Common Lies Told During a Divorce

Here are some common lies that you may hear during your divorce.

LIE: You can’t make me move out of the house

In New York, as part of the divorce process, the Court will determine who can stay and who has to move out of the house (or apartment). This may happen at the end of the divorce or at some point during the divorce. If there is domestic violence, then you may be able to get a Court order immediately removing your spouse from the house. Even, if there is no domestic violence, as part of the divorce, the Judge can order the sale of the house or that one spouse “buys-out” the other spouse’s interest in the house. At some point, the Judge will order that one spouse has to leave the house. So, yes, a spouse can be made to “move out of the house.”

LIE: I will ignore (or not accept) the divorce papers, so you can’t get divorced

Although your spouse can ignore (or not accept) the divorce papers, you can still get divorced. Your attorney (or you) can petition the Court that your spouse is ignoring the divorce papers (that is your spouse is not responding to the Summons or other divorce documents). In New York, if your spouse ignores the Summons or divorce papers, then the Court can conduct what is called an “inquest.” At the inquest, the Court can grant you a divorce.

LIE: I will not pay you any child support

Technically, this could be true. However, if you are awarded child support, there are many ways you can try to get payment from your spouse. Most of the time, there are ways to find money and payment from your spouse. Yet, if your spouse does not have an “on the books” job and has hidden all of his/her assets, then they may be able to not pay you any child support. This is typically very rare. If your spouse does not pay child support, then the Court can hold the person in contempt and your spouse can be imprisoned for failing to pay child support. Many times, right before facing imprisonment, your spouse will come up with the amount of child support that is owed to you. If the spouse still refuses to pay child support, then they can go to prison. So, technically, your spouse does not have to pay child support, but, they will face serious consequences.

LIE: You have no money, so you can’t afford an attorney

In New York, the spouse who earns all the money can be ordered to pay most, or even all, of your attorney’s fees. If you are a stay-at-home-parent and have no income, your attorney can immediately petition the Court to have your spouse (who does have income) to pay your attorney’s fees. Therefore, the fact that you have no money does not automatically mean that you can’t hire or afford an attorney.

LIE: If you divorce me, you will never see the children

It is extremely rare that a Court will determine that a parent has no rights to see the children. In certain situations, a Court may order “supervised visitation”, which means that the parent must be properly supervised when the parent sees the children. Even if a parent is in prison, a court can order you to bring the children to visit the imprisoned parent.

As for the parent “kidnapping” the children, despite what you see on the news, this is also extremely rare. For the few times that a parent does attempt to kidnap the children, they are caught virtually every time.

If you are not sure what to believe when you are going through a divorce and need an attorney, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.

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Top Five Divorce Tips For Men

The following are the top five divorce tips for men. Remember, this is general advice, as each divorce is different.

#1: Don’t move out of the house.

Before moving out of the house, you should consult with an attorney. Generally, it is much better for you to keep the status quo and remain living in the same house as your spouse. Even, if you sleep in the basement, on the couch or in a different room, it is usually better to remain in the house then to move out. Of course, if there is a Court order forcing you to move out, then you must abide by the Court order.

#2: Don’t lie about your finances.

As part of the divorce, you will most likely complete what is called the Statement of Net Worth. The Statement of Net Worth is similar to completing a budget, but, you include information about assets and debts as well as your monthly expenses. If you “lie” on the Statement of Net Worth or on any other part of your finances, then you will face serious consequences.

#3: Focus on the big issues.

During a divorce, sometimes it can be easy to get caught up in a minor issue or event. Your time and efforts are better spent focusing on the major issues of your divorce.

#4: Listen to your attorney.

If your attorney tells you something, then listen to their advice. Disregarding your attorney’s advice will almost always put you at a disadvantage or in making a bad decision.

#5: Be careful when consulting with your friends or family (even if they are an attorney).

Your friends and family mean well. They may tell you that in their divorce they got something and you should get the same thing. Divorce laws are always changing and even if there is not a formal change in the law, the Judge’s attitudes and decisions are also changing. Even if your friend/family member is an attorney, unless they are a matrimonial attorney, they may not know the nuances of divorce law. Before following your friend’s or family’s advice, ask your attorney if that is good advice.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., give commons sense and everyday advice to help you through your divorce. If you are thinking of filing for a divorce or you are going through a divorce, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.

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What is Parental Alienation?

There are many definitions of parental alienation. A simple definition is when one parent isolates the children from the other parent through words or conduct, such that it creates anger, hostility, lack of affection or division between the child and the other parent.

