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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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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