Ten Tips for Testifying in A Divorce Trial

Most divorces do not actually go to trial. Indeed, it is estimated that in New York, only about 5% of cases actually go to trial, the rest of the cases will settle – although, some of those cases will settle AFTER a trial has started BUT before the trial has ended.

If you do have to testify in court, here are ten tips:

#1 Prepare: You and your attorney should prepare for your testimony. This means going over the topics. Each divorce attorney has their own method of preparation. However, most attorneys will give you an idea of the types of questions you will be asked.

#2 But, Do Not “Over-Prepare”:  If you “memorize” your answers to the point where it looks like you are reading from a script, then the Judge may discount your testimony as “over-coached.  You do not want to sound like a “robot” or a “recording”.

#3 Answer the Question – do not volunteer information that is not asked: When asked a question, you do not want to volunteer information that is not necessary. For example: if asked “What was your income last year?” The answer should be something like: “I made $80,000 last year.”  Your answer should NOT be: “I only worked part-time last year, so I only made $40,000.00.” The question did not ask you if you worked full-time or part-time, so you volunteered information that was not necessary to answer the question.

#4 If you hear an Objection – stop talking: Once you hear an attorney say “Objection” – stop talking – even if you are in the middle of answering a question. Let the Judge rule on the Objection and tell you whether you need to answer the question or you can ignore the question as the Objection was “sustained”.

#5 Try not to say “always”, “never” or “every”:  In every-day conversation, it is easy to state terms like “always”, “never” or “every”, but, when testifying, it is extremely rare that you do something 100% of the time or 0% of the time. For example, if you testify that “Yes, I always pick up our children after school”. If another person even picked up your children once, your statement is not 100% accurate. It is better to state something like this:  “Yes, I almost always pick up our children after school.”  Or “Yes, I would pick up our children most every day, once in a while, my spouse would also pick them up from school.”

#6 Tell the truth: Although, this is obvious, Judges are very good at determining if you are not telling the truth. You do not want to look evasive in your answers.

#7 Do not get Angry (or lose your temper):  Many times, the attorney for your spouse will try to get you angry. Do not fall for this trap. Always answer every question calmly. In addition, never argue with your spouse’s attorney. If you get angry on the witness stand, the Judge is going to believe that you must get angry when you are home.

#8 Do not answer a question with “wrong facts”:  Sometimes your spouse’s attorney will ask you a question that contains a fact that is wrong.  For example: “On May 1st, last year, you had a fight with your spouse, what happened?” Even if you had a fight with your spouse, but, it did not occur on May 1st, you can then answer this question by saying: “No we did not get into a fight on May 1st”.

#9 Look the attorney (or Judge) “in the eye”:  When an attorney or the Judge asks you a question it is important to look that person “in the eye” (straight on). Even if you have to turn your head.

#10 It is OK to be nervous:  Judges know that testifying is something that is new to you and not something you do every day. It is ok to be nervous, however, you do not want to look like you are being evasive in your answers.

If you believe that your divorce will go to trial, then you need an experience trial attorney. David Badanes has conducted several trials and hearings. Mr. Badanes makes sure that you are prepared for trial. For more information, call the Badanes Law Office, P.C. at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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The Three Most Important Things to Know About Your Contested Divorce Case

If you are involved or going to be involved in a contested divorce, you need to know the three most important things about your case.

#1: Always follow the Court’s Orders: In a contested divorce, the Court – meaning the Judge – will probably issue various Orders. It is imperative that you follow the Court’s Orders. Every Judge wants their Orders to be followed. Disregarding a Judge’s Order will almost always get you “in hot water”. You could be held in contempt, face court fines or pay your spouse’s attorney’s legal fees.

#2: Never argue with the Judge: If you disagree with what the Judge is saying or doing, arguing in Court will typically make things worse. Let your attorney argue for you. You can certainly let your attorney know that what the Judge is saying or doing is “wrong”. The Court is used to a divorce attorney advocating (arguing) for your benefit. However, it is a rare Judge that wants to hear a party arguing themselves. Even, if you are representing yourself, although you may present your facts and legal arguments, arguing with the Judge is still not recommended.

