What Cats Can Teach You About Divorce

Yes, you read that right, cats can teach you something about divorce. As someone who has watched several cat videos, their behavior offers lessons for us humans on the divorce process. So, what can cats teach us:

  1. Cats don’t listen to other cats. Cats are not pack animals, they don’t blindly listen or follow what other cats do. When going through a divorce, your family and friends may give you lots of advice on how to handle your divorce. They may mean well, but, all too often their advice is not helpful. It is better to listen to your attorney’s advice.
  2. Cats can take care of themselves. Most cats are pretty independent and are good at taking care of themselves. In your divorce, you may need to learn how to take care of yourself.
  3. Cats are tough. If you have watched those cat videos, you are probably amazed at what cats can endure, and come out as if nothing happened to them. You will need to apply this advice in your divorce. A divorce can be very stressful and you may be faced with some difficult issues. Like a cat, you need to be tough and find a way to be successful, no matter what a divorce throws at you.
  4. Cats don’t need expensive jewelry or anything expensive. You buy a cat a cute little cat toy, and most likely it will play with the box it came in. Cats make do with what they have. So, in your divorce, you may be focused on what “things” you used to have, but, it may be better to focus on what is really important than on “things”.
  5. Cats will not tolerate bad behavior. Cat owners know that cats will not put up with crazy or annoying behavior. The same goes for your divorce. You may not be able to change your ex’s behavior, but, there is no need for you to tolerate it. If your ex’s actions are negatively affecting the children, you must take action.

You don’t have to love cats to know that they can teach you something about divorce. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office recognize that a divorce is a stressful time, but, like a cat, will help you navigate the process. If you need a divorce attorney with cat-like reflexes, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. Contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our website: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County (Northport) and in Nassau County.

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What a Billionaire’s Divorce Can Teach You

You may not be a billionaire, but the laws apply equally to billionaires as it does for everyone else. Harry Macklowe and Linda Macklowe are billionaires, they are the owners or an impressive art collection that according to Mr. Macklowe’s expert, is worth $788 million dollars, but, according to Ms. Macklowe’s expert is worth $625 million dollars. This illustrates that when it comes to personal property (which is what an art collection is considered), that valuation can be difficult and can vary widely. The same principle applies to any personal property that you and your spouse may own and that you may be arguing over. You may say that your car is worth $20,000, while your spouse says it is worth $10,000. So, what will happen? Well, similar to the Macklowe’s divorce, there are a few choices that the Court can choose from.

The court could decide to:

  1. Sell the asset (here, the car, in the Macklowe divorce, some of the art collection).
  2. Retain a receiver to determine what to do with the asset. A receiver is a third party that is appointed by the Court. A receiver will get a fee for performing its services, and in some cases, their fee is based on the amount of money they can obtain from selling the asset. Typically, receivers are used to manage and sell real estate property, but, as with the Macklowe divorce, a receiver can also be used to sell personal property. In the Macklowe divorce, the receiver decided to sell some of the art and give some of it to each party.
  3. Give the asset to one party, and compensate the other party with cash. In my car example, the Court could decide to let you keep the car, but, then you would have to give 50% of your valuation to your spouse, so, you would have to give $10,000 to your spouse. This is why, you don’t want to overvalue your asset, if you do, you may end up giving more money to your spouse then what the property is really worth. However, you also don’t want to undervalue your asset, because the Court could also give the car to your spouse (who said it was worth only $10,000), in that case, your spouse would only have to give you $5,000 and that may be a lot less than what the car is really worth.
  4. Allow the parties some time to reach a settlement on how to distribute personal property. Typically, this is the best method for dividing up personal property. It allows you and your spouse control over the process, and typically, will result in none of the property being sold and with each party getting a fair share of the property.

So, although you may not own an art collection worth millions of dollars, it is likely that you do own personal property, which includes, as some examples: cars, furniture, tools, equipment, jewelry, and sports collections. In many instances, determining the value of the personal property can be difficult. Just as in the Macklowe divorce, the Court has a few choices on how to distribute that personal property. In most cases, the best course of action is to reach an agreement with your spouse on how to distribute the personal property.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office can help you with your divorce, including issues of dealing with personal property. David Badanes has helped numerous clients in their divorce cases. The Badanes Law Office handles all types of divorce cases, from the extremely complicated to simple uncontested divorces, and everything in-between.

If you are thinking of getting a divorce, or are thinking of hiring a new attorney for your divorce, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office. Contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702, email at david@dbnylaw.com or visit our website: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Suffolk County (Northport) and in Nassau County.

