Strategies For Protecting Your Children During Your Divorce

Going through a divorce is a difficult process. When you have children, it makes going through a divorce even that much harder. In the last ten to twenty years, many people who are getting divorced are the children of parents who were divorced. They have a first-hand experience of what a child goes through when parents get divorced.

Many experts recommend the following strategies for protecting and helping your children cope through a divorce:

  • The Child Must Be Able to Continue to Love Each Parent: This is the number one rule. Prior to any marital difficulties, most children are taught to love both their parents and to also accept the differences in each parent. All too often, when parents divorce, one parent will either intentionally or unintentionally send signals that the other parent is to blame for the divorce or has issues. For example, if prior to the divorce, one parent was “sloppy” and the other “neat”, the couple learned to live with this difference. Yet, during the divorce process the “neat” parent may make derogatory remarks about how “sloppy” the other parent is; in converse, the “sloppy” parent may make the “neat” parent out to be “crazy” on how neat they have to be. Instead, of talking negatively about the other parent, for the sake of the child’s mental health, it is very important to keep things positive or at least neutral when talking about the other parent.
  • Do not fight in front of the child: It is likely that before someone filed for divorce, that you and your spouse may have had your verbal disagreements in front of the children. Now that the divorce has started, it is more important than ever, to be conscious that verbal fighting needs to be curtailed and stopped.
  • Make sure the children know it is not their fault: It is very important to let the children know that they are not responsible for your divorce. Too many children, especially younger ones, think they did “something wrong” to make daddy and mommy not love one another. You have to emphasize that this is an adult issue and that the child did nothing wrong.
  • Let the Child’s Friends Visit Both Parent’s Houses: If, while the divorce is in process, you and your spouse will be living apart, then it is a good idea to allow your child’s friends to come visit the child at both houses. This allows the child to continue with their friendships at both homes and gives the child some consistency.
  • Be Honest: Let your children know that you are separating and getting divorced. Indeed, you should use the words: “divorce” and “separate”. This does not mean you share the legal details of your divorce or separation; however, it does mean that is OK to tell your children that “mommy” and “daddy” are getting divorced and what that means.
  • Let the Child See the Other Parent as Much as Possible: If the child states they want to spend the weekend at the other parent’s house, let them. Of course, there has to be some boundaries, but, when it can be accommodated, it is important to let the child see both parents when it fits the child’s needs, not yours.
  • Your Child is Not Your Messenger: Do not use your child as a messenger. If you need to send a message to your spouse, you need to do it directly. No matter how old the child is, they should never act as your messenger.
  • Professional Help (Counseling): Most likely you are not a counselor, psychiatrist or psychologist, and even if you are, it is important to consider seeking professional help for you and your child, either separately or together. A counselor who specializes in divorce cases can help you and your child through the process.

Many children adapt and do well after a divorce. The above strategies will help to make sure that happens.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office remind their clients, who have children, that it is best to follow the above strategies. Not only are the above strategies helpful to the child, they are also helpful in the parties’ divorce. Every Judge wants to make sure that the children are protected throughout the divorce process. If a parent follows the above guidelines, it will show the Court that you are handling the divorce in the right manner and will help you in any child custody dispute.

You can contact David Badanes, Esq.  and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or email at The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City.  Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale.

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Signs That Your Marriage Might Be Failing (From Divorce Lawyers)

If you ask divorce attorneys what are the signs or behaviors that might signify that a marriage is failing, you probably will get the following answers:

  • Financial Issues – Especially “hiding” finances: Typically, the two most common reasons people get divorced are: (i) financial issues and (ii) adultery.  If one spouse is not sharing the financial information with the other spouse, that is a signal that there is a lack of trust. If a couple starts to have trouble paying their bills or if one spouse gets fired or becomes unemployed, then this often leads to a married couple having arguments over their financial situation.
  • Adultery (affairs) – It has been estimated that about 20% to 25% of married couples have an affair. If the affair is discovered, then most marriages will fall apart.
  • Threatening to “get a divorce” – When one spouse starts to threaten that they want “to get a divorce”, they typically mean it. Although, that spouse might not file for a divorce right away, it is a sign that the marriage may be ‘on the rocks”.
  • Hiding their cell phone – If your spouse refuses to give you their passcode to their cell phone or hide their cell phone from you, then most likely it is because they don’t want you to see what is on their cell phone.
  • Change in behavior – If all of a sudden, you find your spouse having a big difference in behavior or interests, this might also be a sign that your marriage is failing.
  • Drug or Alcohol issues – This is probably the third most common reason that people get divorced. If one partner starts to have a drug or alcohol issue, then it can be very hard on the other partner and very hard on the marriage.
  • Domestic Violence – Domestic Violence can be found in both a physical behavior and in abusive language or treatment.