#3: Consistently being late to Court or not going to Court at all. If you are required to be in Court (or in a virtual session), then you must: (i) attend; and (ii) be on time. No Judge wants to be waiting for you to arrive or told that you will not be arriving (unless you have a very good reason).  Even worse, if you are consistently late or absent, the Court can impose sanctions and penalties on you. Show up and be on time.

During a divorce, it is important to make sure that you follow the Three Things in this blog. Not following court orders, arguing with the Judge and/or being late will only hurt your case and worse, can lead to fines and for you to pay your spouse’s attorney’s fees.

If you are seeking a divorce, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office main office is in Northport, Suffolk County and has a satellite office in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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Top Seven Tips For Living Together While Going Through A Divorce

This can be extremely challenging for both parties. In New York, unless there is domestic violence, you most likely still have the right to live in the same residence while the divorce is ongoing.

Here are seven tips on how to live together while going through a divorce:

#1 – Do not violate the “Automatic Orders”:  In New York, in every divorce, there are the “Automatic Orders” that apply to certain activities. As with any Court Orders, if you violate the Automatic Orders, you could be facing Contempt of Court. So, what are the Automatic Orders, a review of them requires its own article/blog, however, in summary: (i) you can’t sell any property during the divorce; (ii) do not change any of your retirement accounts; (iii) do not incur unreasonable debt; (iv) do not remove your spouse or children from any existing medical insurance plans; and (v) do not change the beneficiary on any life insurance plans.

#2Avoid each other – as much as possible: Although, you will be living under the same roof, this doesn’t mean that you have to interact while you are in the same house. You should be sleeping in separate bedrooms. Establish a different morning routine, so you do not have to eat breakfast together or even see your spouse. Same for dinner, eat out or eat separately. In the evening, make sure you are in a different room than your spouse. Bottom line, avoid your spouse as much as possible.

#3Do not get angry and do not react: Although, you will try to avoid your spouse, invariably you will spend some time with your spouse or “bump” into them, while living under the same roof. It is also very likely that your spouse will either say or do something that is intended to get you angry. You must not get angry or respond. There are many techniques to avoid getting angry. One technique is to simply walk away; another is to count to ten. Whatever you need to do to avoid getting angry or to react, do it.

#4Keep track of your expenses and bills: It is extremely important to keep track of your expenses and bills. You will need to provide this documentation to your attorney.

#5Do not bring your new partner into the household: Virtually every Judge would frown upon you bringing a new partner into the household. See your new partner outside the house.

#6Keep a log (diary): While going through your divorce, it is a good idea to keep a log (diary). The log can just be a simple summary of what happened that day. The log may prove to be very useful in your divorce proceeding.

#7Record and Video: In New York State, you can record and videotape your interactions with your spouse, provided that you are part of the interaction. So, if you have a phone with a camera and video capability, then you may want to record and video all your interactions with your spouse.

Getting divorced is hard. Living with your spouse during your divorce can make your divorce even harder. David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office have the experience to provide you with the advice you need while going through a divorce.

If you need a Long Island divorce lawyer, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. Call 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Top Four Tips To Secure Your Phone And Computers During A Divorce

Your phone and computers have lots of private and important information. It is absolutely essential that if you are going through a divorce, that you secure your phone and your computer.

Here are the top four tips on how to secure your phone and computers during a divorce.

#1 – Change ALL your passwords:  In order to prevent your spouse from accessing your phone and computers, you must change all your passwords. Indeed, it is probably a good idea that BEFORE you start your divorce, that you change all your passwords. When changing your passwords, you want to make sure that you do not pick new passwords that your spouse could easily guess. It is highly recommended that you buy a password management system. There are many to choose from, for example: iPassword, Keeper, RoboForm, McAfee, LastPass. Make sure you also install a new passcode on your phone.

#2 – Encrypt your text messages: Your text messages are ripe for stealing. There are a few “Apps” that will encrypt your text message, such as WhatsApp and Signal.

#3 – Encrypt your computer’s hard drive: Even if you change your passwords, your computer’s hard drive may still be accessible. In order to prevent someone from taking your hard drive and copying what’s on it, you need to encrypt your hard drive.

