Day (May 1st) and What It Means for Your Divorce

In 1958, President Eisenhower declared May 1st to be Law Day in the United States. Although it is not an officially recognized government holiday, it is a day to celebrate law universally and spend time discussing how the law is meant to protect the people. In many cases, people are unaware about the many laws that affect them on a daily basis and this day is meant to raise awareness and inform them of these matters.

In the case of divorce law, it’s even more common for couples facing distress to have a hard time understanding the divorce process and how these laws will affect them. David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C. are taking the time this Law Day to explain the history of divorce law and how each individual’s cases can be impacted.

It is often stated that it is much easier to get married than it is to get divorced. This is generally a true statement. For example, in New York, there are very few legal requirements in order to get married.  You certainly never have to get a Judge’s permission or get a Court Order in order to get married. In contrast, once married, to dissolve a divorce you will need to obtain a Court Order – called a Judgment of Divorce (or colloquially a “divorce decree”). When seeking a divorce or if you are the Defendant in a divorce case, your divorce is governed by New York State’s Domestic Relations Law.  This law provides the basis of how a Court will rule on all the issues involved in your divorce.

The intent of the divorce laws is to provide fairness in whatever means necessary. Spousal maintenance, what was once called “alimony,” is in the law to provide economic support for the spouse who might have sacrificed their career or income to support a family. When there are children, the intent of the divorce laws is shifted instead to protect and provide for the children. This means that there is a requirement to pay child support.

In New York, over the last 40 years, there have been significant changes to the divorce laws. One of the most significant changes in New York, is prior to 2010, in order to get divorced you had to prove “fault” or “grounds,” such as (i) abandonment for one or more years; (ii) cruel and inhuman treatment; or (iii) adultery. This was often an impediment to getting a divorce and also costly to the parties. Since October, 2010, New York now allows no fault divorces, where you don’t need to prove any fault, you simply file for divorce and once the issues in the divorce are resolved or determined by the Judge, a divorce will be granted.

While this process and many of these laws may feel overwhelming at first glance, The Badanes Law Office, P.C. is here to help you make sense of all of this.

If you are contemplating getting a divorce, and need an attorney to represent you, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702, email at or visit our web site:  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.

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What Does Senator D’Amato’s Divorce Teach Us

According to recent reports, the former U.S. Senator D’Amato has settled his divorce with his soon-to-be ex-wife Katuria D’Amato. Their divorce battle has been on-going for about two years and despite the Senator’s advanced age (he is 82 years old), there were two pre-teen children involved in the divorce.

Although, the details of their divorce are confidential, a few lessons can be learned from their divorce.

Lesson #1: In New York, all divorce pleadings and documents are confidential. Unlike most other court documents, divorce pleadings and any filed court documents are confidential. Only the parties and their respective attorneys are permitted to view any filed court documents. There are exceptions to this rule, but anyone seeking to obtain a court filed document must petition the court for permission to view the documents. However, those exceptions are very rare. Accordingly, you can be assured that your divorce documents are confidential.

Lesson #2: In the D’Amato’s divorce, the Judge first held a custody hearing. This is not unusual. Some Judges will want to have a custody hearing before considering the other issues involved in the divorce.  However, typically those custody hearings only result in a “temporary custody” ruling. Yet, regardless of whether the result is a temporary ruling, that result will have a great effect on the eventual decisions involve in the divorce. Accordingly, if there is going to be a custody battle, you want to be prepared to fight this battle from the onset of your divorce.

Lesson #3: Parties who have significant assets and money are the divorces that still take a long time to decide. We have all heard stories of divorces dragging on for years. For the most part, the Courts have made an effort to shorten the divorce process. However, the D’Amato divorce is the exception to the rule and still demonstrates that parties that have significant assets and money can spend the money to lengthen the divorce process.

If you are seeking a divorce, David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., can help you. Divorce attorney David Badanes has represented numerous clients in their divorces and can help you as well.

If you are thinking of getting divorced, please contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. at 631-239-1702 or email at We have offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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8 Most Expensive Divorces Ever

You might think that your divorce was expensive and cost you an “arm and a leg.”  However, perhaps you should consider the following divorces, which are regarded as some of the most expensive divorces ever (at least up to 2016):

Dmitry Rybolovlev and Elena Rybolovlev:  This divorce took 7 years and cost Dmitry $604 million.  This was a bargain, as originally, he was ordered to pay Elena $4.5 Billion dollars.

Adnan Khashoggi and Soraya Khashoggi:  They were divorced in 1982, so in 1982 dollars, Adnan had to pay “only” $874 million dollars.  In 2016 dollars, that is about $2.2 Billion dollars.

Harold Hamm and Sue Ann Hamm:  Mr. Hamm (not related to Jon Hamm, the actor), paid $974.8 million dollars to Sue Ann.  It seems that Sue Ann was not happy with this “lowly” sum and appealed to the court to get more money.  She did not win her appeal.  Harold Hamm is in the oil and gas business, so he probably will need to drill a few more oil wells to make up what he had to pay his ex-wife.

Steve Wynn and Elaine Wynn:  You probably heard of Steve Wynn – casino magnate.  This couple actually got divorced twice, once in 1986 and again in 2010.  Although the exact amount of what Mr. Wynn had to pay Elaine the second time isn’t known, it is believed to be about $1 Billion dollars.  Perhaps Mr. Wynn is a good casino owner, but, like most casino players, is a bit unlucky (at least in love).

Bernie Ecclestone and Slavica Ecclestone: It seems that both Bernie and Slavica profited from their divorce.  As part of the divorce, Bernie paid about $1.3 Billion dollars to his ex-wife.  However, a few years after the divorce, Bernie received about $500 Million dollars from Slavica’s trust fund.

Rubert Murdoch and Anna Maria Torv Murdoch: This was Mr. Murdoch’s second wife.  Mr. Murdoch is the head of News Corporation, so in his divorce, he gave $1.7 Billion dollars to Anna Maria – in stock to News Corporation.  It is unknown if Ms. Torv kept the stock or still has it.

Alec Wildenstein and Jocelyn Wildenstein:  In this divorce, Jocelyn walked away with a cool $2.5 Billion dollars AND an additional $100 Million each year for 13 years.

Vladimir Potanin and Natalia Potanina:  Mr. Potanin is a Russian billionaire (and is not to be confused with the Russian President Vladimir Putin).  Mr. Potanin is worth about $14 Billion dollars, and although the divorce is not final, he may have to fork over $7 Billion of that to Natalia.

You don’t have to be a billionaire or millionaire to get good advice from David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office.  Mr. Badanes represents clients from all ends of the economic spectrum.

The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City. If you need an attorney, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at or visit our website: The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.

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