If your spouse is exhibiting any of the above behaviors and you want to explore your options about getting a divorce in New York, then contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office.  In their over 20 years of handling divorce cases, Mr. Badanes has represented clients whose divorce was caused by behaviors stated herein.

You can contact David Badanes, Esq.  and the Badanes Law Office at (phone) 631-239-1702 or email at The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City. Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale.

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The Impact of Divorce on Business Owners

In New York, if you or your spouse own a business (either in whole or in part), then that business is subject to distribution during the divorce process. For purposes of this blog, a “business” can be a corporation, partnership, a sole proprietorship or any entity that is operated and earns income. In analyzing the impact of divorce on a business, there are several issues to consider:

Is it a “Separate Property” or “Marital Property”: As with all assets, the Court will first want to know if the business is one of the spouse’s separate property or is the married couple’s marital property. If the business was created prior to the marriage, then most likely it will be considered that spouse’s “separate property”. If the business was opened during the marriage, it almost certainly will be considered “marital property.”

Even if the business was one spouse separate property, if during the marriage, the  other spouse contributed marital funds to expand the business or to keep the business afloat, then part of the business may be considered marital property.

Valuation of the Business: If the business is strictly one spouse’s separate property, then it may not have to be valued. However, if part of all of the business is marital property, it is very likely that the Court will want a valuation of the business conducted. That valuation will be done by a neutral third party.

What to Do With the Business: If the business is marital property of part of it is marital property, then it is an asset that is subject to New York’s Equitable Division laws. Most courts will want the business to continue in operation. They will encourage the parties to reach a resolution where one party keeps the business and the other party’s share of the business is “bought out”. In some rare situations, the Court will allow both parties to retain ownership of the business. If it is not possible for one or both parties to retain ownership of the business, then the Court could order the business to be sold for its Fair Market Value and the funds to then be distributed to each spouse.

Disruption of Daily Operations: When both divorcing couples are involved in the running of the business, then there is a great possibility that during the divorce process, there will be disruption of the daily operations of the business. Even in situations when only spouse is involved in the daily operations of the business, a divorce can become a serious disruption to the running of the business.

Real-life examples:

Eric D. was a client of the Badanes Law Office. Eric D. owned a marketing company which he organized and started prior to his divorce. Eric D. was the only owner of this business, which was very successful and had about a dozen employees. He created the marketing company prior to his marriage and his wife had very little to do with the business. As it was his separate property, Eric D. was able to keep the entire business and there was no need to value the business.

In another case, the Badanes Law Office represented Lisa B.  Lisa B. and her husband owned a small retail store and they opened that store during the marriage. Both Lisa B. and her husband were very involved in the day-to-day operation of the retail store. During the divorce process, Lisa B. and her husband both agreed to sell the retail store to a neutral third-party. Lisa B. with the help of the Badanes Law Office decided that selling the retail store would result in the most funds for her and also would resolve this issue.

If you are thinking of getting a divorce in New York and you own a business, then you need an attorney that has the experience to help you. David Badanes, Esq.  and the Badanes Law Office has the experience of representing small business owners and can help you as well.

Contact David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C. at  631-239-1702 or email at The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City. Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale.

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Even Cows Are Distributed In A Divorce

In a divorce, all marital assets can be considered when distributing them between the parties. In a case that arose in upstate New York, where livestock can be worth thousands and thousands of dollars, the parties owned a herd of cows. As with any personal property, the divorcing couple had to decide which person got which set of cows.

Since, not each cow was not necessarily worth the same, there was a lot of negotiation and discussion on which person would get which cow. If the couple could not come to a decision on the cows, then the Court could order the same thing that it does for any personal property that is difficult to determine its value, namely: (i) order all the cows to be sold and the parties to split the profits; (ii) appoint an expert (or experts) to value the cows and to also divide the cows; (iii) allow one party to pick the “first” cow, then allow the other party to pick the “second” cow, and keep picking cows until all the cows are accounted for.

