Divorce Mediation

COVID-19 Will Impact How Attorneys and Courts Handle Business in New York

Courts During COVID-19COVID-19 has turned life upside down in the U.S. and around the world. With all of the upheaval and uncertainty, everyday concerns tend to get lost in the shuffle. Still, for those families who are dealing with life's major events like marriage, divorce, custody, and visitation, it can be especially hard to know what to do.

Fortunately, attorneys and courts in New York are taking steps to ensure that essential functions continue to operate as normally as possible. In-person meetings may not be available, but most lawyers and even some courts are conducting virtual meetings and proceedings to ensure that important matters do not get overlooked or forgotten.

Getting married has gotten more complicated, but that doesn't necessarily make it impossible. If a couple already has their license, it is still possible to proceed with the ceremony. However, the size of the gathering will be severely limited, and some couples are opting to have their guests attend virtually.

Postponing the event also is a possibility. If you have already signed contracts with vendors and venues, then it may be worth consulting with an attorney to determine what kind of latitude your existing contract grants.

What if you just got engaged and you want to enter into a prenup? Your attorney can meet with you on the phone or virtually to discuss the terms of the agreement, and a draft can be forwarded to you via email for review. It's even possible to execute a prenuptial agreement during the quarantine, as these documents can be signed with virtual notaries in New York State.

Questions of child custody and visitation are already complex, but COVID-19 has only made things worse. Fortunately, jurisdictions such as New York City are now using virtual operations to conduct family court proceedings. This means that critical decisions can still be rendered.

What if your child is quarantined in the custodial parent's home? Or while in the non-custodial parent’s care and custody? How will you, as co-parents, navigate this new temporary world we are all living in?  While each parent has custodial, access and visitation rights, the courts cannot compel the other parent to allow you (if you are not the one in quarantine) into their home. What alternative arrangements can you both make to accommodate the need of the child to have time with both parents?  Consider additional contact through telephone and video chat applications such as FaceTime and WhatsApp.  When you cannot work it out together, consult with a family law attorney who can provide you with the information that you need so that you can maintain contact with your children.

Contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971 for more information about how attorneys and courts in New York are reacting to the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

How to Cope With Staying Together Because of COVID-19

Staying Together COVID-19 is forcing families around the world to change their definition of "togetherness." This concept is one that can be particularly challenging if it comes at a moment when spouses are considering ending their relationship or if a divorce is already in process.

 

However, staying together, even on a temporary basis, doesn't have to be a source of constant frustration. It's wise to instead focus on a few key tenets that can help to bring a more harmonious atmosphere into any home.

 

Keep Family Members Safe

Did you or an immediate family member recently travel to a place where Coronavirus is prevalent? Or, has one of your family members been exposed to a local case?

 

If so, then it's wise to take self-quarantine precautions. These include frequent handwashing, not using the same towels and utensils, not having visitors and staying at home. Ideally, self-quarantine also means not getting closer than six feet to any household member.

 

Stay in Touch with Matriarchs and Patriarchs

 

Sometimes, staying together doesn't involve in-person contact. Since the older members of society are particularly vulnerable to developing serious cases of COVID-19, it's vital to stay in touch with them. This means calling them on the phone, enjoying an online video chat or sending an email. If they need food or other supplies, offer to shop for them, then drop the groceries on their driveway or doorstep so as to avoid personal contact.

 

Remember that Family Is Forever

 

While this challenging time is temporary, it's critical to remember that family is forever. That is true even for families who are contemplating or going through a divorce.

 

The ties that you have forged with each other and your children are things that endure through pandemics and tragedies of all descriptions. When tempers get short, recall these long-term ties and how everyone in your family will benefit from nurturing and caring for these connections.

 

Find Activities for the Whole Family

 

By engaging the whole family in activities like a jigsaw puzzle or a board game, you create opportunities to learn more about each other and to cultivate a deeper appreciation for each member of the family. Table Topics is a particularly thought-provoking and fascinating game, and everyone loves a rousing game of Pictionary.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually subside. If you decide that staying together after this time is not feasible, then contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to schedule your phone or video conference consultation.
 

