Custody

Can You Keep Your Ex-Spouse’s New Partner Away from Your Children? 

ChildrenWhether your divorce is finalized or not, it can be painful to hear that your former spouse has re-entered the dating pool. 

This may be especially troubling if you learn that your ex-spouse's new partner is frequently around your child or is actually babysitting during the former spouse's parenting time.

You'll probably be experiencing a mixture of emotions like hurt, anger and discomfort. After all, you may wonder what impact your ex-spouse's new partner may have on your child or simply feel uncomfortable with the idea that a stranger is helping to raise your child.

All of these feelings and concerns are valid and natural. However, in most cases the law says that is perfectly acceptable for a new partner to be around your kids. How is this possible?

It's because of the parenting time that your ex-spouse has been granted by law. If a parent is deemed competent by the courts to raise a child, this includes their ability to decide about whether or not it's appropriate to have a new boyfriend or girlfriend around the kids. 

While you may not be happy that your ex-spouse is moving on and you may dislike that the new partner is around your kids, it's best to proceed with caution. Judges in New York generally prefer to allow kids to have contact with both parents unless one of them is putting the child in danger. If you try to prevent your kid from spending time with your former spouse and their new partner, then your actions may be construed as interfering in the relationship between the parent and child.

However, if you suspect that your child is being abused or neglected while in the care of the other parent, including while in the care of the new partner, then you have every right to seek legal recourse. This includes situations in which the new partner has issues with drugs or alcohol, is impaired by a mental health issue or is violent or abusive.

If you believe that your former spouse's boyfriend or girlfriend is harming, abusing or neglecting your child, then it is wise to immediately consult with a family law attorney. The courts will protect children who are in abusive and neglectful situations, even if it means limiting or terminating the parent-child relationship. 

If you have concerns about your ex-spouse's new partner, then contact the Sabra Law Group today at 646-472-7971.

 

 

 

 

How Domestic Violence Can Impact Child Custody During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Domestic ViolenceDomestic violence can cause emotional, psychological, and physical trauma to the spouse who is being abused as well as the children that are living in an abusive household.  If you are in a situation where you are experiencing domestic violence, it is best to remove yourself from that situation for your safety as well as your children’s.   Let’s examine how domestic violence can impact child custody during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

A New York family law judge will take domestic abuse charges very seriously when it comes to determining how child custody and visitation may or may not be granted. If the abuse was serious enough or happened repeatedly, it is unlikely that the judge will grant child custody to the abusive spouse.   Both the New York family law judge and your child custody attorney have the same goal in mind; to do what it takes to protect you and your children from an abusive domestic environment.

 

Children who witness domestic abuse between their parents are at the highest risk for transmitting violent behavior from one generation to the next; it is best to get them out of that type of environment as soon as possible.  Their future depends on it.

 

Legally, the abusive spouse may be allowed to rebut the domestic violence charges.  This process may include having to provide evidence that shows that he/she is not a threat to the children or spouse. An example of when a spouse may need to rebut the domestic violence charges is if their spouse fabricated some or all of the domestic violence allegations in order to have the upper hand when it comes to child custody.  It is also an opportunity for the accused spouse to prove their case and/or make an effort to fight for their custody rights.

 

How to Get Immediate Help If You Are Experiencing Domestic Violence During the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

The first step is to find a way to either remove yourself from the situation and your abusive spouse.  You can do this by either finding another place to stay temporarily or get assistance from your New York divorce attorney who can guide you. Your attorney may be able to guide you in getting an order from a New York family law judge to restrict visitation or help you obtain a temporary restraining order.  

 

Call Sabra Law Group Today to Determine How Domestic Violence Can Impact Child Custody for Your Unique Situation

 

Each situation is different, so it is best to have a knowledgeable New York family law attorney advise you on what the best course of action should be for you. Call Sabra law Group today to book a confidential phone consultation at (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Handle Child Custody During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Child Custody During the COVID-19 PandemicCo-parenting and child custody can already be challenging but when you couple that with the COVID-19 Pandemic, it takes stress and uncertainty to a whole other level.

 

So much has changed because of the pandemic.  Most day-care facilities remain closed, forcing parents to quit their jobs or take on the additional responsibilities of having to parent and work from home with no outside assistance.  Many schools are still doing homeschool for the safety of the children and educational staff. What many parents are realizing is that what previously worked or was put in place regarding child custody no longer makes sense.  For many parents, it’s time to re-evaluate child custody and parenting and modify existing child custody orders/plans.

 

Questions About Child Custody During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

 

Are you wondering if you still have to comply with the custody schedule and order that was in place prior to the pandemic? The short answer is “yes”, however; any deviations made must be based on the best interest of your children.  Because the COVID-19 Pandemic has put many travel restrictions on the public as well as state to state quarantine restrictions, traveling out of state to see your child may not be feasible.  Instead of seeing your child in person, you may have to modify the order to be able to have video chats instead or if you are able to travel, to have an extended duration with your child in an effort to minimize the back and forth.

