Managing Divorce During Back-to-School Season

The month of August officially marks back-to-school season.  No matter what grade your child is entering, back-to-school means last-minute supply shopping, the end of summer fun, and possibly concern and anxiety for children. This time can become even tenser when children are dealing with divorced parents making it even more important to do what you can to manage their stress levels.

David Badanes, Esq. of Badanes Law Office on Long Island has shared advice on how divorced parents should be prepared for their child going back to school.

  • Back to School Shopping: If you and your ex-spouse (or soon to be ex-spouse) get along, then perhaps go shopping together for “back to school items.” It will make everything less stressful for your child if they have both parents present and offering opinions on what to get for school.
  • Knowledge: Make sure you know the school’s academic calendar, your child’s schedule, and the contact information for their principal, counselor, and teachers. A point in time may come where you will need to contact them and knowing beforehand on how to do so will make everything more efficient.
  • Emergencies: Make sure both you and your ex-spouse are on the school’s emergency contact list. In case anything happens, one or both of you will be contacted immediately.
  • Attend: The last thing a child needs during this time is an absent parent. Make sure both you and your ex-partner attend parent-teacher night and any other school functions your child is in (school plays, athletic competitions, music).
  • Homework: If your child is with you during a school night, make sure they get their homework done. Falling behind in school is something you should try to prevent at all costs.
  • Consistency: Review home routines and rules with your ex-spouse. It is important to have consistent rules in both houses. It will make things more stressful for your child if the rules are completely different.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. provides real-world advice to help you through this challenging time. If you are contemplating getting a divorce, and need a divorce lawyer to represent you, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our website: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and Uniondale, Nassau County.

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How Dads Can Get Visitation Time With Their Children on Father’s Day When Going Through Divorce

When you go through a divorce, there are a lot of adjustments that need to be made, including time with your kids for holidays. When it comes to Father’s Day, parenting time for that day should go to the dad but enforcing this time might be difficult. If you are having difficulty getting your visitation time for Father’s Day, there are steps you can take to resolve the issue.

Mr. David Badanes Esq. of Badanes Law Office on Long Island has shared advice on how to navigate this difficult situation:

  • Document everything. You should keep a log of every time your ex prevents you from seeing your children and/or every time your ex is late returning your children. Make sure the log includes the date and a brief description of what happened. For example, an entry in the log might look like: 6/10/2021- Jane did not bring back our son. I texted her, she said he wasn’t feeling well, but, when I asked to speak to him, she refused to put him on the phone.
  • Have a conversation with your ex. When there is conflict surrounding visitation time, the first step is to discuss it with your ex. Ideally, the situation will be resolved outside of court for the sake of parents and children.
  • If you can’t reach a resolution, see an attorney. If discussions do not lead to change, then you should contact an attorney as soon as possible. If this step is necessary, don’t delay in taking it because time with your child will suffer if you wait. Keep in mind that your lawyer may want to send a letter first before going to court.
  • Continue with child support. If an existing court order is already in place, make sure you keep up with child support payments until a court issues an order changing the arrangement.
  • Do what you can in the meantime. If there are serious issues with not getting parenting time, this could take a while to change in court. And while this step is necessary, it doesn’t mean you stop being a parent in the meantime. Make plans to do fun activities with your kids on Father’s Day and do what you can to speak with them/spend time with them. If your intentional planning still doesn’t change the situation for this Father’s Day, tell your kids your plans for the future. This will let them know you want to spend time with them and are thinking about them.

Divorce can be messy, but the priority of both parents should be for the “mess” to affect the children as little as possible. However, because feelings are involved, a parent may believe they are acting in the child’s best interests even if they are not. This is why a lawyer is necessary in some cases to resolve conflicts between parents going through a divorce. While these negotiations may change what your Father’s Day looks like, remember that this day comes around every year, so there will be more opportunities to spend this special day with your kids the way you want to.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. provides real-world advice to help you through this challenging time. 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 or email at david@dbnylaw.com.

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

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The Super Bowl and Divorce

The Super Bowl, what some people call the “true National Holiday.”  Even people who don’t care about football tend to watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. For divorcing couples who have children, the Super Bowl is one more issue that should be addressed in their divorce.