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Six Things A Woman Should Do in Preparation For A Divorce

If you are a woman who is thinking of getting a divorce, believes their spouse will be filing for a divorce soon, or have just been served divorce papers, here are six steps you should take:

  1. Open up your own bank account: You will need to have funds that only you have access to. You should open up your own bank account (both checking and savings). It is also a good idea, to open up the new bank account at a different bank than the one you have with your spouse.
  2. Start Saving Money: Start putting money into the new bank account. If you are employed, then you may want to put your paycheck (or some of your paycheck) into the new bank account.
  3. Get Your Financial Documents: You will need to obtain a lot of different financial documents. For example, bank statements, retirement statements, mutual fund statements, and many more. Now is the time to start obtaining those records. You don’t have to get hard copies, as typically, your attorney will accept electronic copies.
  4. Get a New Accountant or Talk to the One You Have. In many divorces, you may want to obtain a new accountant. The time to start looking for one is now. Your new accountant can help you with your tax returns and maybe give you good financial advice. If you want to keep your existing accountant, you may want to talk to him/her and see what financial advice they can give you.
  5. Credit Cards: Make a list of your credit cards.
  6. Budget: Make a budget. Your financial status will be changing. You will need to know what your current expenses are, and what you believe your projected expenses will be.

If you are going thinking of getting a divorce, or have been served with divorce papers and need an attorney, 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 website: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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What To Do If Your Soon-To-Be-Ex or Ex-Spouse Slanders You On Social Media?

Divorce can be an emotionally charged time, but venting about it on social media can get you in trouble and potentially lead you into court. During the divorce process and even after the divorce is over, your ex-spouse may post negative comments about you.

The number one rule in these situations: Do not retaliate against your soon-to-be-ex-spouse or your ex-spouse with your own post or try to rebut any of their posts.

If your ex-spouse posts something negative about you, what you should do is take a screenshot of the post, save it and send it to your attorney. Your attorney can then guide you on what the best course of action will be. That may consist of filing a lawsuit, writing to your ex-spouse’s attorney or some other action.

It is important to note, that not everything your ex-spouse posts or writes about you may be improper or illegal. For example, your ex-spouse may be able to post factually correct details about your divorce. Although this might be upsetting, it is probably not improper.

However, if your ex-spouse is clearly posting false information about you, then you may be able to take legal action against your ex-spouse. It is important that the statement must be entirely false and caused you some type of harm.

If you are in the middle of your divorce, any negative posts or statements should be given to your attorney, who then may show those posts to the Court (and to your spouse’s attorney). Although the post may not qualify as slander or defamation, it still may be useful to you in your divorce. Virtually every Court and every Judge will not want to see negative posts being stated about you, especially if there are children involved. Furthermore, if you are worried that your spouse will continue to post negative information about you, even after the divorce is final, you can ask your attorney to add protections into your settlement agreement.

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What Kinds Of Questions Will A Judge Ask At A Divorce Hearing?

At a divorce trial or hearing, a Judge typically does not ask many questions. In fact, a Judge doesn’t have to ask any questions. The attorneys are supposed to ask all the questions.

However, there are times that a Judge may ask a clarifying question. For example, if you are asked what you do for a living, and you answer “engineer”, the Judge may ask what kind of engineer or what an engineer does.

If there is a signed divorce agreement, then the Judge will probably do an allocution of the parties. An allocution is done so that the Judge knows that you entered into the divorce agreement on your own free will and that you fully understand the agreement. The Judge will ask a series of questions, some of which may include:

  1. Do you understand the agreement?
  2. Did anybody force you to sign the agreement?
  3. Did your attorney explain the agreement to you?
  4. Are you satisfied with the agreement?
  5. Are you currently under the influence of drugs/alcohol that would impair your ability to understand the agreement?
  6. Is that your true signature?

If you are just appearing for a court conference (and not a trial/hearing), especially in the beginning of your divorce, a Judge may ask you more questions. For example, the Judge may want to know: (i) if you have children; (ii) the children’s ages; (iii) if you own a house; (iv) if you have a mortgage; (iv) what you do for a living; and (v) your general income.

Divorce can be complicated, David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office can help you understand the process and guide you through it. David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office have represented countless clients and have achieved excellent results.

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Do We Have To Split Our Child’s Medical Bills Or Does Child Support Cover That?

You are divorced (or have a child in common with the child’s parent), and you have a medical bill (due to a co-pay or a deductible). Does child support cover that?

Unreimbursed medical expenses are paid pro-rata and are separate and apart from child support payments. This means that the person paying for child support will pay both child support and a portion of the medical expenses.

The term “pro-rata”, means that each parent will pay their proportional share of the medical expenses based on their yearly income. For example, if one parent earns $100,000 and the other parent earns $50,000, then the parent earning $100,000 would pay 2/3 (two-thirds) and the other parent would 1/3 (one-third) of the medical bills. If both parents earn the same income, then each parent would pay 50% of the medical expenses.

Typically, the non-custodial parent does not have to pay for cosmetic medical expenses or for over-the-counter medicines.

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Some Motivational Quotes for Your Divorce

Going through a divorce may one of the hardest experiences you may have. There are many things you can do to help you get through a divorce. One of them is motivational quotes.

Here are a few of my favorite motivational quotes, I hope they help you.