 

Another valid concern that many parents are having is the worry of exposing their child to COVID-19 at the other parent’s home if that parent works in a setting that makes it easier to contract the virus.  If you have genuine concerns about the safety of your child, then it is best to communicate that to your ex and figure out an alternative game plan.  In all fairness though, do not use the pandemic as an excuse to keep your child from your ex. 

 

Another option is to discuss a temporary agreement that revolves around the new nuisances that the COVID-19 Pandemic has brought upon.  If you are able to discuss a temporary agreement and come to an agreement, then it is important to also put the stipulations in writing.

 

If you are not able to come to amicable terms on your own, then it may be time to consider getting a New York Divorce Mediation Attorney involved who can help you both come up with a temporary agreement that best meets the needs of your child or children.  Even with the assistance of a mediation lawyer, it is essential to be flexible and accommodating with your ex-spouse when it comes to child custody.

 

Contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 for assistance with handling child custody during the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Negotiate a Child Custody Arrangement with Your Spouse

Child Custody ArrangementOne of the reasons why many divorces are so challenging is because it's difficult for the soon-to-be former spouses to agree on a child custody arrangement.

Without any question, both parents want what is best for their children. The court has a similar interest in protecting the health and well-being of any minors. Unfortunately, if parents cannot agree on custody issues, then the court may make these decisions for them. Most of these court-decreed decisions are nowhere near as convenient, workable and sensible as they could be.

Clearly, it's better for the whole family if the parents can create their own child custody arrangement that makes sense for them, but this is easier said than done.

When you and your former partner aren't able to initially agree on child custody, don't give up. The answer may be to enter negotiations, perhaps with the assistance of a qualified mediator.

Negotiating child custody is challenging, but it tends to go more smoothly when both parents keep their emotions in check. Feelings certainly are running high. However, keeping a cool head provides each parent with a better opportunity of crafting a creative and workable arrangement. If you're having difficulty regulating your emotions, consider consulting with a close friend, coach or a therapist for support.

Another thing to bear in mind throughout the negotiations is the best interests of your child. You may not be able to get along with your partner any longer, but your child still loves their parents. The courts don't like to stand in the way of healthy relationships between parents and kids, so unless there are verifiable claims of abuse or neglect, make your peace with continuing to share parenting responsibilities. It genuinely is in your child's best interests, and that's likely how the court will see it too.

It's also valuable to be open-minded as you go through negotiations. Try to visualize how each scenario might play out in your real, everyday life. Doing so may help you to see that a proposal that appears ridiculous on the surface actually may have a chance of working. Accordingly, it makes sense to not dismiss out-of-hand any suggestions that your partner or that the mediator might suggest. It may be that a real solution is lurking in that idea.

If you would like more information about negotiating a child custody arrangement through mediation, then contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

Tips on How to Make the Most Out of Your Joint Custody Arrangement 

Joint Custody Few issues in a divorce are as hotly contested as joint custody. Both parents want what's best for their child, but they don't always agree on what that looks like. Additionally, complicated schedules and out-of-control emotions can exacerbate the conflict.

Fortunately, there are ways to create workable, common-sense agreements for sharing custody. It's critical to keep in mind that custody isn't really about the parents. It's all about the kids.

That means that in a good custody agreement, you may not get everything you want at the cost of all else. Everyone wins when the parents put ego aside and focus on providing the love and support that their child needs.

Moreover, it's crucial for both parents to be realistic about their schedule and the other commitments they have in their life. Insecurity and fear can make parents want to hold on to as much as they can. This may cause them to reach for an agreement that just doesn't make sense in day-to-day life. Such a solution will not be workable and is doomed to fail. Whenever possible, it is wise to remove as much emotion from the equation as possible as you look at your life and your changing responsibilities.

Keep in mind that someone who you consider to be a bad spouse is not necessarily also a bad parent. If you consider your former partner to be an excellent caregiver and support for your child, then it shouldn't be too much of a struggle to acknowledge their right to spend equal or nearly equal time caring for your shared children.

Similarly, it's advisable to craft a unique joint custody arrangement that suits your family. This is preferable to having the court make such decisions for you. After all, no one knows your family, its personalities and its schedules better than the family itself.

This means that the parents are uniquely qualified to create a shared parenting plan that works for everyone. One of the best means for getting this accomplished is mediation.

Mediation is a collaborative and creative problem-solving process. You'll be surprised by just how many possible solutions are available to you as you work with an experienced mediator. As both sides compromise, they meet on a middle ground that is beneficial for the whole family.