Parental alienation can come in many different ways. They are:

Negative Comments (Disparagement):
Many times, parental alienation is when one parent states negative comments or criticism of the other parent. This can include insulting the other parent, speaking negatively about the other parent, or blaming you for the divorce. Oftentimes, one parent will state that other parent is “not paying child support” or “always late in picking you up” or other negative comments about the divorce.

In addition to direct negative comments from one parent to the children, parental alienation also occurs when one parent allows their relatives or friends to also engage in stating negative comments. It is not “ok” to allow a grandparent, aunt or uncle to engage in negative comments about the other parent.

Undermining Your Authority as a Parent:
Another form of parental alienation is when one parent allows the children to believe that the other parent’s authority or discipline can be ignored. It is completely improper to tell the children that they “don’t have to listen to you”.

Some examples of undermining authority are when one parent tells the children, while they are with you: (i) that they don’t have to do their homework; (ii) they don’t have to listen to your bedtime; or (iii) they don’t have to do the chores you assign to them.

Of course, it would be best if both parents have similar rules when it comes to parenting the children.

Parental alienation is also defined when you allow a child to make decisions that are more suited for an adult or parent. For example, allowing the child to decide whether or not they can visit with you.

A Second Dad or Second Mom
During the divorce process, if a parent tells the children to call their significant other “Mom” or “Dad”, this is a form of parental alienation. Similarly, allowing the significant other to “act” as a second Dad or second Mom. This could be when the significant other shows up to teacher-parent meetings, coaching the child in sports, or taking the child to the doctor and “acting” as the biological parent.

False Allegations:
False allegations of domestic abuse, child abuse, drug use, neglect or other negative actions are a serious issue by themselves. False allegations can also be part of parental alienation. If one parent uses false allegations so as to alienate the other parent or to restrict the other parent’s parenting time, then that can be considered part of parental alienation.

Parental alienation is a serious concern and unfortunately can happen in your divorce. If you believe that your spouse is engaging in parental alienation, you must take immediate action. David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. are equipped to notice the signs of parental alienation and help you in fighting such actions.

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Can My Tinder Account Be Used as Evidence in My Divorce Case?

During a divorce, most everything you do can be used as evidence in your divorce case. You probably already know that your financial documents and information can be used as evidence. In addition, your text messages and emails can also be used as evidence. And yes, if you are using Tinder or any other dating application, then that information can also be used as evidence.

Therefore, you should be very careful about what you state on your Tinder profile or on any online account.

If you do decide to date, then you have to know that whatever money you are spending on your dates can be used against you. During your divorce, you don’t want to be going on expensive travel vacations. You also should not be introducing your new paramour to the children.
However, it is important to know, that it is not necessarily improper to date while your divorce action is pending. As stated above, what matters is how much money you are spending on your dates and if you are engaging in any irresponsible behavior with your new boyfriend/girlfriend.

So, although using Tinder might be okay, you have to be aware that anything you put online, including information on Tinder, can be used as evidence in your divorce case.

Social Media, Tinder, and all new applications can present challenges to your divorce. David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. keeps up with the changes in Social Media and makes sure that his clients are properly advised.

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How Does Gambling Debts Affect My Divorce

Many divorces are caused by one spouse’s alcoholism or gambling addiction. The Courts recognize that alcoholism and gambling addictions are diseases. However, in many of those divorces, the spouse’s addiction has caused the parties to suffer severe debts or financial strain. This article will focus on how a spouse’s gambling addiction can affect your divorce.

When considering gambling, if your spouse’s gambling was only done infrequently or only resulted in small amount of losses, then the court may not consider that in its decision. Generally, a court will only consider a spouse’s gambling when it resulted in large spending and/or large losses.

It is important to note, that the general rule is that marital assets are typically divided evenly and that marital debts are divided 50% to each party. Yet, if one spouse was gambling the party’s funds, the court may consider that in dividing the party’s debts or their assets. If the court believes that one spouse wasted marital assets or marital funds with their gambling addiction, then the court may grant you a larger share of the marital assets or decide that you have to pay a lesser share of the marital debt.

However, the court may also consider that you encouraged or condoned your spouse’s gambling habit. You may have gone with your spouse to the casino etc. In those situations, the court may not sympathize with your situation and decide that you only get 50% or the assets and/or still have to pay 50% of the debts.

If your spouse was engaged in gambling, then you will have to demonstrate to the court the extent of your spouse’s gambling habit and also that you did not approve of the gambling. You can show that your spouse took large withdrawals at a casino or that they charged large amounts on a credit card at a casino. If your spouse’s gambling habit was at a different venue, you can show the spending at that venue. In addition, to show that you didn’t approve of the gambling, you can produce emails or text messages.