The Difference Between Litigation and Divorce Mediation in New York

Divorce Mediation in New YorkIs divorce mediation in New York right for your family? It may be if you like the idea of ending your marriage in a less contentious manner.

Most people equate divorce with litigation. They envision themselves in a courtroom with a lawyer by their side and another lawyer beside their spouse each arguing and presenting their case before a judge, discussing some of the most intimate details of their lives, but it doesn't have to be that way.

While there are some instances in which it is appropriate to litigate a divorce, the majority of marriage dissolutions can be accomplished with less time and money and far less acrimony by engaging in mediation.

Rather than having a judge make decisions, which can make litigation unpredictable, mediation involves a neutral third party. It is the responsibility of the mediator to help the parties to arrive at mutually agreeable decisions with regard to child custody, support and many of the other components that factor into a divorce.

Whereas litigation creates an adversarial atmosphere, mediation tends to be a more amicable and less stressful process. Mediation also is the more economical choice, frequently costing thousands of dollars less so that the divorcing couple is left with greater financial stability.

Participants in mediation further may appreciate that the proceedings take place in the office of the mediator and are completely confidential. While court proceedings are a part of the public record, this is not the case with mediation. This process allows the parties to keep their private matters private, and many people prefer this.

Mediation also is a valuable tool for divorce because it puts the decision-making in the hands of the parties. This is especially critical when it comes to making choices for the couple's children. In the courtroom, the judge along with custody evaluators and experts may all weigh in on what's best for the children. Mediation preserves this power in the hands of the people who truly know what's best: The parents.

It's also worth considering that mediation typically takes far less time than litigation. Generally, this is better for the parents and the children both emotionally and physically. Going to court is stressful, time-consuming and expensive. Several months or years may be required to litigate all aspects of the divorce, but mediation can be accomplished in weeks or a few months.

If you want to learn more about divorce mediation in New York, contact Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971. Thanks to their mediation experience, they may be able to help you save time, money and distress.  And if you want to access our free online Jumpstart Guide to Divorce, then grab it here.

 

Why Mediation is the Best Option for a Peaceful and Harmonious Divorce

Peaceful and Harmonious Divorce Divorce is a painful life transition. While it's normal to experience negative emotions such as loss, fear, and anger, this doesn't mean that divorce has to be acrimonious.

It is possible to have a peaceful divorce. Keep in mind that "peaceful" is not the same thing as easy. Many challenges are inherent in amicable separations. Nonetheless, couples who resolve to respect themselves, each other and their children will find that they avoid many pitfalls.

Mediation has many advantages over litigation. It keeps the family out of the court, which translates to better relationships afterward. It's also settled more quickly, and it's always less expensive.

Another advantage is that it puts the couple in control. If they can work together, they have an opportunity to work toward real-world solutions that are ideal for their unique family.

Many couples also prefer mediation because it's more discrete. Anything that's litigated becomes public knowledge. Conversely, the proceedings involved with mediation remain confidential.

A harmonious divorce is hard work, but it is not impossible. It frequently begins with the couple deciding that they aren't going to blame each other. By the time you've made the decision to separate, a great deal has already been said and done. Blame doesn't serve a useful purpose during the divorce. Choosing to avoid blame is tough. However, it is a choice that is in your power to make, and it means moving forward with a more peaceful and harmonious outlook that will serve you and your family in the future.

If you want your divorce to be an amicable one, then it's also sensible to keep the big picture in mind. It requires the right mindset and choosing to focus on the end goal. And not letting minor and petty issues derail your good intentions. Divorce proceedings don't have to drag on for years, especially if you stay focused on what's really important. Things like your children, your health and the security of your financial standing are all more critical than punishing your former spouse.

If you want to learn more about why mediation is the best option for a peaceful and harmonious divorce, then contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971 to schedule a confidential consultation.