If you're interested in learning more about how flexible joint custody arrangements can be, contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971.
 

What You Need to Know About Effective Co-Parenting After Divorce

co-parenting after divorce Even though divorce may end the legal bond between you and your former spouse, you are still tethered forever if you have children together.    

 

If you do have children, the most important consideration should be regarding their well-being and what is best for them. For many parents, co-parenting does not come naturally, nor is it easy to navigate this new territory.  Co-parenting after divorce will come a lot easier if you follow the steps below.

 

Follow These Steps for Effective Co-Parenting with Your Ex

 

  1. Show Some Flexibility When Necessary:  Yes, there may be specific custody arrangements in place when it comes to who gets the children and when, however, know when to be flexible.  There may be a time when your spouse has to be out of town on business unexpectedly or makes a request to switch the schedule for other reasons; be understanding and show some flexibility instead of being rigid. It is also important to be mindful and respectful of the schedule and to honor the pickup and drop off times.

 

  1. Do Not Talk Bad About Your Ex-Spouse to Your Children: For those who do this, find that it only backfires on them.  Your children are likely to tell the other parent and it will only create unnecessary friction.  Furthermore, you are putting your children in the middle of your battles; which is not healthy for anyone.

 

  1. Don’t Fight or Argue in Front of Your Children: Of course, there may be times when you and your ex don’t see eye to eye on something or end up having an argument; however, make sure that your children are not privy to listen in on these type of conversations. One way to do this is to acknowledge the matter that will require further discussion and set up a time when your children are not within earshot to have that conversation. 

 

  1. Foster Open Communication with Your Children: Create an environment that makes it easy for your children to share their thoughts, worries, and emotions.  Make it clear to your children that they can tell you if they are not comfortable with the other parent or if the parent is somehow mistreating them. When your children know that you are willing to listen to them and they will not get in trouble for what they disclose, it will make it easier for them to open up.

 

If you are in the process of going through a divorce and need help with formulating an effective parenting plan or any other matters related to family law, contact Sabra Divorce Law today at (646) 472-7971.

Handling Holiday Child Custody Arrangements in Manhattan

With the holidays quickly approaching, there are so many things to handle.  One of the most important things to handle is child custody arrangements for the holidays. 

Below are some tips on handling child custody arrangements in Manhattan

  1. Plan ahead:  never wait until the last minute to sort out child custody arrangements with your ex.  The sooner you start planning, the better.   Hopefully, you already have a written schedule of custody for your children throughout the year.  However, for some reason, if you don’t, the first step should be to agree on a schedule for child custody. 
  2. Take your children’s wishes into consideration: If your children are old enough to be in middle school or high school, they may have some excursions in mind.  Ask your children if there is something specific they would enjoy doing during the winter break.  This will help you plan accordingly when it comes to custody.  Your child may have a friend’s birthday party they want to attend and you book a family vacation without consulting them; they will not be happy. 
  3. Don’t micro-manage what your ex does when he/she is with your children.  If you are too busy constantly nagging your ex, you will be missing quality time with your children.  It is hard to tell your ex who to bring around or not when your children are over, so choose your battles wisely. 
  4. Be more concerned with making your own winter plans, rather than be obsessed about what your ex is doing.  Your ex may have an extravagant trip planned with his/her significant other.  If you show jealously or try to interfere with their plans, it will only create more conflict.  The holidays are stressful enough without creating unnecessary conflict.  Spend your time focusing on your plans and what you can do with the children to have a memorable holiday season.  Create your own experiences and memories that are just as fabulous as your ex’s activities. 
  5. When you do have to see your ex, be polite and respectful.   Even if your ex can frustrate you, don’t let it be seen.  The more you show your frustration, the more your ex will irritate you.  Set the example and be the kind of person that you would want exemplify for your children.  It is essential to remember that your children may be in the background, listening to your conversations. 

If you need to alter your child custody arrangements in Manhattan, call Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.  And we can help you with creating or altering parenting plans.  Give us a call today.

 

How to Determine if a Parenting Plan in New York Can Be Changed

While there may be many complicated issues to work out in a divorce, the one thing that most couples can agree on is that they both want what is best for the children.

In order to ensure the welfare of the children, it is imperative to have a parenting plan that has been carefully orchestrated.  When drafting a parenting plan, it is important to consider the long-term and not just the short-term. 

Once a Parenting Plan is Finalized with the Divorce Decree Can It Be Changed?

The parenting plan can only be changed under certain circumstances; for example: both parents can agree to modify an existing parenting plan whenever they choose to do so.