Since most divorces are settled, the parties will decide among themselves when they have the children.  Typically, for most holidays, the parties will alternate on a yearly basis.  For example, one spouse will get Thanksgiving on Odd years and the other spouse will get Thanksgiving on Even years.  In this way, each parent is treated fairly and they get to see their children for at least some of the holidays each year and will see their children for all the holidays every two years.

Whether or not the Super Bowl is important to you, it might be important to your spouse and/or in the future, you might change your mind.  You can treat the Super Bowl the same as any other holiday, by alternating which parent has the children for the “big game” on a yearly basis.  Alternatively, if both spouses agree, one spouse can have the Super Bowl every year with the children.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. makes sure that all the issues, even the Super Bowl, is discussed and handled in any divorce that involves children.  If you are seeking a divorce contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  David Badanes has represented and helped numerous clients and can help you. To contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, call: 631-239-1702, email: david@dbnylaw.com or visit their web site at www.dbnlaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County (Northport) and in Nassau County (Uniondale).

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The Rules For Relocating With Your Child

Whether or not you can relocate with your child depends on many factors.  The first thing to consider is whether or not there is a custody order or a signed agreement which addresses this issue.

If the custody order directly states under what terms and conditions you can relocate, then those terms and conditions would first apply.  If the custody order does not directly state where you can relocate, then a different set of rules apply.

IF YOUR CUSTODY ORDER STATES WHERE YOU CAN RELOCATE, THEN …

Some custody orders (or agreements) will state that you can move within a certain location or within a certain radius of your current home.  For example, some custody orders might state that you can only relocate within the County you live in or within ten (10) miles of your current home.

If your custody order states where you can relocate, as long as you follow those “rules”, you can absolutely relocate to where the custody order states (in the above example, either within the County you live in or within ten miles of your current home).

If you want to relocate to an area that is not permitted under the custody order, then you have to get Court permission before you move.  You have to convince the Court that your relocation is in the best interest of the child.

However, even if your order or agreement gives you permission to move, the other parent can still go to Court to try to prevent you from moving.  Although, they would probably not succeed, if that parent can provide reasons why moving now is not in the best interest of the Child, then they may be able to prevent you from moving.

IF YOUR CUSTODY ORDER DOES NOT STATE WHERE YOU CAN RELOCATE, THEN …

However, if you want to relocate to a location that is not permitted under the custody order (or agreement), then you have the “burden of proof” to demonstrate why you should be able to relocate.

You first have to demonstrate why relocating is in the best interest of the child.  You cannot simply state that “I can make more income where I’m going to move” or “It is cheaper to live where I want to move to”.

Instead, you have to show that by moving to your new location, that it is better for the child.  You will also have to come up with a plan on how the other parent is going to have time with the child (after you move).

Although, each situation is different, some of the ideas on how to the other parent is going to have time with the child (after you move) are as follows:

  • Facetime (or Zoom) with the child on a frequent basis
  • Extended time when school is not in session
  • Every weekend
  • Every month (on a weekend)

If you are considering relocating or you want to prevent the other parent from relocating, then you should consult a Long Island child custody attorney.  David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. has represented many clients who either wanted to relocate or were trying to prevent the other parent from moving.

If you need an experienced divorce attorney on Long Island, contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  David Badanes can be contacted at 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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Tips for Managing Child Custody and Visitation During Quarantine

Currently, most of New York State is under quarantine orders. This has created some issues and problems as it relates to child custody and visitation. Here are some tips on how to manage child custody and visitation.

Follow Existing Orders: If you have a Court Order, then to the best of your ability you need to follow such Orders. If you have any questions about how to do this, then you should consult with your attorney.

