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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