One of the simplest ways to modify an existing parenting plan is for both parents to agree on modifying the plan.  If you feel that the current parenting plan does not meet the best needs of the children or is lacking certain factors, consider having an open and honest conversation with your spouse to see if you can come to an agreement on the suggested modifications.  Once you can both agree on the modifications, the process is quite simple:

  1. Draft a new parenting plan
  2. Both parties need to sign the new plan
  3. Then it has to go to the court for their signoff
  4. Once the court signs off on the new plan, it becomes official

Can a Parenting Plan Be Changed to Reflect a New Schedule or Changes in Schedule?

Yes, a parenting plan can be changed due to schedule conflicts.  Whether the schedule conflict has to do with one parent’s new job or a child transferring schools, it may require a change to the parenting plan that once was a good fit but now no longer serves its purpose. 

If the Changes to a Parenting Plan Are Significant, There Must Be Valid Reasons

Changes cannot be made to a parenting plan just because one parent decides that they want changes.  There must be good, valid reasons that directly impact the children’s best interests. 

Need to Make Changes to an Existing Parenting Plan, Consult a Mediation Attorney

If you need to make changes to an existing parenting plan and need some guidance, it is best to consult a knowledgeable mediation attorney who can guide you along the way.  Contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.

Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer Explains Drafting an Effective Parenting Plan

Parenting during and after a divorce can be a challenge even in the best of circumstances. What makes a parenting plan so beneficial in these situations is that you and your ex-spouse get to set the parameters of the plan without allowing the court to impose its own constraints. This means that you have greater control over your parenting decisions.

There will necessarily be compromise involved in drafting an effective parenting plan. The more that both sides can agree to some flexibility in terms of scheduling and daily arrangements, the less time and money you will spend ironing out small details. The most important aspects of the plan to decide on are the health, educational and well-being decisions on behalf of your child. Setting clear guidelines as to how the parents will communicate and act with respect to major decisions in the child's upbringing makes for a much easier transition for all parties involved.

An effective parenting plan will also include some contingency planning. This means setting some guidelines for what will happen in the event of an emergency and how parents will contact each other if something happens to the child. Having a plan in place ahead of time can hedge off any miscommunications and misunderstanding about how emergencies will be handled. These are some of the most important things for the parents to agree upon at the outset.

Other topics of consideration include:

  • Vacations
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Passport and birth certificate
  • Relocation
  • Higher Education
  • Overnight guests

Contact an Experienced Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer Today

To learn more about what an effective parenting plan could look like in your situation, call (646) 472-7971 and schedule an appointment for your mediation in New York. Sabra Law Group is ready to assist with all of your divorce and child custody mediation needs in New York. Find out why so many couples are turning to this convenient and cost-effective method of navigating divorce and legal parenting issues through divorce mediation in New York.

Manhattan Divorce Mediator Shares How to Protect Your Children’s Confidence After a Divorce

Most divorces are not as simple and straight-forward as we would like them to be.  Divorce can be complicated and involve quite a bit of conflict, but the worst part is that your children will go through so many emotions during their parents’ divorce.  It is imperative to support your children during this stressful time and ensure that their confidence and self-esteem is not shattered so that they maintain their self-confidence both during as well as after divorce.

Conflicts that commonly arise during a high pressure divorce can also cause stress in children, as a result that stress can impact their social skills, confidence, grades, and even friendships.

Follow These 5 Tips to During Divorce to Protect Your Children’s Confidence

  1. Don’t put your children in the middle of the divorce: during a divorce there are many issues that need to be sorted through amongst the parents.Don’t make your children the messenger if you do not wish to communicate with your spouse, instead seek the assistance of a savvy Manhattan divorce mediator who can mediate on your behalf. It is crucial to keep your children out of conversations that have to do with the custody battle, visitation schedule, or shedding a less than positive light on your spouse.
  2. Make time for your children:yes, the demands of work, dealing with divorce matters and everyday life can get in the way, however, it is more important now than ever to be there for your children and make time for fun activities.Children need to feel secure and loved and it is important to have family time for fun activities.
  3. Get your children more involved in extra-curricular activities: make sure your children can pursue extra-curricular activities at church or school that they are passionate about.This also allows them to be surrounded with their peers and keeps them active; staying active will make for a healthier mind and body.
  4. Show your children that you appreciate them:remember to praise your children on their grades, after school activities such as sports, band or any other activity that they may be involved in.Children need validation and appreciation for their efforts.It is important to spend time talking to your children on a daily basis and determining where their interests reside and also accessing when they need help.
  5. Learn to resolve disagreements with your spouse in a positive manner: Remember, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.If you need to have a conversation that is difficult with your spouse, carefully think it through before speaking and then approach it in a calm manner.You never know when your children may be eavesdropping on your conversation and it is best to maintain calm.

Contact a Manhattan Divorce Mediator if You Need Assistance

If you are having difficulty sorting through difficult issues that arise during a divorce, contact an experienced Manhattan divorce mediator who can assist you with coming to an amicable resolution.  To learn more about divorce mediation, contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.