How To Handle An Ex-Spouse That Does Not Abide By The Divorce Agreement

A divorce agreement issued by the court is a legally binding contract. As such, if either party refuses to follow the divorce agreement, you have a few options on how to handle this situation.

  1. You can have your attorney (or you can do this yourself), send a letter outlining exactly how your ex-spouse is not following the divorce agreement (in other words, how they are in breach of the agreement). Depending on what your divorce agreement states, you may have to give your ex-spouse a certain number of days to rectify their breach.
  2. If your ex-spouse ignores your letter or does not fully rectify their breach, then you will have to file a Motion or an Order to Show Cause to the Court. The Motion (or Order to Show Cause) will state that your ex-spouse is in breach and what you are seeking. In many situations, you may be able to request your attorney’s fees.
  3. You may also ask the Court for a finding of “contempt” and that your ex-spouse should be incarcerated. If your ex-spouse is found to willfully breach the divorce agreement, and the Court believes the breach is serious enough, they could order that your ex-spouse be incarcerated.

In general terms, these are the most common examples of how an ex-spouse breaches a divorce agreement:

  • Failure to pay Child Support: The Court treats the failure to pay child support very seriously. If your ex-spouse is not paying you child support, you should immediately go to court to seek relief.
  • Failure to pay Spousal Maintenance (alimony): Similar to not paying child support, the Court will treat this very seriously.
  • Failure to follow the parenting time arrangements: Unlike the failure to pay child support or spousal maintenance, here the Court will be more lenient.
  • It is important to note that just because your ex-spouse doesn’t pay child support, this does not mean that you can prevent your child from visiting your ex-spouse.

Divorce can present many challenges, even after the divorce is finalized. David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. can help you and will answer all your questions about the divorce process. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. can be contacted at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office, P.C. has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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How Old Must A Child Be To Have A Say In Where They Live Or Visit?

In New York State, a child’s preference on where they want to live MAY be one of factors that a Court can consider when awarding custody. Once a child turns 18 years of age, they have the absolute right to decide where they want to live, and the Court cannot overturn that decision. However, what about before a child turns 18 years of age, how old must a child be for the Court to consider their preference?

The general rule is that the older a child is, the more influence a child’s preference will have on where they live. Certainly, most Courts will state that once a child turns 16 years of age, their preference will be strongly considered. However, this is not an absolute rule, and a Court can decide that even a 16 or 17 year old’s preference is not to be followed or considered.

A child between the age of 13 and 16, will also have their preference seriously considered. Yet, there are many Courts that will discount a child between these ages. In general, a child who is younger than 13 years of age, will have less of a say on where they live.

It is important to note, that each situation is unique and that there is no rule that says that a child younger than 13 doesn’t get to decide where they live.

What happens if the court grants one parent custody and years later the child wants to live with the other parent? What was once in the best interest of an 8-year old child may not be what is best for the child when they are 16. In those situation, a parent can petition the Court to modify the custody arrangement and based on the now 16 year’s old preference, may take that into serious consideration. The court makes these decisions on a case by case basis, and ultimately, the verdict will be the living arrangement that is in the best interest of the child.

Child custody and visitation can be a very difficult road to navigate. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have represented countless clients and helped them navigate child custody issue in their divorce or in their family court action.. If you are seeking a divorce or custody, 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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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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Do I Have To Keep Bringing The Children To See My Ex-Spouse If The Ex-Spouse Constantly Doesn’t Show Up?

In some situations, you may be bringing the children to see your ex-spouse, yet, the ex-spouse isn’t there or constantly doesn’t show up. In those situations, here is what you should do.

  1. If your ex-spouse generally does show up, but isn’t there, then you should give him/her at least 15 minutes to show up. You should also send a text message reminder to your ex-spouse stating that you will be meeting them at the specified time. If, after 15 minutes, your ex-spouse doesn’t show up, then send another text message saying that you are leaving and that he/she can call you when they are ready to pick up the children.
  2. If your ex-spouse hasn’t shown up for months, then you should send him/her a letter, via certified mail, return receipt requested, stating that you will no longer bring the children to see him/her. I would highly recommend having your attorney write this letter. If your ex-spouse responds to the letter, stating that he/she will now show up, then you should bring the children to see him/her.

