Do I Have To Force My Child To Visit The Non-Custodial Parent?

Legally, the answer may be “yes”. If there is a Court Order requiring “visitation” or “parenting time”, then, you are required to follow the Court’s Order.

However, a parent with a young child versus a parent with a teenager are two very different scenarios. In virtually all situations, a young child will be required to have parenting time with the non-custodial parent. In contrast, a teenager who is over the age of 16 years of age, may not be “forced” to have parenting time with the non-custodial parent.

Although, you are required to follow a Court’s Order, there is also a “reasonableness” and common-sense factor. In other words, there could be an overriding situation, where you do not need to physically deliver the child to the other parent.

For example, if a child is too ill or too sick to visit, then you could legitimately have a valid reason to keep the child at your home. However, the child better be “truly sick”, as the other parent could order a “well check”, by calling the police to see if the child is ill or too sick to visit.

If a child is too ill or sick to visit, or a teenager is refusing to visit the other parent, it is important that you communicate the situation in a timely matter with the other parent. This will make the courts view you in a more positive light, than just not delivering the child at all. It may also help to document each instance of your child’s refusal, and the circumstances surrounding the event.

If your teenager doesn’t want to have parenting time with the other parent, you should try to determine the reasons why. It should not just be because they are “bored”. However, if there is a seriously negative situation at the other parent’s home – i.e. physical abuse – then you should take action in court immediately. You should not just simply stop visitation.

It is important to note that Courts want both parents to be involved in their children’s life. If you cut-off all visitation with the other parent, there could be serious negative consequences to you.  For example, the Court could determine that you are no longer eligible for child support.

If you have questions regarding custody and are thinking of seeking legal action, contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C.  Call us at 631-239-1702 or email David Badanes, Esq. at david@dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Do I Have To Keep Bringing The Children To See My Ex-Spouse If The Ex-Spouse Constantly Doesn’t Show Up?

In some situations, you may be bringing the children to see your ex-spouse, yet, the ex-spouse isn’t there or constantly doesn’t show up. In those situations, here is what you should do.

  1. If your ex-spouse generally does show up, but isn’t there, then you should give him/her at least 15 minutes to show up. You should also send a text message reminder to your ex-spouse stating that you will be meeting them at the specified time. If, after 15 minutes, your ex-spouse doesn’t show up, then send another text message saying that you are leaving and that he/she can call you when they are ready to pick up the children.
  2. If your ex-spouse hasn’t shown up for months, then you should send him/her a letter, via certified mail, return receipt requested, stating that you will no longer bring the children to see him/her. I would highly recommend having your attorney write this letter. If your ex-spouse responds to the letter, stating that he/she will now show up, then you should bring the children to see him/her.

In situations where the ex-spouse doesn’t show up to see the children, there are no “cookie-cutter” answers. It is important to protect your rights and to make sure that you are not violating any court orders. This is why it is best to make sure that you document what you are doing and to inform your attorney.

If you need help with your divorce, post-divorce or any other issue involving child custody or child support, David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have the experience and knowledge to help you. Contact David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. at 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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Can I Make Up Lost Parenting Time With My Children?

After your divorce, if there are children involved, each parent will have designated parenting time (sometimes called “visitation time” or “parental access time”). For example, one parent may have alternating weekends plus weeknight visits, or each parent may have 50% of the time with the children.

Oftentimes, either the non-custodial parent will lose some of their parenting time due to illness, work or some other valid reason. Whether or not that parent is entitled to “make up” time, depends on two factors: (1) Does the divorce agreement address “make up” time for the non-custodial parent’s missing parenting time? and (2) The relationship (or lack thereof) between the two parents.

In most divorces, there will be a divorce agreement (usually called a “Stipulation of Settlement”). The agreement will specify when each parent has parenting time with the children. The agreement can also have a provision for make up time.

However, typically, make up time is for when the custodial parent takes a day or a weekend “away” from the non-custodial parent. This, happens when there is a holiday, birthday, or other special event that takes away from the non-custodial parent’s parenting time. In those instances, the non-custodial parent is “due” make up time as it was the custodial parent who was “at fault” for the non-custodial parent missing parenting time.

In contrast, it is extremely rare for a divorce agreement to address or allow a non-custodial parent make up time for when the non-custodial misses time due to the non-custodial parent’s “fault” (meaning, illness, work or other reason). In those instances, the reason for the missed parenting time was due to the non-custodial parent’s action.

Therefore, unless your divorce agreement explicitly states that the non-custodial parent is allowed make up time due their own illness or other valid reason, in order to obtain make up time, in those situations, is to rely on the relationship between the divorced parents.

If you are lucky enough to have a working relationship with your ex-spouse, then you can always request make up time or to switch parenting time with your ex-spouse. Of course, your ex-spouse is under no obligation to give you make up time, however, perhaps they will realize that in the best interests of the children, it is best that they have as much time with both parents as possible.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C., have the knowledge and experience to make sure that you receive the best parenting time schedule as possible. If you need an aggressive attorney to represent you in your child custody dispute, then 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 web site: www.dbnylaw.com. The Badanes Law Office has offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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Holidays With Children During Your Divorce Proceedings

You have children and you are in the middle of your divorce and are unsure on how to handle the holiday season. The holiday season can be the most stressful and most contentious part of a divorce.

Here are some tips on helping you get through the holiday season:

  1. Make decisions ahead of time: The time to decide on how to split the holidays is NOW, not on the day before Thanksgiving, Christmas or Hanukkah. If you and your spouse can’t come up with a plan, then you need to contact your divorce attorney as soon as possible, so that a plan can be worked out. If necessary, your attorney may need to go to Court to make sure that you get to see your children during the holidays.
  1. Allow the children to spend time with both parents: After your divorce, many divorce agreements will alternate the holidays, such that one parent will get Thanksgiving or Christmas Day one year, and the other parent will get Thanksgiving or Christmas Day the next year. If your divorce is still ongoing, and this is the first holiday that is affected by the divorce, you may want to consider splitting the day or even spending the day together.
  1. But, spend some time with the children alone. If you have some vacation days, or simply on of your usual days off, it might be a good time to spend some time with the children alone around the holidays. Each parent should work out a plan so that they can spend the day or a few days, after Christmas or Hanukkah, alone with the children. This should be a non-stressful vacation day, and not about which parent can out-spend the other.
  1. Gifts: You might be tempted to buy the most expensive or best gift for the children in an attempt to out-gift the other parent. However, with a separation and divorce, money can usually be very tight. Gifts don’t need to be expensive to be appreciated. Sometimes, the least expensive gifts are the ones that are most cherished.

David Badanes and the Badanes Law Office, P.C. have prepared numerous clients in their divorces. If you are thinking of getting divorced, and live in Suffolk County, Nassau County or New York City, call David Badanes at the Badanes Law Office at 631-239-1702 or email at david@dbnylaw.com. We have offices in Northport and Uniondale.

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