 

Why Gray Divorce Is Becoming More Common

Gray Divorce Many couples stay together for the sake of the kids and the financial ramifications that come with sending their kids to college.  Even if a couple is unhappy in their marriage, they are more likely to stay together because it is more “financially appealing” for the time being.  The thought of losing assets, having to live on one income, and potentially not being able to put the children through college can force couples to stay together.

 

When the kids grow up and leave the house or graduate from college, many couples find that they have nothing left to stay together for because they no longer have anything in common. 

When older adults find themselves in this situation, they are becoming part of a trend called “gray divorce.”

 

Gray divorce can be emotionally taxing, and it can take a toll on both mental and physical well-being. The struggles for men vs. women are slightly different.  For men, they end up feeling lonely and isolated as men generally do not have as many close friends as women do.

 

Women may struggle financially as they spend many years raising the kids and were homemakers vs. career women.  So, now when they do need to find a job, they may find that they may make less money or have to go into lower-paying industries.

 

How to Bounce Back from a Gray Divorce

 

Friends are going to be an incremental part of your healing process.  It is important to reach out to friends and make plans to get together for dinner or simply spend some quality time together talking. 

 

Because gray divorce comes with emotional tolls; your sleep may be compromised.  Focus on getting 6-8 hours of quality sleep.  If you are having difficulty sleeping at night, try listening to soothing music, taking a relaxing bath, and meditation.  Some mediation apps you can easily download on your phone or iPad are Headspace and Calm.  If you are still having difficulty sleeping after trying all these tactics, it may be time to talk to your primary care physician to see what they recommend.

 

Make sure you practice self-care.  Self-care means being easy on yourself and not blaming yourself for the marriage not working out.  It also means making time for yourself to do the things that make you happy and help you feel peaceful.  Divorce is difficult on anyone, but it can be extra taxing in older adults.  Take time to focus on healing and finding your true self.  

 

If you are considering a “gray divorce”, contact the Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.

How Mediation and Collaborative Divorce Can Help You Prepare for the Future

DivorceIf you and your spouse have decided to pursue a divorce, you both know that the basic truth is that your relationship is just not working anymore. Many times, when a marriage comes to an end, there is plenty of emotional damage and bad blood to go around. This gets worse when the process is litigated in court. Both parties, through their lawyers, tend to focus on betrayals, disappointments, and past wrongdoings, making the procedure even more bitter.

Conversely, utilizing either a mediator or collaborative divorce method can dissolve a marriage cooperatively and with civility. It also saves both parties from going to court and having their dirty laundry entered into the public records.

Mediation and a Collaborative Divorce Explained

We’ve all heard about how divorce works. The separated couple enters the court, and the attorneys argue their respective clients’ positions. Afterwards, a judge will decide how the children’s custody arrangement will work and how assets will be divided. These hearings can get quite contentious.

So, what are mediating and collaborative divorces, and how are they different from typical divorces? They are processes where a couple works together to come to a fair and equitable settlement without involving the court. They are both usually more cost-effective than litigation and also much faster. However, each process is different from the other.

The former is guided by an unbiased mediator who alone works with the couple by suggesting compromises, asking questions, brainstorming ideas, and ensuring decisions are fair to both parties. He or she also makes sure that the discussion stays on track which prevents arguments. Attorneys are not usually involved.

The latter does not have one person overseeing the process. Instead, there is a team of professionals present with one common goal. That goal, of course, is to get through the proceedings in as simple a manner as possible. The team typically consists of an independent neutral mediation, independent neutral financial counselor, an independent neutral psychologist or mental health professional, as well as both spouses and their attorneys. The team will work in tandem to come up with equitable solutions.

Keep your Children in Mind

Mediation and collaborative divorces are especially appropriate for divorcing couples with children to consider. It is important to reduce as much conflict as possible between the parents since divorce is already hard enough on the children.

Keeping the relationship cordial between co-parenting former spouses is crucial. The respect between parents needs to remain intact even if the marriage has failed. That way, both parents will be able to raise their children together in two happy homes without tension.