If you are considering getting divorced, and your spouse’s gambling addiction is one of the causes of the divorce, then you need an attorney who can protect you. Visit us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips, and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

What to Do if Your Ex Doesn’t Have Life Insurance

In most divorce agreements, your ex-spouse may have to maintain a certain amount of life insurance. The purpose of life insurance is to provide money for child support or spousal maintenance (alimony) in case the ex-spouse dies. However, what should you do if your ex-spouse doesn’t maintain his/her life insurance policy?

First, you have to make sure that your ex is required to maintain life insurance as part of the divorce. In order for you to obligate your ex-spouse to maintain life insurance, the divorce agreement and/or the Judgment of Divorce must explicitly state: (1) that your ex-spouse has to maintain life insurance; (2) the amount of the life insurance benefit; (3) who the beneficiaries of the life insurance are: and (4) the remedy if your ex-spouse does not maintain life insurance.

Second, once it is clear that your ex-spouse has to maintain life insurance, you most likely will need to notify your ex-spouse that they are in violation (breach) of the divorce agreement and that they are to obtain a life insurance plan. Your notification letter should be very specific as to what your ex-spouse has to do. You may want to hire an attorney to write the notification letter.

Third, if, after sending your notification letter, your ex-spouse still fails to obtain life insurance, then, you may need to file a Motion with the Court, so that the Court can force your ex-spouse to obtain life insurance. The Court will determine if your ex-spouse is in violation of the divorce agreement and can force your ex-spouse to obtain life insurance or declare your ex-spouse in contempt of the divorce agreement (which may have more serious consequences, including incarceration).

David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. has helped numerous individuals with their divorces and in making sure that the ex-spouse is required to maintain a life insurance policy. Visit us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips, and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

When is the Right Time to File for a Divorce?

Deciding on whether you want to file for a divorce is a very hard decision. It is literally “life-changing”. You have probably seen some of your friends or relatives go through a divorce. You know that in many of those situations, the divorce itself was very difficult. However, you may also know some situations, where the divorcing couple were able to get divorced and able to do it in a civil and amicable manner.

For many people who are considering whether or not to get divorced, it may take them weeks or even months to actually start the process. They may be looking for a “perfect time” or they keep coming up with excuses to put off the divorce.

The following questions may help you decide whether now (or in the future) is the right time to file for a divorce.

  1. Is there domestic violence? If the answer is yes, then you should be seeking a divorce and you probably should file as soon as possible. Even if it is just the “first time” that there was a domestic violence incident. In almost every case, if there is a first time, there will be many more times of domestic violence.
  2. Is your spouse having an affair (or are you having an affair)? If you are having an affair, then clearly, you are unhappy in your marriage and you should file for a divorce. If your spouse is having an affair (and you find out about it), then they are unhappy in the marriage and you are probably not getting the love and attention you deserve.
  3. You are in a “loveless” marriage. Even if you or your spouse are not having an affair, but, you are just living together like roommates, then that may be an indication that your marriage is not working. This may be a time to seek marriage counseling or it may be a signal that your marriage isn’t working.
  4. What about the children? If you have children, then this will be a major factor to consider in getting divorced. If the living situation is very tense because of your marriage difficulties, this will affect your children. Sometimes, staying married for “the sake of the children” is actually worse for the children then getting divorced. The constant fighting or tension can have a very negative effect on the children. Therefore, don’t stay married just because you have children. However, of course, you will need to consider what will happen to the children during the divorce and after the divorce.
  5. Do you think about getting divorce often? If you are thinking about getting divorced, then it probably is a good indication that you should get divorced.

Divorce can be hard and there will never be the perfect time to get divorced. David Badanes has helped countless clients going through their divorce and navigating them through the process. Visit us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips, and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

Immunizations and Divorce

New York State recently passed a new law, whereby children must be vaccinated against measles and other diseases to attend public or private school. The only exception, that would allow a child not be vaccinated and to attend public/private school, is if there is a valid medical exemption. Before the new law was passed, New York State recognized religious exemptions to the mandate that children must be vaccinated.

The change in the law will also affect child custody issues in a divorce (and in non-divorces where child custody is an issue). There are already examples where one parent wants to have their children vaccinated and the other parent does not want to vaccinate. Courts will now have to consider the issue of immunizations as it relates to child custody. Furthermore, lawyers will need to consider how immunizations are to be handled in their divorce agreements.

