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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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.

Your Ex Never Shows Up For Scheduled Visits – What You Can Do

Unfortunately, in some divorces, one of the parents will constantly not show up for their scheduled visits (parenting time) with the parties’ children. This can be especially frustrating when the location for the exchange of the children is at a location that is not your residence. Here are some things you can do if your ex is not showing up for scheduled visits.

  1. Keep a log (diary) of each time that your ex does not show up. Make sure your log states the date and how long you waited. In general, you should wait at least 15 minutes before leaving the exchange location.
  2. Text your Ex. Since virtually everyone has text capability, you should text your ex prior to the exchange time (about 30 minutes before) and then also text your ex when you are at the exchange location. If the exchanges are at your residence, then you can text at the time when the ex is supposed to be there. Make sure to save and print out your text messages.
  3. Send letters to your Ex. After three or more “no shows”, you should send a letter to your ex, stating that he/she did not show up at the exchange time or location. In the letter, you can state that unless your Ex gives prior notice that he/she will arrive on time for the next visitation time, that you will not be there for the next exchange. It is good advice to have your attorney send this letter. It is also good advice to send the letter by certified mail, return receipt requested.
  4. Go to Court. You may want to go to Court to get a Court order stating that you do not have to wait for your ex to show up at the exchange location.

If you are seeking a divorce or need to hire an attorney, 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 us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

Do I Have To Force My Child To Visit The Non-Custodial Parent?

Legally, the answer may be “yes”. If there is a Court Order requiring “visitation” or “parenting time”, then, you are required to follow the Court’s Order.

However, a parent with a young child versus a parent with a teenager are two very different scenarios. In virtually all situations, a young child will be required to have parenting time with the non-custodial parent. In contrast, a teenager who is over the age of 16 years of age, may not be “forced” to have parenting time with the non-custodial parent.

Although, you are required to follow a Court’s Order, there is also a “reasonableness” and common-sense factor. In other words, there could be an overriding situation, where you do not need to physically deliver the child to the other parent.

For example, if a child is too ill or too sick to visit, then you could legitimately have a valid reason to keep the child at your home. However, the child better be “truly sick”, as the other parent could order a “well check”, by calling the police to see if the child is ill or too sick to visit.

If a child is too ill or sick to visit, or a teenager is refusing to visit the other parent, it is important that you communicate the situation in a timely matter with the other parent. This will make the courts view you in a more positive light, than just not delivering the child at all. It may also help to document each instance of your child’s refusal, and the circumstances surrounding the event.

If your teenager doesn’t want to have parenting time with the other parent, you should try to determine the reasons why. It should not just be because they are “bored”. However, if there is a seriously negative situation at the other parent’s home – i.e. physical abuse – then you should take action in court immediately. You should not just simply stop visitation.

It is important to note that Courts want both parents to be involved in their children’s life. If you cut-off all visitation with the other parent, there could be serious negative consequences to you.  For example, the Court could determine that you are no longer eligible for child support.

If you have questions regarding custody and are thinking of seeking legal action, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  Call us at 631-239-1702 or email David Badanes, Esq. at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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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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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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New York Court Expands The Definition Of Parent In Custody Cases

In 1991, New York’s Highest Court (the Court of Appeals) held that the only person who could petition a court for custody or visitation of a child was someone who either: (1) was the biological parent or (2) had an adoptive relationship to the child. This ruling precluded numerous de-facto parents and many same-sex parents from seeking custody or visitation of a child.

The Court has now overruled that decision and now, if a partner can show by clear and convincing evidence that the parties agreed to conceive a child and to raise the child together, the non-biological, non-adoptive partner can petition the court to seek visitation and/or custody under the law.

The Court’s ruling expands the definition of parent and now allows same-sex couples and other persons to seek visitation and/or custody, even if that person is not the biological parent or has not adopted the child.  However, the Court’s ruling is limited to situations where a petitioner can prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that he or she agreed with the biological parent of the child to (1) prior to conception to conceive the child and (2) raise the child as co-parents.

Furthermore, the Court’s ruling only means that the petitioner now has the right to bring the case to court (called standing), but, it does not mean that the petitioner will actually succeed in gaining visitation and/or custody rights.

The Court’s ruling does not necessarily effect whether a non-biological parent who agreed to raise a child AFTER conception has standing to bring forth a case for visitation and/or custody. Therefore, it will be left for another case to determine if the Court would allow a parent in that situation to petition for custody and/or visitation.

It is also important to note that the Court used the “clear and convincing” evidence standard to prove that an agreement existed.  This means that you must prove that it is substantially more likely that the agreement actually existed.  This is a higher level of proof than “preponderance of the evidence” were you only need to show that it is “more likely to be true” (greater than 50%).

Although, the Court’s ruling is somewhat limited, it is clear that the Court has opened the door and thus those persons who are not the biological parent or the adoptive parent now have some rights when it comes to child custody and/or visitation.

If you are not sure of what your rights are as a non-biological parent, the Badanes Law Office can help you. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office have helped numerous clients in establishing their custody and visitation rights.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office represent clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County and in New York City.  Please contact 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 Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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