Mediating and collaborative divorces also ensure that you and your spouse make all the important decisions with regard to your family, taking that power out of the court’s hands.

Speak with a Mediator or Collaborative Divorce Attorney

Call Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 today to discuss your options with regard to collaborative divorce and mediation. As a mediator or collaborative divorce attorney, Sabra will create a respectful place to communicate that is both safe and confidential. Even in the most hostile of situations, our office will encourage compromise and flexibility. Come in today and we will discuss your options and answer all your questions.

New York Divorce Laws You Should Be Aware Of

New York Divorce LawsWhether you are considering a divorce or are already in the middle of divorce proceedings, understanding some of the basics of divorce laws in New York can help you through the process.

No-Fault Divorce Permitted

Although New York was the last state in the country to allow for a no-fault divorce, it is in full effect now. This means that either spouse can request a divorce without having to prove the fault of the other, and instead simply signing a sworn statement that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown in the marriage for at least six months”. A final divorce order is now much easier to secure than before the no-fault New York divorce laws were in effect.

Residency Requirements for Filing in New York

Before you file for divorce, you must meet certain New York residency requirements. First of all, if either spouse has lived in New York for two years or more prior to the divorce, the suit can be filed in the state. However, if the reason for divorce occurred in New York AND both spouses lived in New York at the time when the suit is filed, it can also be filed in the state. The last residency option is that if either you or your spouse lived in New York for at least one year immediately before the suit is filed AND you (a) got married in New York, or (b) lived as a married couple in New York or (c) the reason for divorce occurred in New York.

Living with Your Spouse

You can still get divorced in New York if you are living with your spouse. If you file a fault-based divorce, you can remain in the home with your spouse at the time of filing. However, you may want to consider moving out for safety reasons.

You do not have to live separately from your spouse for a no-fault divorce if you claim that the marriage broke down for at least six months before filing suit.

Contact the Sabra Law Group Today

If you are considering filing for divorce in New York or need representation in a divorce filed by your spouse, having an experienced divorce advocate can help you navigate the process effectively. An experienced attorney can ensure that you are protected under divorce laws and can move on with your life.

Call the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to discuss your divorce case today. Attorney Sabra Sasson helps clients through the entire divorce process in New York to protect their interests. Contact the Sabra Law Group for representation in your New York divorce case.

Why Divorce Mediation is a Better Option Than Litigation

Manhattan Divorce Mediation Lawyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When contemplating divorce, many people envision themselves enduring contentious courtroom proceedings. While some portions of the divorce process do take place in the courtroom, this does not have to be true for all of the proceedings.

Divorce mediation is a more amicable and creative method for settling disputes in a marriage dissolution, and it has numerous benefits when compared to litigating every issue in the split.

For instance, mediation gives the divorcing couple more control over the proceedings and the outcome of the divorce. Rather than having important decisions dictated by a judge, the couple can work together, with an impartial mediator, to resolve even the thorniest questions in their divorce.

Moreover, the collaborative process of mediation may help the couple to improve their communication skills. Since they may need to continue to work together for some years after their divorce is finalized, this improvement may smooth the way for future interactions. Having learned that they can talk to each other and reach mutually beneficial decisions in a more harmonious and less contentious way, the couple may use the newly acquired communication skills for years to come.

When children are involved, mediation is nearly always a desirable alternative to litigation. Divorce is most painful for kids no matter which method of divorce, so it's in your children’s best interest to resolve the dissolution quickly, amicably and with as little disruption to their lives as possible. Plus, knowing that their parents can work together sets a wonderful example for children and their future relationships.

It's also worth noting that mediation tends to be less expensive than litigation. Filing numerous motions, making court appearances and dealing with all related issues in a contentious battle can mean that legal bills quickly climb. Since divorce mediation helps to avoid the filing of some motions and making court appearances, costs are kept to a minimum.

More couples also are choosing mediation because the proceedings are private. Motions that are filed with the court may become a matter of public record. However, the mediation sessions and the discussions that take place during them are utterly private. While some of the decisions made will result in court filings, the negotiation process and a great deal of sensitive information never needs to be revealed.