WHAT DOES THE NEW LAW SAY NOW?

As stated above, as of June 13, 2019, there is no longer a religious exemption to the requirement that children be vaccinated against many diseases in order to attend either: (1) public, private or parochial school (for students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade) or (2) child daycare settings.

Although, the new law is being challenged, in the past, the United States Supreme Court has stated that a State can mandate that children are vaccinated in order to attend public school. To date, New York Courts have also agreed with the United States Supreme Court. In addition, New York Public Health Law § 2164 obligates parents to have their children vaccinated against diseases, and New York Education Law § 914 obligates schools to enforce and comply with the aforementioned statute.

Accordingly, as of now, it is constitutional for New York State to require that you vaccinate your child in order for that child to attend public/private school.

HOW WILL THIS EFFECT CUSTODY?

A Court or a Judge cannot force a parent to vaccinate their child. However, by granting custody to a parent that either want to vaccinate the child or to a parent that does not want to vaccinate the child, the Court is essentially deciding if the child will be vaccinated.

As always, a Court/Judge will decide custody on the basis of the “best interests of a child” test. One of those factors may be if a parent wants to vaccinate their child. Many judges would probably agree that vaccinating a child is safer for both the child and the general welfare of the community. However, that would be just one factor in the Court’s decision.
Clearly, the decision to vaccinate your child is a personal one. As it relates to a divorce or child custody, parents may have legitimate differences on whether or not to vaccinate a child. With the new New York State law, when considering child custody issues, Courts and Judges may find themselves having to consider this issue.

If you are u are considering getting a divorce or have a child custody issue, then contact David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.

Contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. today 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.

By David P. Badanes, Esq. and Hayley Hayden

Back to School Tips for Separated or Divorced Parents

Going back to school can be a stressful time for a child, especially when their parents are newly divorced. However, with proper communication and cooperation, the parents can make the transition to school much easier for the child.

  1. Make your child your top priority: Your child’s wellbeing should be your top priority. Any issues you have with your ex-spouse should not affect your child’s educational experience.
  2. Attend school events with your ex-spouse: Whether it be parent-teacher conferences or various school functions, it is important that you both attend school events and conferences. Your child will benefit from having both parents attend their school events.
  3. Work with your ex-spouse as much as possible: Although there may be tensions between you and your ex-spouse, it is important to keep these differences outside of the school setting.
  4. Review home routines and rules with your ex-spouse: Routines are crucial to your child’s success at school. The smoother the transition between the child’s homes, the easier it will be for your child to maintain focus on their school work. Be sure to communicate and standardize bedtimes, mealtimes, playtime, and screen time.
  5. Communication is key: Be sure to communicate any schedule changes, or relay important information given by the school, after school advisors, or coaches to your ex-spouse. It is especially important to do so when the child’s school activities conflict with the other parent’s time with the child.
  6. Back to school shopping expenses: Typically, back to school expenses are the responsibility of the custodial parent. However, offering to help with these expenses may help ease tensions between you and your ex-spouse.
  7. If you are going through a divorce and need an attorney, contact David Badanes at 631-239-1702 or david@dbnylaw.com. Please like us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.

    By: David P. Badanes, Esq. and Hayley Hayden

Google Maps and Your Divorce

You probably have used Google Maps or some other Internet Mapping Program to help you find an address or to give you directions. However, until recently, a New York Court did not have to automatically allow you to introduce into evidence Google Maps or any other Internet Mapping Program.

However, as of December 28, 2018, a New York Court can take judicial notice, subject to a rebuttable presumption, that Google Maps etc. is valid and can be entered into evidence.

Why is this important? and What does it mean?

In a divorce, sometimes the distance between the parties’ residence can be important, especially when it comes to child custody cases. If one parent lives far away from the child, then this can be an issue as it pertains to custody and parenting time. To establish distance or directions, your attorney may have to use Google Maps.

Prior to the new law, if someone wanted to use Google Maps etc., they had to prove to the Court that it was a valid map. This would take time and, in some instances the Court would reject the Google Map.

Now, the Court can take judicial notice, this means that the Judge should allow the Google Maps etc. to be admitted into evidence. There is a safeguard, as the other side can still object to the Google Map, but, that side has the burden of proof to show that the Google Map is invalid or does not fairly and accurately portray what is being offered to prove.

There are always changes in the law, David Badanes, Esq. and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. keeps up with these changes and makes sure that they are used to help their clients. Please like us on Facebook to get important legal news, tips and articles: www.facebook.com/BadanesLawOffice.