Of course, each of those methods have their pros and cons. Selling all the cows, while it seems fair, divests the parties of their valuable marital asset which they probably prefer to have instead of cash.

If the court has to appoint an expert, the expert’s fees and expenses can add up very quickly and reduce the amount of money that the parties receive.

Allowing the divorcing couple to divide the cows would take an extraordinary amount of time and not necessarily end up with a fair division of the cows.

This case illustrates that anything that has value from cows to zebras and any other personal property can be and will be part of a divorce action.

If you have personal property that has significant value and you are thinking of getting divorced, David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C. can answer your questions and help you.

If you need a divorce attorney on Long Island, please call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or email at  The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City. Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale.

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Divorce and Its Impact on Your Estate Plan

In New York, during the divorce process, there are the “Automatic Orders”, which prevent you from changing your retirement documents and other estate planning documents.  However, once the divorce is final, then you should immediately change your retirement documents and your estate planning documents.

After the divorce is final, you need to consider the following Estate Planning documents:

WILLS: If you have a Will, then you must revise it so that your ex-spouse doesn’t inherit anything or is the Executor of your Will. If you do not have a Will, you should seriously consider getting one.

TRUSTS: If you have a Revocable Trust (or Revocable Living Trust) and your ex-spouse is listed in the Trusts documents, then you must amend or modify the Trust.

If you have an Irrevocable Trust, then depending on how your ex-spouse is named in the Trust, may determine if you can amend the Irrevocable Trust.  It is important to discuss this situation with an experienced Trust attorney.

RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS: While you were married, you probably named your ex-spouse as a designated beneficiary on your retirement accounts (IRAs, 401Ks etc.). Now that you are divorced, you must change those documents to reflect a new beneficiary.

INSURANCE POLICIES: Similar to retirement accounts, if you have any insurance policies that name your ex-spouse as a beneficiary, then you must change those insurance policies as well.

POWER OF ATTORNEY, HEALTH CARE PROXY, LIVING WILL: If you have any of these other estate planning documents and if they name your ex-spouse, then you will need to revoke those documents and/or modify them as well.

Although, your divorce might be final, in most cases, the work is not done. The Badanes Law Office can help you in modifying and taking care of your existing Estate Planning documents.

If you need an attorney to help you in your divorce, then call David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C.  The Badanes Law Office has the expertise to help you in your divorce and in your estate planning documents.  Their contact information is (631) 239-1702 or email at

The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City.  Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale.  We can also meet clients at offices located in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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The Importance of Having A Comprehensive Prenuptial Agreement

As you probably know, a prenuptial agreement is a contract that will generally protect each party’s pre-marital assets and potentially any assets purchased during the marriage. If you have already made the decision to enter into a prenuptial agreement, then it is important that the prenuptial agreement is: (1) enforceable (valid) and (2) comprehensive.

A prenuptial agreement that is invalid obviously does you no good.  When a prenuptial agreement is challenged, the Court will consider these factors in determining if the agreement is valid:

  • Execution (Signature) Date: It is good practice to have the prenuptial agreement fully signed at least one month prior to the wedding date. The closer the signature date is to the wedding date, the better the odds that a Court will consider the prenuptial agreement invalid. This is because, for example, if a prenuptial agreement is signed the day before the wedding, the Judge will believe that it was signed due to the “pressure” of getting married and therefore is invalid.
  • Each party has an Attorney: Although, it is not required that each party who is signing the prenuptial agreement have an attorney, it is highly recommended that this is the case. A Judge will not automatically invalidate a prenuptial agreement, just because one party (or even in the very rare case both parties) did not have an attorney.  However, it can be considered as a factor in judging a prenuptial agreement as invalid due to one party not having legal advice.
  • The prenuptial agreement is “fair”: Of course, “fairness” is in the eye of the beholder.  However, a completely one-sided prenuptial agreement will often be criticized and invalidated.
  • Not properly notarized: In New York, there have been a series of cases where the highest Court has invalidated a prenuptial agreement because they were not properly notarized.  In New York, a prenuptial agreement must include a properly worded “acknowledgment” – the acknowledgment is defined in the statute and usually looks like this:
    State of New YorkCounty of ____________ ss :

    On the ____________ day of ____________ in the year ____________ before me, the undersigned, personally appeared ________________________, personally known to me or proved to me on the basis of satisfactory evidence to be the individual(s) whose name(s) is (are) subscribed to the within instrument and acknowledged to me that he/she/they executed the same in his/her/their capacity(ies), and that by his/her/their signature(s) on the instrument, the individual(s), or the person upon behalf of which the individual(s) acted, executed the instrument.