#4 – Never leave your computer alone: Never leave your computer alone or where you spouse has access to it. If you must bring your computer home, then lock it in a home safe or lock it in your car (assuming the temperature of the car is not too hot or too cold).

If you are going through a divorce, you want to make sure that your computer and phone is secure. If you need advice about your divorce or you are seeking a divorce attorney on Long Island, then call or contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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5 Things To Know About Protecting Your Privacy During A Divorce

If you are going through a divorce, many changes will occur.  One thing that should not be overlooked is your privacy.  The following are five things you should do to protect your privacy during the divorce process.

#1: You need to change your online passwords:  Your spouse may know your passwords or have a good idea on how to “guess” what they are. The last thing you want is your spouse accessing your accounts. Make sure you use a new password that your spouse cannot guess. A good idea is to think of a sentence, for example: “Today is November 10” or “I love the fall leaves”. Just make sure it is something you can remember and that your spouse will not use. You also need to make sure that you change the password for all of the following: bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit cards, utilities (electric), Netflix, Amazon, department store accounts, etc.

#2: Wi-Fi network:  Similar to changing your online passwords, you might need to change your home and if applicable, office, Wi-Fi network password for the modem and router. You also might want to change your IP address. To change your IP address might require some technical assistance.

#3: Cell phones and shared electronics:  You should also change the password to your cell phone and any other shared electronics.

#4: New bank accounts:  After your divorce, most people will need a new bank account, so, you might as well get one now. This also helps to protect you as you will be able to keep your banking information separate from your spouse.

#5: New credit cards: Similar to getting a new bank account, it is a smart idea to apply for your own credit card.

During a divorce, it is important to maintain your privacy. David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office have represented numerous clients and provided real-world advice to help them through the divorce process.

If you are seeking a divorce lawyer on Long Island, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our web site at www.dbnylaw.com.  The Badanes Law Office main office is in Northport, Suffolk County and has a satellite office in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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6 Ways To Save Money While Going Through A Divorce

If you are getting divorced, most likely your financial situation will be negatively impacted, especially while the divorce is going through the court process. If you want to save money, the first thing you will need is a separate bank account to put any saved money into. The next thing to do is to have a budget sheet with your income and expenses stated.

The six ways to save money are:

#1:  Consider getting rid of: cable television, Netflix subscription, and other subscriptions. If you pay for Netflix and cable television, you might want to consider getting rid of one them. You might also have other subscriptions that can be cancelled.

#2:  Make your own lunch, dinner.  Eating out is expensive.  Making your own lunch or cooking your own dinner will save you money.

#3:  Use Coupons. Its sort-of-old-fashioned, but coupons can save you money.

#4: Insurance:  Although, you may be required to maintain insurance during your divorce, you are allowed to switch some insurance policies. You should see if another insurance company can save you money on your premiums. Before you switch, double-check with your divorce attorney.

#5: Downsize your car: You might be able to save money by downsizing the car you are driving or getting a car that gets better gas mileage. Again, you will need to check with your attorney before making this decision.

#6:  Forced savings:  Open up a saving account at a new bank that you don’t currently use.  Every time you get a pay check (or if you don’t get a pay check, then twice a month), take 2% to 10% of your pay check and have it automatically transferred into this new savings account.  Unless, there is an emergency, do not use this new savings account to pay for anything for at least one year.  Even after the one-year period is concluded, see how much you have saved and see what you can re-adjust to keep this account growing.

Saving money during your divorce can be difficult, but, little by little, if you keep saving money, you might be able to get some significant savings.

David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C. have represented and helped numerous clients in their divorce and in helping them get their divorce over as soon as possible. If you are thinking of getting divorced, 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 Garden City, Nassau County.

