What if My Ex-Spouse Excessively Calls or Texts Our Children During My Parenting Time?

With the ease of cell phones, your spouse may abuse his/her privileges to call or text your children during your parenting time. Here are a few tips of what you can do.

  • Establish Set Days & Times For Calls & Texts: One of the most effective methods to limit excessive phone calls and excessive texting, is to have set days and times for such communication. For example, depending on the age of the children, you might want to state that your ex can call or text every night from between 8 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. You also need to explain to your ex that any other calls or text messages will be ignored.
  • Use a Specialized Application (e.g. Family Wizard): If your ex still abuses phone calls and texting, then you can use a co-parenting application that can keep track of the excessive phone calls or text messages.
  • Contact Your Attorney: You can contact your attorney who can then send a “cease and desist” letter to your ex (or your ex’s attorney). The cease and desist letter will inform your ex that they are not to continue their excessive phone calls or excessive texting. If need be, your attorney may have to file a petition to court.

Although, there is no excuse for excessive telephone calls or excessive texting, your spouse does have the right to call and text the children (unless there is a court order that states otherwise). If your spouse is only calling once a day or has a few text messages, then that will be allowed.

Whether you are going through a divorce or you are already divorce, many times one of the issues that leads to conflict is your ex-spouse excessively calling or texting the children. If you are contemplating a divorce or you have been served with divorce papers, then contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County and Nassau County. Their phone number is 631-239-1702, David’s email is david@dbnylaw.com or you can visit us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

Traveling With Your Children – During and After Your Divorce

Here is what you need to know about traveling with your child – during and after your divorce.

For International Travel:

  • Passports: If your child is under the age of 16 years of age, both parents must sign the child’s passport. Both parents should also be present when you obtain the child’s passport. However, if one parent is not there, that parent can sign a document giving their consent. If the child is over the age of 16, only one parent has to sign the child’s passport.
  • Children’s Passport Issuance Alert Program: This is a program run by the State Department that verifies that both parents have consented to allow a child to travel with a passport.

For Both International and Domestic Travel:

  • Itinerary (Knowledge) of Travel Plans: The parent who is not traveling, should be provided with the full itinerary of the traveling parent’s travel plans. They should know where the children are going, what airlines and flights they are taking, and what hotels they are taking. They should also know exactly what days that the children will be away from home.
  • Prior notice: In most divorce agreements, you will need to give adequate prior notice to the other parent on the information stated above.

What if you object to the children’s travel plans?

If you object to the children’s travel plans, you should first consult with your attorney. You may be able to present your objections to the Court (typically in the form of an emergency motion). However, in order to succeed, you need to have a very good reason why the children should not be permitted to travel.

One area where you may have a legitimate reason for concern is where there is a reason to believe that the parent is not going to return from their international travel. You should determine if the United States has extradition rights with the destination country or if the destination country is part of the Hague Convention treaty.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have provided legal advice and common sense advice to numerous parents about traveling with their children. If you have questions about traveling with your child or you are seeking a divorce, contact: David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C 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.

How Divorce Affects Your Children’s College Education

If you are getting divorced or already divorced, your children may be going to college or will be going to college in their lifetimes. Here is what you need to know about how divorce affects your children’s college education.

Who picks which college the child goes to?

Typically, the child will choose which college he/she wants to attend. However, if the child wants to defer to the parents, then the custodial parent will get to choose which college the child attends.

Who pays for college?

If, in the divorce, you and your ex-spouse entered into an agreement regarding who pays for college, and how much that payment is, then the agreement will control.

If, the Court has to decide who pays for college, then there are a few factors the Court will consider in making that decision. In simple terms, if you or your spouse attended college, then most likely, the Court will make the parents pay for the child’s college education. Also, if the child has other attributes that makes the child a good candidate for college, then the Court will also most likely make the parents pay for the child’s college education.

How much do I have to pay for college?

Once again, if there was an agreement, then that agreement will dictate on how much each parent will pay for college. Typically, there will be an upper limit to how much you have to pay. That upper limit is the cost for the child to attend a SUNY school.