In situations where the ex-spouse doesn’t show up to see the children, there are no “cookie-cutter” answers. It is important to protect your rights and to make sure that you are not violating any court orders. This is why it is best to make sure that you document what you are doing and to inform your attorney.

If you need help with your divorce, post-divorce or any other issue involving child custody or child support, David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have the experience and knowledge to help you. Contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our website: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Can I Make Up Lost Parenting Time With My Children?

After your divorce, if there are children involved, each parent will have designated parenting time (sometimes called “visitation time” or “parental access time”). For example, one parent may have alternating weekends plus weeknight visits, or each parent may have 50% of the time with the children.

Oftentimes, either the non-custodial parent will lose some of their parenting time due to illness, work or some other valid reason. Whether or not that parent is entitled to “make up” time, depends on two factors: (1) Does the divorce agreement address “make up” time for the non-custodial parent’s missing parenting time? and (2) The relationship (or lack thereof) between the two parents.

In most divorces, there will be a divorce agreement (usually called a “Stipulation of Settlement”). The agreement will specify when each parent has parenting time with the children. The agreement can also have a provision for make up time.

However, typically, make up time is for when the custodial parent takes a day or a weekend “away” from the non-custodial parent. This, happens when there is a holiday, birthday, or other special event that takes away from the non-custodial parent’s parenting time. In those instances, the non-custodial parent is “due” make up time as it was the custodial parent who was “at fault” for the non-custodial parent missing parenting time.

In contrast, it is extremely rare for a divorce agreement to address or allow a non-custodial parent make up time for when the non-custodial misses time due to the non-custodial parent’s “fault” (meaning, illness, work or other reason). In those instances, the reason for the missed parenting time was due to the non-custodial parent’s action.

Therefore, unless your divorce agreement explicitly states that the non-custodial parent is allowed make up time due their own illness or other valid reason, in order to obtain make up time, in those situations, is to rely on the relationship between the divorced parents.

If you are lucky enough to have a working relationship with your ex-spouse, then you can always request make up time or to switch parenting time with your ex-spouse. Of course, your ex-spouse is under no obligation to give you make up time, however, perhaps they will realize that in the best interests of the children, it is best that they have as much time with both parents as possible.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have the knowledge and experience to make sure that you receive the best parenting time schedule as possible. If you need an aggressive attorney to represent you in your child custody dispute, then 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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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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What Is The Right Of First Refusal In Child Custody?

In many divorce agreements, each parent may get what is informally called the “right of first refusal.”  What does it mean? And why is it important?

The best way to explain the usefulness of the right of first refusal is to give an example. Let’s assume that it’s your ex-wife’s weekend with the children, however, she has decided to go away for the weekend with one of her friends. She could have switched weekends, but, decided not to. Instead, she wants her mother or a friend to watch the children. But, wait you say, I’m free this weekend to watch the kids, let me do it, instead of your mother. If you have the right of first refusal, then you can asset this right and state, I have first right over your mother, friend or anyone else to watch the children.

The right of first refusal gives you the first option to watch the children when it is the other parent’s time with the kids, but, can’t do it. It usually only applies after a specified number of hours or days. So, it doesn’t apply, when the parent can’t watch the children for a short time (let’s say 8 hours or less).

If you have the right, it doesn’t mean you have to use it, it is your option. So, using the above example, if the ex-wife gives you the option to watch the children for the weekend, but, you can’t do it, then, you can say no.

The right of first refusal in child custody is useful as it makes sure that as one of the parents you get to watch the children before someone else does. It basically ensures “common courtesy”.

Do you need an attorney to help you through the divorce process? Call the Badanes Law Office. We have the knowledge and resources to help you get through your divorce on Long Island, NY. Contact David Badanes, Esq today by calling 631-239-1702 or send an email to david@dbnylaw.com.

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What Does The Settlement Of A Divorce Mean? Video

Straight talk with David Badanes, an experienced divorce attorney on Long Island, New York.

What does the settlement of a divorce mean?

If you are getting divorced, 90-95% of the divorces settle before actually going to trial. They may settle on the day of trial, however, again 90-95% of divorces actually settled before going to trial.

So settlement means you and your spouse will enter into an agreement or a contract that will explain all the information that’s involved in your divorce from A to Z.