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 Importance of Taking Care of Your Health During and After Divorce

Health After DivorceEveryone knows that divorce can be one of the most stressful life events that one can go through.  Because the stress of divorce can take a toll on your mental and physical health; it is important to have a plan in place to ensure that your health is not sacrificed during a divorce.


3 Ways to Guard Your Health During and After a Divorce


Once you really dive into the details of what is involved in getting a divorce, it can leave you feeling tired and emotionally drained.   Just the thought of having to deal with child custody, finances, and living arrangements is enough to trigger anxiety in many people. 


One of the best things you can focus on and do have control over is your diet and nutrition.  It is best to be mindful of what you are putting in your body during and after divorce.  Even though the easier option is to eat fast food rather than cook healthy meals; acknowledge that your body will pay the price for eating badly.   Today, there are many options for healthy eating such as meal plans, meals that literally cook themselves in an instant pot, meal prepping, or making smoothies at home with fresh fruits and vegetables.  Whether you have time to cook or not, there are many options out there depending on your unique needs.   It might even be beneficial to consult a dietitian who can help you plan out high energy meals. 


The second thing that you can do is to focus on building up your self-confidence by focusing on your health goals.  For some people, that may mean getting back in the gym 3-4 times a week, for others, it may be taking a yoga or meditation class, and perhaps even a dance class. Exercise and meditation are an incremental part of a healthy lifestyle and keeping your energy levels up and your stress levels down. 


The third thing that you can do is to set new habits.  Since divorce will force you to make changes in your day to day life; it also makes sense to use this opportunity to set new healthy habits for yourself.  This means that you need to take time out for yourself (or make time for yourself).  It means you have to determine what activities make you happy or make you feel energized and then make time to do those things.  Whether that means you want to take a cooking class, dance class or join a sports club, do something that you are excited about.


If you are currently in the process of divorce and need legal assistance, contact the Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.



3 Reasons Why People Are Scared to Get Divorced and Put it Off

DivorcedDivorce attorneys frequently discover that their clients have remained in bad marriages, sometimes for decades, because they fear the dissolution of the union. This fear may have its roots in many causes, but there are three that seem to surface most often.

However, a well-drafted prenup is one of the best ways to allay many of the fears that are associated with getting divorced.

1. Fear of Reputational Damage

In some circles, divorce remains taboo. Some people stay in a miserable marriage because they don't want to admit that they may have made a mistake. They see the ending of their relationship as proof that they are fallible.

These people are concerned about how others may perceive the dissolution. While some are worried about the kids, others are more concerned with their parents, siblings or other family members. Still, others think that their clergyman, boss or employees are ready to criticize or gloat over their personal problems.

The reality is that divorce is common. With a prenup in place, it's possible to dissolve a marriage with dignity, decorum, tact and a minimum of fuss. The mature resolution of one of your most intimate relationships may improve your reputation in the eyes of others, and you'll certainly appreciate how much better you feel about yourself.

2. Fear of Losing Money and Assets

Many states follow a rule that says that all marital property must be divided equitably or equally between the parties in a divorce. This may seem fair, but the idea of walking away from your marriage at half your marital worth feels unfathomable to one spouse, or they fear that their former partner will get what they see as an unfair portion.

A prenuptial agreement solves such problems before they arise by laying out a fair division of income and assets. With a prenup, there's no need to wrangle over money.

3. Fear of Losing the Family Home

Couples put enormous time, money and effort into their homes. Neither one wants to walk away empty-handed in a divorce, and they could spend months fighting over who gets the home or how the proceeds of a sale should be divided. However, couples who agree to a prenup before tying the knot don't have to worry because they have already decided who gets the house or how the proceeds of the sale will be shared.

If you're considering getting divorced (whether you have a prenup in place or not), contact Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971 to schedule your complimentary Discovery Call.

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.


Learning How to Love After Divorce

Love After Divorce Divorce is among the most stressful life changes. It's easy to see why. A divorce can mean uprooting or shifting everything you know about your life. Naturally, you'll find yourself thinking that nothing will ever be the same.

This may be true, but it isn't necessarily a bad thing. While divorce marks an ending, it also marks a new beginning. Part of that new beginning may mean finding love after divorce.

If you're recently divorced or are in the process, then contemplating falling in love again may seem impossible. More than one divorcing or recently divorced person has sworn "never again" and believed it.

However, the reality is that most people do give love another shot. They do it because they realize that they've changed and because they recognize that not everyone out there is exactly like their ex.

How do they get to that point? It may be that they follow these tips for learning to love after divorce.

Take Your Time

There's no set timeline for getting over one relationship and moving on to the next. Some people immediately hop into a new romance while other people need months or years before feeling ready. The amount of time that passes from the end of one relationship until the beginning of the next doesn't really matter.

What does matter is that you are genuinely over your ex and everything entailed by that relationship before devoting yourself to someone new. You owe it to yourself and your new love to be wholly available and ready to move forward.

Protect Yourself Emotionally

Try not to jump into a new relationship too quickly. Take things slowly, and let them develop naturally. You don't have to be in a hurry. You're much more likely to find a deep, meaningful connection when you resist getting too emotionally involved too fast. Keep things casual and fun as you test the dating waters.

Protect Yourself Financially

If you have found love again and are ready to dive into a commitment, then it's worth considering the financial ramifications. Chances are good that you have more assets now than you did the first time you tied the knot. If your new spouse-to-be ends up being more financially irresponsible than you'd like, it's wise to protect yourself financially.

A prenuptial agreement is a great way to accomplish this. Contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971 to learn more.

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.

Why Divorce Doesn’t Have to Be a Financial Disaster

Financial DisasterMany pressing concerns arise when divorce is on the horizon. Children are the primary focus, but it is nearly as vital to concentrate on financial concerns. The more stable and predictable your economic security is, the better able you'll be to take care of yourself and your children.

Regardless of whether your divorce is acrimonious or not, it's important to give early consideration to financial matters. This typically involves opening personal banking accounts that are in your name only. Accordingly, your former spouse won't have access to any funds in these accounts. It is advisable to inform your spouse about the new banking accounts simply so that you cannot be accused of hiding money.

If you and your spouse have joint credit accounts, now is an excellent time to close them. You can always decide how to divide any outstanding debts through divorce mediation.

Additionally, if there are joint investment accounts, you might consider withdrawing half the money, reserving the other half for your spouse. Other couples decide to require the signature of both parties on any transactions dealing with an investment account. This ensures that no one has an opportunity to hide funds.

Many divorcing couples further decide to get their own post office boxes as they go through the divorce process. In the event of an acrimonious divorce, it's not unusual for one spouse to hide correspondence from the other. The result could be missed bill payments and other money-related chaos.

The best way to prevent money from complicating a divorce is to sign a thoughtful prenuptial agreement before tying the knot. These contracts can be highly customized to reflect your family's unique circumstances. They may address who is responsible for student loan debt and who gets your grandmother's antique clock if the marriage doesn't last.

A prenuptial agreement may include provisions for the support of a non-working spouse in the event of a divorce. This may include alimony payments and other considerations that are left to the discretion of the couple.

Each family's situation is unique. A well-written prenup takes this into account. In fact, it may be the primary means of protecting your money, and it can be revised to reflect your changing economic status.

If you are ready to learn more about how you can protect yourself from a financial standpoint in the event of a divorce, contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.