If there was no agreement, then the Court will decide how much each parent has to pay. In that instance, it is likely that Court will make each parent pay their pro-rata share of the child’s college expenses.

What about college tours?

These days, it is common for parents and their children to go on several tours of different colleges. Whether or not you go on a college tour with your child, will be something you should be able to work out with your child.

If you are getting divorce, there are several issues you will need to confront. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office has the experience to guide you through these issues.

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What You Can Do if Your Ex-Spouse Take Your Child Out of The Country (Without Your Consent?)

Although, it rarely happens, there are instances where an ex-spouse will improperly and without your permission, take your child out of the country. Here is what you can do.

In order to leave the United States, each United States citizen will need a passport. For children under 18 years of age, there are special laws about obtaining a passport. If the child is under the age of 16 years of age, then both parents must agree to obtain the passport. For children who are 16 years and older (and under 18 years of age), then only one parent is needed to obtain the passport.

Once a child has a passport, then either parent who has access to that passport, will be able to use it to take the child out of the United States.

If you believe that your ex-spouse is going to take your child out of the United States, but, the child is still in the United States, then you need to protect your rights to prevent this from happening. You need to immediately get an Order from the Court preventing your ex-spouse from taking the child out of the United States, and also to obtain the child’s passport. The Court’s order should be very clear that the child’s passport should be returned to you and that the child cannot be removed from the country without your written consent.

If the child has already been taken out of the country, then you still need to go to Court to get your child back into the United States. In that case, the Court will look at the following factors to determine if the child should be returned to the United States:

  1. Habitual Residence: The Court will look to see what was the child’s “Habitual Residence”. The Court will look to see: the child’s actual residence, length of time spent at that residence, and whether the child is engaged in school or other activities that would suggest this residence was the child’s permanent residence at the time of removal.
  2. Was the Removal a Breach of Your Custody Rights: Was the removal of the child a breach of your custody rights. Essentially, the court will review the custody agreement and any prior court orders.
  3. Did you give implicit approval to the child being removed. The Court will determine if you gave implicit approval of the child being removed. This could be by some acts that you did or by not actually objecting to the removal.

If your child has been removed from the country, or you suspect that the other parent may attempt to remove the child, you need to contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. to know your rights.

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Who Decides The Child’s Religious Upbringing?

In a divorce or child custody dispute, one of the areas that must be decided is “what religion the child will be raised in”.  Most of time, the parents will agree that the child will be raised in a particular religion.  However, there are instances where there is a dispute about the religious upbringing or a dispute regarding religion may occur years after the divorce.

As with every custody dispute, the court starts with the “best interests of the child” standard.  The court, cannot impose its own religious preference on a child, it must decide this issue based on the best interests standard.

If the child is already being raised in one religion, and now there is a dispute, the court may lean towards keeping the child raised in the religion that it was initially raised in.  Yet, this is not an absolute, and is only one factor.

What happens, if the parties had previously agreed to raise the child in a particular religion, but, now one party wants to change the child’s religion?  A recent court case states that the provision of a specific religious upbringing within a custody agreement will be enforced, but only to the extent that it remains consistent with the best interests of the child.  In other words, it is improper to only consider the previous custody agreement.  Instead, the court must consider what is the best interests of the child at the present time, which may not necessarily be what the custody agreement states it should be.

What happens if a parent strictly observes their particular religion, which may impose dietary restrictions or other restrictions on the child?  If that parent is given decision-making authority with regards to religion, then it will be appropriate for that parent to impose those restrictions on the child while the child is with that parent. 

However, the court will not force the other parent to impose those religious restrictions, on the child, while the child is with that other parent.  The court will state that this other parent should “make reasonable efforts” to ensure that the child’s religious restrictions are met.

As with most custody issues, there is no definitive answers as to how a court will rule when it comes to religious upbringing.  The only constant, is that the court is to always start with the “best interests of the child” standard. 

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have represented countless clients in their divorce.  David Badanes provides real world and legal advice.  If you are thinking of getting divorced, 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 our web site: www.dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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