  • If You Have the Coronavirus: If you have the Coronavirus or suspect that you have it, of course, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention. If you have to isolate yourself, then do so. During your isolation or if you are instructed by medical professionals, do not see your children and let the other parent know that you have the Coronavirus or suspect that you have it.
  • Get re-tested: If you were diagnosed with the Coronavirus, then once you can, get re-tested to make sure that you are well enough to see your children. Inform the other parent that you now are symptom-free and that you can see your children.
  • Talk to your children: If your children are old enough to understand, then you should have an age-appropriate conversation with your children about the Coronavirus and how it affected you.
  • If you do not have the Coronavirus and the other parent prevents you from seeing your children, then you must contact your attorney.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have helped numerous clients in their child custody and visitation issues and in obtaining a divorce. Please like us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips, and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

What You Need to Know About Child Custody (in New York)

By David P. Badanes, Esq.
If you are getting divorced and have children, issues involving the children are usually the most difficult ones. As with most things in a divorce, either you and your divorcing spouse can enter into an agreement about child custody or the Court will issue a child custody order. When discussing child custody, it is important to distinguish the concept of decision-making and the concept of time with the child. Although, the two concepts are related, just because one parent has more time with the child does not necessarily mean that parent has decision-making authority. This article will focus on decision-making.

Most Judges will tell you that they prefer if the parents can come to an agreement about child custody. Most attorneys will agree with that assessment. A child custody agreement will almost always be more detailed than a Court’s Order. Having a more detailed agreement, will help to prevent future disagreements. Of course, there are situations where the parties just will not be able to agree and a Court’s Order will be necessary.

What does a Child Custody Order or Agreement decide? All custody orders should decide who gets to make the following Three Major Decisions: (i) Medical Decisions; (ii) Educational Decisions (including what school the child attends); and (iii) Religious Decisions. In addition, the following other areas should also be in any child custody order or agreement: (i) Extra-Curricular Activities; and (ii) Where the Children live.

When it comes to making the major decisions for a child, there is

  1. Sole Legal Custody: A parent who has sole legal custody will get to make all the major decisions for the child. Furthermore, in most instances, that parent will also get to make the decisions about what extra-curricular activities the child engages in.
  2. Joint Legal Custody: In theory, joint legal custody means that both parent have equal decision making power for the children. However, in practice this might not be true. Oftentimes, when there is a difference in opinion on a major decision, one parent may have the right to have “final decision making”. In other instances, one parent may have the right to make decisions on one area (for example, medical decisions), and the other parent may have to right to make decisions in a different area (for example, educational decisions).

Although, typically the parent who has sole legal custody will have more time with the children, that is not always the case. Similarly, just because the parties have joint legal custody does not mean that each parent will have 50% of the time with the children. Indeed, in most cases, one parent will still have the majority of the time with the children, but, they still may have joint legal custody and the right to share decision making.

If the Court is forced or makes the custody order, then it will almost always award one parent sole legal custody. The Court decides custody by determining what is in the “best interests of the child.” In order to do that, here are some of the main factors that the Court will consider:

  • Willingness to foster a relationship with the other parent
  • Child’s preference
  • Who has been the primary caregiver
  • Availability of the parent
  • Quality of Care
  • Abuse or neglect
  • Domestic Violence
  • Alcohol or Drug abuse

As already stated, whether or not there is sole legal custody or joint legal custody, does not necessarily direct which parent has most of the time with the children. There are many different ways that the children can spend time with each parent. That will be the subject of a separate blog.

If you have questions about child custody, you are seeking custody or you are seeking a divorce, contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have represented numerous parents in their custody actions and in their divorce. If you live in Suffolk County or Nassau County, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.

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I Want a Divorce but My Spouse Doesn’t

You may want a Divorce, but your spouse does not. What can you do? New York State is a “No Fault” Divorce State, so, you can get a divorce with or without your spouse cooperating or “wanting” the divorce.

The first step in starting the divorce process is to file a Summons and Complaint (or in some instances, you can file a “Summons With Notice” and then subsequently file the Complaint). Then the Summons and Complaint must be properly served upon your spouse. The key is here is that you must have “proper service”. This means you cannot just give the Summons and Complaint to your spouse. It is highly recommended that you hire an experienced process server to serve the Summons and Complaint upon your spouse. If you hire an attorney, your attorney will most likely handle the entire process of filing the Summons and Complaint and also making sure it is properly served upon your spouse.

What if my spouse states that he/she will not respond to the Summons and Complaint?