If you are interested in knowing more about how divorce mediation is a healthy alternative for every member of the family and how you can get a harmonious divorce, call the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971. The many years and extensive mediation experience makes these legal professionals well-suited to guide you through the process efficiently, painlessly and cost-effectively.

 

When Considering Divorce Do You Move Out of the Marital Home or Do You Stay?

Marital HomeWhen considering a divorce, it's possible that your situation makes it incredibly difficult to continue cohabitating in the marital home. This is especially true if the circumstances surrounding the split are acrimonious, but it may simply be that you're experiencing an undue amount of stress and would like to have some more space.

Does that mean that you should move? It may not make sense to do so in all situations, and it is never wise to make a major change, like moving out of the house, on the spur of the moment. Instead, it may make sense to consider how moving out of the marital home might affect divorce proceedings.

For instance, consider that moving out of the home may provide your soon-to-be ex-spouse with exclusive access to the property. He or she may be able to get an order that grants temporary exclusive possession of the home. This means that the other partner cannot return there. 

Consider that even if such a motion isn't granted, you'll probably have to leave some of your personal possessions at the residence. Do you trust your former spouse to provide proper care of these items? Additionally, do you trust your partner not to cause serious damage to the structure, thereby hurting the home's value on the market if it must be sold?

It's also worth considering whether or not moving out of the marital home might affect your custody rights. Leaving your children in the home with the other partner indicates to the court that you consider that individual to be a fit parent. Accordingly, your spouse now has de facto custody of the minor children. If you have any concerns about your partner's ability to be an effective parent, then it is rarely advisable to risk moving out of the family home before custody issues are decided. 

If domestic violence has played any role in your relationship with your former partner, then it is always wise to seek somewhere else to live. However, in all other situations, it is almost always recommended to remain in the home until settlement of the divorce.

If you are considering a divorce and are wondering whether or not you should move out of the family home, contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971. With a focus on mediating the toughest marriage dissolution questions, legal professionals are prepared to help you make a wise and informed decision.

 

Why Divorce Can Be a Win-Win for Both Parties

DIvorce can be a win-winDivorce has a reputation for being an acrimonious and litigious process. Fortunately, it doesn't have to be that way. With mediation in New York, divorce can be a win-win.

That may be difficult to believe. Anger, sadness, and confusion can make a divorce feel like a never-ending battle. If both of the parties can shift their focus to an outcome that is positive for everyone involved, then they may discover that their thought processes become more rational. Instead of becoming mired in the turmoil of the present, they begin to see a future in which both former partners and their children are flourishing.

Deciding to litigate a divorce frequently leads to increased rancor. Unfortunately, many people believe that the courtroom is the only place to decide issues like spousal support, child support, and child custody. Divorce can be a win-win when couples choose mediation in New York instead.

Mediation is a collaborative process that has spouses working together to resolve issues in a constructive manner. This makes the process far less emotionally draining on the former partners and their children.

A trained mediator listens to the viewpoints of both parties on each issue. And the mediator helps the parties to hear and understand each side’s perspective and facilitates a conversation so that they can reach decisions on each of the issues that are acceptable to everyone. It is rewarding and helpful for the family to feel that they have a voice and that they are being heard. The mediation process even lets each partner actively participate in making decisions. This is a vast improvement over having a judge dictate decisions with which neither party may agree.

Through the mediation process, divorcing couples may learn more effective communication techniques that will serve them in the coming years, particularly if a relationship must be maintained for the sake of any shared children. It's valuable to know that even at an emotionally difficult time it is possible to work together to find common-sense solutions. 

Just as importantly, divorce resolutions can be reached in far less time than litigation requires. This makes it possible for everyone to begin focusing on their new lives much sooner, and that's a win-win for the whole family as it allows for faster healing.

If you would like to learn more about how divorce can be a win-win with mediation in New York, contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971. A collaborative process will put your family on the path to healing.