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.” Victor Hugo

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any” Alice Walker

“The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you’ve got to put with the rain.” Dolly Parton

“It is never too late to become what you might have been.” George Eliot

“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Winston Churchill”

“Fall down seven times, stand up eight” Unknown

“A ship is always safe at shore, but, that is not what it’s for.” Albert Einstein

“You can’t change how people treat you or what they say about you. All you can do is change how you react to it.” Ghandi

And here are just a few funny ones:

“I have never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back.” Zsa Zsa Gabor

“Stephen Hawking is getting a divorce. That’s scary. If the smartest guy in the world can’t figure out women, we’re all screwed.” Jay Leno

“Arguing with a lawyer is like wrestling with a pig in mud. Sooner or later you realize they like it!”

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I’m Getting Divorced: Should I Keep The House Or Sell It?

For many married couples their greatest asset is the house they own. In a divorce, you may have the option to “buy-out” your spouse and therefore keep the house, or you can sell the house. In order to evaluate whether you should keep the house (that is buy-out your spouse) or sell it, here are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Do you have the funds to buy-out your spouse? If you don’t have the funds to buy-out your spouse, then the question of whether to keep or sell, may be a moot point. Similarly, if you have the funds, but, it by buying out your spouse, it will leave you “cash-poor”, it may not be a good idea to use your available funds to buy out your spouse.

  • Do you have the funds for any repairs or emergencies? Even if you have enough funds to buy-out your spouse, you also should have enough funds in reserve for any repairs or emergencies that may occur in the future.
  • If you need to obtain a mortgage to buy-out your spouse, can you afford the mortgage? You may qualify for a mortgage, but, that does not necessarily mean that you can actually afford to pay the mortgage ever month. Or if you pay the mortgage, you will have very little left over for any other funds.
  • Is a smaller home or a less expensive home a better idea? It may be better to sell the home and then buy a less expensive home. It is at least worth thinking about.
  • Are you only keeping the house for sentimental reasons? You may love the house and you may want to stay for sentimental reasons. Yet, it may be better to sell the house, despite its sentimental value.

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Going To Court: What You Should Wear

If you ever watch an old movie, you will see that anyone who went to court was dressed in a suit. Although, I’m not too sure how true that was in the so-called old days, I can tell you from experience, that what people wear to court today is vastly different. I’ve seen people go to court in outfits more fit for the beach. Although, it really should not matter what you wear, what you wear to court, does matter. So what should you wear when going to court?

When selecting what you should wear to court, the general rule is to look neat and not too flashy.

For Men: at a minimum you should wear “business casual”, that is dress pants and dress shirt, it may not be necessary to wear a tie. However, if you feel more comfortable wearing a tie, then I recommend that you do so. You should also wear dress shoes. You should not wear a lot of jewelry.

For Women: at a minimum, you should also wear “business casual”, a dress suit or pantsuit is fine. Most experts will also recommend a solid-colored blouse and conservative dress shoes.

In many ways, it is probably easier to tell you what not to wear, that list would include:

  • T-shirts
  • Sundress
  • Strapless dress
  • Exercise outfits
  • Sleeveless shirts (muscle shirts)
  • Shorts
  • Hats
  • Revealing tops
  • Short Skirts
  • Sneakers
  • Flip-Flop Sandals

David Badanes provides real-world and practical advice that will help you in your divorce. From what to wear to court to how to prepare for a complicated divorce case, David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, will make sure you get the best advice.

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What Is A QDRO Or A DRO?

If you or your spouse has a pension, retirement plan, an IRA, 401(k), annuity, or any other type of retirement benefit, then you probably will need a QDRO or DRO to divide the retirement benefits.

A QDRO is short for “Qualified Domestic Relations Order” and a DRO is short for “Domestic Relations Order”. A QDRO and DRO are basically the same thing, the only difference is that a QDRO will be ‘qualified’ by the administrator of the retirement plan.

A QDRO/DRO is a type of court order, so it must be signed by a Judge. It allows a spouse to obtain a portion of the other spouse’s retirement benefits, without any tax implications or any type of early withdrawal fees. You need a QDRO/DRO because a retirement benefit can only be divided through a court order.

Typically, in the divorce, your attorney will arrange for a QDRO/DRO to be drafted by a third-party firm. Once the QDRO/DRO is drafter, your attorney will review it, to make sure it is correct. Depending on the QDRO/DRO, it may then have to be pre-approved by the administrator of the particular retirement plan. If it does have to be pre-approved, then that should be done as soon as possible, as many retirement plans can take a long time to grant the pre-approval. Once the QDRO/DRO has been pre-approved, or if no pre-approval is necessary, then the QDRO/DRO is submitted to the Court for the Judge’s signature. Usually, a QDRO/DRO will not be signed by a Judge until the divorce is completed and the Judgment of Divorce is signed.

Once the Judge signs the QDRO/DRO, it can then be submitted to the administrator of the retirement plan.

If you have questions about your retirement plan or your spouse’s retirement plan, and you are thinking of getting divorce, then call David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office.

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