Assuming the prenuptial agreement is valid, then you also want to ensure that it is comprehensive. Your prenuptial agreement should mention all of the following topics:

  • Separate Property and Assets: Virtually every prenuptial agreement will discuss each party’s separate property and separate assets.
  • Increase in Value of Separate Property: A prenuptial agreement should also discuss what happens if a party’s separate property/asset decreases in value.
  • Contributions of funds or maintenance of separate property: For many assets (i.e. marital home), each party may contribute fund or maintenance to the separate property. A comprehensive prenuptial agreement will make sure that this contingency is discussed.
  • Listing of current significant assets: In addition to discussing a party’s separate property, there should be an Exhibit or Appendix of each party’s significant assets and its approximate value. For example: Joe’s Real Property at 123 Main Street: $500,000
  • Retirement assets: All too often, parties forget to put their retirement assets in a prenuptial agreement. It is important that a prenuptial agreement includes the terms and conditions of how each party’s retirement assets will be considered in case of a diorce.
  • Spousal maintenance (alimony): Regardless of whether or not a part wants to waive maintenance or just rely on New York law, a prenuptial agreement should mention spousal maintenance and how it should be handled in case of divorce.
  • Attorney’s Fees: Similar to spousal maintenance, a good prenuptial agreement will also discuss attorney’s fees, even if neither party is seeking the same.

If you are contemplating entering into a prenuptial agreement, then contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. The Badanes Law Office has drafted numerous prenuptial agreements.

The Badanes Law Office main location is in Northport, New York with a satellite office in Nassau County. For clients in New York City, oftentimes the prenuptial agreement can be done remotely.  If you need a prenuptial agreement, then call the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email us at

Spring Cleaning For Your Divorce Case

Spring, a traditional time to do “spring cleaning”, and if you are thinking of getting a divorce a good time to “spring clean” for your divorce.

Here are some “spring cleaning” tips for your divorce case:

  1. Get Your Financial Documents: You will need to start getting your financial documents in order. This includes getting at least one year of the following statements: (i) bank statements; (ii) credit card statements; (iii) mortgage statements; (iv) retirement statements; and (v) tax statements. Better yet: get three years of those statements and store them in “pdf” format.
  2. Open Up Your Own Bank Account: Once you are divorced, you will need your own bank account. It is better to have one opened and ready to use before you file for divorce or to open one up right after you file for divorce.
  3. Open Up your Own Credit Card Account: It is also a good idea to have your own credit card account as soon as possible.
  4. Check Your Credit Report and Score: You can usually get a free copy of your credit report and score and check if there is any wrong information on your credit report.
  5. Work with a Divorce Financial Planner: A financial planner will help you with your budge and financial needs for after your divorce is over.
  6. Research and Meet with Potential Divorce Attorneys: Before you file for a divorce, is the best time to research for a divorce attorney. You should meet with at least two potential attorneys. Read there “google reviews”. You should select the attorney that you believe will best meet your needs.

If you are thinking of getting a divorce, contact David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C. David Badanes has represented hundreds and hundreds of clients and can answer your questions about your divorce. Call us at 631-239-1702 or email at

The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City.  Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale. We can also meet clients at offices located in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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The Top 10 Sneakiest Things People Do During A Divorce

Sometimes, a divorce will bring out the worse in somebody. They will do anything in an attempt to make their soon-to-be ex miserable. Below are the top ten sneakiest things that some people do during a divorce. Although, they will try these “sneaky” tactics, they rarely succeed and there are ways to make sure that you are protected.

In no particular order, here are the ten sneakiest things:

  • Hiding Assets: Your spouse may have assets that you don’t know about (jewelry, stocks, hidden money). They will try to hide those assets by giving them to their family or friends.
  • Increasing Credit Card Debt: Your spouse may increase credit card debt, hoping that you will have to pay 50% of that debt.
  • Stealing Assets: This is a version of hiding assets. Your spouse may start to take your jewelry or other assets and “steal” them, by placing those assets in their family or relative’s hands. At first, you might not notice that necklace etc. is missing.
  • Reducing Income: If your spouse is able to reduce their income by not working overtime or by working less hours, they may all of a sudden reduce the amount of income they can earn.
  • Entering into “Secret” Agreements: Your spouse may enter into contracts that purport to sell their business or other assets. They may try to keep these contracts a secret until after the divorce.
  • Sudden interest in the children: In an attempt to obtain child custody, a spouse may all of a sudden have an interest in increasing their time with the children.
  • False allegations of child abuse: Unfortunately, this is one of the most used “sneaky” tactics. One parent will make false allegations of abuse against the other parent.
  • False Domestic Violence allegations: Similarly, one spouse may make false allegations of domestic violence against the other spouse.
  • False allegations of Drug Use: A spouse may falsely accuse the other spouse of illegal use of drugs and/or alcohol. Although, this can be easily rebutted, the allegations may still linger in the Court’s mind.
  • Pretending to be sick or ill: In order to delay the Court’s proceedings, one spouse may pretend to be ill.

There are many strategies you can use to counteract a spouse’s sneaky tactics. They are too voluminous to review in this blog.  It is best that you discuss these issues with your divorce attorney. It is rare for any of these sneaky tactics to actually work.

If you need an attorney to help you in your divorce, then call David Badanes, Esq. and The Badanes Law Office, P.C. They have successfully fought false allegations of child abuse and other sneaky tactics. Call 631-239-1702 or email at to schedule a consultation.

The Badanes Law Office represents clients in Suffolk County, Nassau County, and New York City.  Our offices are located in Northport and in Uniondale. We can also meet clients at offices located in Brooklyn and Manhattan.

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What Happens to the Mortgage in a New York Divorce?

What happens to the mortgage on your home (or other real property) in a New York Divorce?  There are a few possible answers to that question.

Possibility No. 1:  Nothing – although relatively rare, the mortgage can remain the same, with no changes.  However, even here, the fact that “nothing” is changing would still require appropriate language in the divorce settlement agreement to reflect this fact.

Possibility No. 2:  Paid off by one or both parties:  this is typically what occurs.  Either one party pays off the mortgage or the real property (house) is sold and the mortgage is paid off by the sale of the house.

Possibility No. 3:  Assumed by one of the parties:  Here, one of the parties “assumes” the mortgage and takes over paying the entire mortgage.

If there is a mortgage on your marital home, then how that mortgage will be paid is just one of many questions that have to be answered in your divorce.

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have drafted numerous divorce agreements that arrange for how a mortgage is handled after a divorce.

If you are thinking of getting divorced, call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office today at 631-239-1702 or email at

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

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Divorce Mediation: Advantages and Disadvantages

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of divorce mediation.


Less Expensive: As long as your mediation “works” (see below for disadvantages), then mediation is almost always less expensive than a contested divorce. This is because instead of each spouse having their own attorney and paying that attorney, there is only one mediator to pay. Furthermore, the mediator’s hourly rate is most likely less than a typical attorney.

Less Time: Divorce mediation will typically be a much faster process than going to court. Most mediations are done within two to three months.

Less Stressful: Most divorcing couples experience a lot less stress in using a mediator than hiring their own attorneys. With mediation, the couple is working together to create a divorce agreement. In comparison, in a contested divorce, the couple is working against each other.

More Creative: In mediation, a good mediator will be able to present more creative solutions to the issues faced in a divorce.

More Control: In mediation, you and your spouse have more control over the process. With the mediator’s help, you decide how the divorce process will proceed and as stated above, you can be more creative in solving the issues of the divorce.


Potential to be More Expensive: If your mediation “fails”, then you have spent money on the mediator and now have to spend money on attorneys. This most likely will make your overall divorce process more expensive.

Must be Willing to Compromise: If one or both parties are not willing to compromise, then divorce mediation will not work. When using a mediator, both parties must be able to compromise and discuss issues rationally and amicably.

Not For Alcoholics, Drug Abusers: Most mediators will tell you that if one or both parties are an alcoholic or abuse illegal (or prescription) drugs, that mediation most likely is not the proper forum for your divorce.

Not For Domestic Violence: Similarly, if there is domestic violence, then mediation most likely will not work.

Not For Complicated Cases, High Income Couples: If your divorce is one where the parties earn a high income or is a complicated case, then mediation most likely will not work for you.

In addition to being an attorney, David Badanes, Esq. is also a mediator and has helped numerous couples in mediation sessions. If you want a mediator, then call David Badanes at 631-239-1702 or email at

David Badanes typically conducts his mediation in his Northport office; however, mediation is also available in Uniondale and virtually.

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