Technically, your spouse does not have to respond to the Summons and Complaint. However, if your spouse does not respond to the Summons and Complaint, then you can still get divorced. You would request that the Court give you a default divorce. Your attorney will know how to make sure that you make the request for a default divorce correctly.

In the process of granting a default divorce, the Court will schedule a special court hearing called an “Inquest”. At the Inquest, your attorney will present evidence that your spouse was properly served and will also present the basic facts of your divorce. If applicable, you will be able to make a request for child custody, child support, alimony, distribution of assets and the payment of debts as well of all the other issues of your divorce. In general, terms, since your spouse has not responded to the Summons and Complaint, the Court will grant most of your requests.

The bottom line is that you can get a divorce regardless of whether or not your spouse also wants the divorce.

If you are contemplating getting divorced and believe that your spouse does not want the divorce, then you need an experienced attorney who can guide you through the process. , David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have the experience to get you through the divorce process, even if your spouse doesn’t want the divorce.

Common Lies Told During a Divorce

Here are some common lies that you may hear during your divorce.

LIE: You can’t make me move out of the house

In New York, as part of the divorce process, the Court will determine who can stay and who has to move out of the house (or apartment). This may happen at the end of the divorce or at some point during the divorce. If there is domestic violence, then you may be able to get a Court order immediately removing your spouse from the house. Even, if there is no domestic violence, as part of the divorce, the Judge can order the sale of the house or that one spouse “buys-out” the other spouse’s interest in the house. At some point, the Judge will order that one spouse has to leave the house. So, yes, a spouse can be made to “move out of the house.”

LIE: I will ignore (or not accept) the divorce papers, so you can’t get divorced

Although your spouse can ignore (or not accept) the divorce papers, you can still get divorced. Your attorney (or you) can petition the Court that your spouse is ignoring the divorce papers (that is your spouse is not responding to the Summons or other divorce documents). In New York, if your spouse ignores the Summons or divorce papers, then the Court can conduct what is called an “inquest.” At the inquest, the Court can grant you a divorce.

LIE: I will not pay you any child support

Technically, this could be true. However, if you are awarded child support, there are many ways you can try to get payment from your spouse. Most of the time, there are ways to find money and payment from your spouse. Yet, if your spouse does not have an “on the books” job and has hidden all of his/her assets, then they may be able to not pay you any child support. This is typically very rare. If your spouse does not pay child support, then the Court can hold the person in contempt and your spouse can be imprisoned for failing to pay child support. Many times, right before facing imprisonment, your spouse will come up with the amount of child support that is owed to you. If the spouse still refuses to pay child support, then they can go to prison. So, technically, your spouse does not have to pay child support, but, they will face serious consequences.

LIE: You have no money, so you can’t afford an attorney

In New York, the spouse who earns all the money can be ordered to pay most, or even all, of your attorney’s fees. If you are a stay-at-home-parent and have no income, your attorney can immediately petition the Court to have your spouse (who does have income) to pay your attorney’s fees. Therefore, the fact that you have no money does not automatically mean that you can’t hire or afford an attorney.

LIE: If you divorce me, you will never see the children

It is extremely rare that a Court will determine that a parent has no rights to see the children. In certain situations, a Court may order “supervised visitation”, which means that the parent must be properly supervised when the parent sees the children. Even if a parent is in prison, a court can order you to bring the children to visit the imprisoned parent.

As for the parent “kidnapping” the children, despite what you see on the news, this is also extremely rare. For the few times that a parent does attempt to kidnap the children, they are caught virtually every time.

If you are not sure what to believe when you are going through a divorce and need an attorney, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.

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What is Parental Alienation?

There are many definitions of parental alienation. A simple definition is when one parent isolates the children from the other parent through words or conduct, such that it creates anger, hostility, lack of affection or division between the child and the other parent.

Parental alienation can come in many different ways. They are:

Negative Comments (Disparagement):
Many times, parental alienation is when one parent states negative comments or criticism of the other parent. This can include insulting the other parent, speaking negatively about the other parent, or blaming you for the divorce. Oftentimes, one parent will state that other parent is “not paying child support” or “always late in picking you up” or other negative comments about the divorce.