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The Top Five Ways to Avoid A Long Drawn Out Divorce

You want a divorce or you have just been served with divorce papers.  Either way, you don’t want a long drawn-out divorce process.  Here are the top five ways to avoid such a fate:

  1. Provide your attorney with all the requested documentation. Most divorces will require each party to provide their financial documentation.  This will include: bank statements, credit card statements, tax returns, deeds, mortgage information.  The sooner you provide those documents, the sooner your divorce should be able to be completed.
  2. Respond to your attorney’s emails and other requests. During the divorce process, your divorce attorney is bound to have questions and other requests for you to respond to.  By responding quickly, you help your attorney in quickly resolving the issue.
  3. Focus on the important issues. Too often, clients get caught up in fighting about every issue, even ones that really are not that important.  It is important to identify which issues are important and concentrate on fighting those.
  4. Decide what issues can be settled early on. Related to the above, if there are issues that can be settled, then you may be able to resolve them early in the divorce process and then litigate the rest.  By reducing the number of issues, this will reduce the time your divorce is in the court system.
  5. Be available to attend all court conferences. There may be several court conferences.  If you are requested to attend a court conference, it is better to make yourself available for all court conferences.  Every time that you request an adjournment or a continuance of a court conference will add more delays to your divorce.

David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C. have represented and helped numerous clients in their divorce and in helping them get their divorce over as soon as possible. If you are thinking of getting divorced, 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 Garden City, Nassau County.

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What To Do When Divorcing in the New Year

The start of a New Year is typically when many couples will file for divorce. If you are going to start the process of a divorce or if you have just received divorce papers, here are a few “To-Dos” to make sure you are properly prepared.

  1. Create a Budget: Although a divorce may be better for your mental health and also make you happier, in almost every divorce, it costs more to live separately than to live together. To help you prepare, you should create a budget. There are many budget worksheets that you can obtain for free. Having a budget will help you realize how much you will need and perhaps what expenses you can either reduce or eliminate.
  2. Gather and Organize Important Documents: Start getting all your important financial documents, including your bank statements, tax returns, W2 statements, retirement statements and credit card statements. Your attorney will need these statements. Most attorneys will accept electronic (pdf) copies, so you probably do not have to print out your statements.
  3. Get Your Credit Report: A Credit Report will help you identify your credit history, loans, and credit cards. You may discover that your spouse has been using your credit cards or taking out loans in your names. You should be able to obtain your credit report for free as there are a few websites that offer this service.
  4. Start Researching Attorneys Now: If you don’t have an attorney or don’t know one, you should start researching divorce attorneys now. Since so many couples choose to get a divorce in January, many divorce attorneys are very busy in January. Do your research as soon as possible and be flexible when you can meet your attorney.
  5. Find a Therapist/Counselor: Too many people make the mistake of using their divorce attorney as a therapist or counselor. A divorce attorney is not trained to be a therapist or counselor. In addition, it will cost you a lot less to see a therapist than to call your attorney for therapy.
  6. Make a List of Your Goals: Are you seeking sole custody? Joint custody? Are you looking to sell your house? Move out of your house? Do you want to retain your retirement assets? These are just a few of the goals that you may want and that your attorney will need to know.

If you will be seeking a divorce in the New Year or you have just been served with Divorce Papers (Summons or Complaint), then contact David Badanes at 631-239-1702.

You Have Been Served!!! What To Do Now?

If you have been served with divorce papers, here is what you need to do:

1. Don’t panic. Most likely, you know that your marriage has been failing. Although, you might be in shock that your spouse actually filed for divorce, there is no reason to panic. If you are going to handle your divorce, then you must stay level-headed.

2. Technically, you only have 20 days to respond to the divorce papers. However, if for some reason, you need more time, you most likely can get an extension of that time. Although, it is not a good idea to be “late”, you may be able to explain, to the Court, why your response is late. If you do not respond at all, then you will be facing serious consequences. The bottom line, hire an attorney as soon as possible, but, don’t rush into it.

3. Find an attorney that specializes in divorces and that you are comfortable with. You will need an attorney to represent you. However, do not rush into hiring any attorney, you should hire a divorce attorney that you are comfortable with. You should also retain an attorney who specializes in divorce cases.

4. You will need to obtain financial documents, for example: tax returns, bank statements, retirement statements, mortgage statements etc.

If you have been served with divorce papers, you need to hire an attorney that will personally handle your divorce, a lawyer that you can trust, knows the law, and represent you zealously.
David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. can help you and will answer all your questions about the divorce process. Contact David Badanes, Esq. at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com.

The Badanes Law Office, P.C. has offices in Northport, Suffolk County and in Uniondale, Nassau County.

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