Divorce Considerations When Divorcing A Police Officer

When divorcing a police officer, there are a few myths. I have heard clients claim that police officers will receive special treatment by the Judges, and then other clients will state that police officers are discriminated against. The truth is neither. Although, of course, Judges appreciate what police officers do, they do not receive any special treatment, nor are they discriminated against. Each case is evaluated on its facts.

When considering child custody, some police officers work many hours, or have rotating shifts. In those situations, the custody schedule must be adjusted to account for the police officer’s hours or rotating shifts.

All police officers are entitled to a pension from their service. The pension is a defined benefit plan, which means that a specific monetary benefit is provided at retirement. Of course, each police officer’s benefit will depend on their salary and years of service.

In New York, the police pension benefits, earned during the marriage, are subject to being divided between the parties. New York State uses a formula that was established and is called the “Majauskas formula”. The Majauskas formula states that the ex-spouse is entitled to 50% of the pension benefits that were earned during the marriage.

Although, an ex-spouse is entitled to 50% of the pension benefits earned during the marriage, if the case is settled, then you can decide to trade off the value of the pension benefit for some other benefit. In order to do this, a “present value” of the pension benefit must be established.  The present value of the pension is the equivalent lump sum value, in today’s money, of the pension benefits.

So, for example, if the present value of the pension benefit is $100,000, you could trade this by receiving a lump-sum of $100,000 from the police officer and then waiving the pension benefits.

If you are married to a police officer, and considering divorcing a police officer, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  David Badanes, Esq. has represented numerous clients where the spouse is a police officer. The Badanes Law Office’s phone number is 631-239-1702. You may also send us an email to david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Divorce: Focus On What Is Important And Not On The Little Things

If you are in the middle of a divorce or thinking of getting divorced, it is important to focus on what is important and not on the “little things.” Many clients, due to the emotional impact of the divorce or because of revenge, will focus on the little things and not on what is really important.

For example, most of the time it is not important to focus on how to divide the personal property in the house. Usually, the time and energy spent on how to divide the furniture or other items is not worth the cost to do so. Typically, the only time it pays to fight over the furniture is when the furniture is an “antique” or has a significant value.

As another example, couples will argue over how to divide a $200.00 tax refund check or how to pay for a small household expense. It just doesn’t make economic sense to argue over such a small monetary item.

Some clients will state that it’s the “principle”, I have to get this – without realizing that “principle” may not, and probably is not, “the law.”  Furthermore, the principle you are arguing about will cost you more to fight over than to just try to work it out on your own.

Before arguing over an expense or an item, take a deep breath and think before you act. Think: Is this really worth fighting over?  Am I trying to get something on “principle”?  Does this really make a difference?

Instead of focusing on the little things, it is much better to spend your time and resources on things that do matter, for example: Child Custody, Child Support, Spousal Maintenance (alimony), and What to do with the Marital Home?

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office have helped numerous clients in helping them to focus on the important aspects of their divorce. If you live in Suffolk County, Nassau County or New York City and need a divorce (matrimonial) lawyer, 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 Northport, Garden City, Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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