In addition to direct negative comments from one parent to the children, parental alienation also occurs when one parent allows their relatives or friends to also engage in stating negative comments. It is not “ok” to allow a grandparent, aunt or uncle to engage in negative comments about the other parent.

Undermining Your Authority as a Parent:
Another form of parental alienation is when one parent allows the children to believe that the other parent’s authority or discipline can be ignored. It is completely improper to tell the children that they “don’t have to listen to you”.

Some examples of undermining authority are when one parent tells the children, while they are with you: (i) that they don’t have to do their homework; (ii) they don’t have to listen to your bedtime; or (iii) they don’t have to do the chores you assign to them.

Of course, it would be best if both parents have similar rules when it comes to parenting the children.

Parental alienation is also defined when you allow a child to make decisions that are more suited for an adult or parent. For example, allowing the child to decide whether or not they can visit with you.

A Second Dad or Second Mom
During the divorce process, if a parent tells the children to call their significant other “Mom” or “Dad”, this is a form of parental alienation. Similarly, allowing the significant other to “act” as a second Dad or second Mom. This could be when the significant other shows up to teacher-parent meetings, coaching the child in sports, or taking the child to the doctor and “acting” as the biological parent.

False Allegations:
False allegations of domestic abuse, child abuse, drug use, neglect or other negative actions are a serious issue by themselves. False allegations can also be part of parental alienation. If one parent uses false allegations so as to alienate the other parent or to restrict the other parent’s parenting time, then that can be considered part of parental alienation.

Parental alienation is a serious concern and unfortunately can happen in your divorce. If you believe that your spouse is engaging in parental alienation, you must take immediate action. David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. are equipped to notice the signs of parental alienation and help you in fighting such actions.

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Immunizations and Divorce

New York State recently passed a new law, whereby children must be vaccinated against measles and other diseases to attend public or private school. The only exception, that would allow a child not be vaccinated and to attend public/private school, is if there is a valid medical exemption. Before the new law was passed, New York State recognized religious exemptions to the mandate that children must be vaccinated.

The change in the law will also affect child custody issues in a divorce (and in non-divorces where child custody is an issue). There are already examples where one parent wants to have their children vaccinated and the other parent does not want to vaccinate. Courts will now have to consider the issue of immunizations as it relates to child custody. Furthermore, lawyers will need to consider how immunizations are to be handled in their divorce agreements.

WHAT DOES THE NEW LAW SAY NOW?

As stated above, as of June 13, 2019, there is no longer a religious exemption to the requirement that children be vaccinated against many diseases in order to attend either: (1) public, private or parochial school (for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade) or (2) child daycare settings.

Although, the new law is being challenged, in the past, the United States Supreme Court has stated that a State can mandate that children are vaccinated in order to attend public school. To date, New York Courts have also agreed with the United States Supreme Court. In addition, New York Public Health Law § 2164 obligates parents to have their children vaccinated against diseases, and New York Education Law § 914 obligates schools to enforce and comply with the aforementioned statute.

Accordingly, as of now, it is constitutional for New York State to require that you vaccinate your child in order for that child to attend public/private school.

HOW WILL THIS EFFECT CUSTODY?

A Court or a Judge cannot force a parent to vaccinate their child. However, by granting custody to a parent that either want to vaccinate the child or to a parent that does not want to vaccinate the child, the Court is essentially deciding if the child will be vaccinated.

As always, a Court/Judge will decide custody on the basis of the “best interests of a child” test. One of those factors may be if a parent wants to vaccinate their child. Many judges would probably agree that vaccinating a child is safer for both the child and the general welfare of the community. However, that would be just one factor in the Court’s decision.
Clearly, the decision to vaccinate your child is a personal one. As it relates to a divorce or child custody, parents may have legitimate differences on whether or not to vaccinate a child. With the new New York State law, when considering child custody issues, Courts and Judges may find themselves having to consider this issue.

If you are u are considering getting a divorce or have a child custody issue, then contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.

Contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. today at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

By David P. Badanes, Esq. and Hayley Hayden