Best Practices for a COVID Divorce in New York 

divorce during pandemicThere is never a good time for a divorce but trying to divorce in the middle of a worldwide pandemic can present a variety of other challenges to this already difficult procedure. Indeed, a "COVID Divorce," as it has become known, creates numerous special considerations. If you need to get a divorce during this tumultuous time period, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

First, courts are delayed. Thanks to the months where courts could not be in session, there is a huge backlog. If you actually need to appear before a judge, this may mean that your divorce will take longer than usual to finalize as the court’s calendars are quite long and backlogged. So getting time before a judge may take longer. This delay may put additional pressure on you to work out some sort of resolution through mediation and ensure that any legal work necessary can occur via teleconference, and not in an actual courtroom.

There is also no doubt that COVID will have an impact on the final arrangements of your divorce. It may alter child custody, moving dates, and more. Keep in mind that there will also be a variety of ancillary impacts in areas that you may not have thought about. For example, if you are selling your home, depending upon where it is located you may be able to sell it faster and at a higher price if people are fleeing other areas to your area where your house it.  However, if you are in an area where people are fleeing from given the impact that COVID has had on the housing market, you may find yourself reducing the price to get it sold. Another consideration is where and whether you will be able to purchase a new home or find a place to rent at an affordable price.  In New York, there are areas where prices are still quite competitive while there are areas that are already beginning to see a recovery in its real estate market and the prices are rebounding. 

Additionally, keep in mind that COVID is believed to be an instigator for divorces, as people are forced to spend more time together in stressful situations. This will likely also add to the legal backlog facing many courtrooms and could further delay your ability to get divorced as quickly as possible. It also may mean that you have to look harder to find an attorney who is experienced and available to assist when you need it, as many of them are busier than ever. This, of course, can create real challenges for you. 

If you need a divorce, you need to make sure you have an experienced New Your Divorce Attorney in the business working to protect you. The Sabra Law Group is experienced at handling divorce and divorce mediation – even if it’s a COVID divorce. Visit our website or call us today at 646-472-7971 for a confidential consultation.  








How to Handle Post-Divorce Child Custody Conflicts During the Pandemic

Post-Divorce Child CustodyThe COVID-19 pandemic has changed virtually every aspect of life. It should come as no surprise, then, that those changes have extended to post-divorce child custody. While the agreements made by former spouses during the divorce process were almost certainly made with the best interests of the child in mind, the truth is that the pandemic has no respect for such agreements. As such, there are a few basic steps that should be taken to ensure a safe and effective custody arrangement during these trying times.

While difficult, the first thing to do is to be realistic about how the pandemic is going to impact your custody arrangements. A parent being quarantined may cause one party to lose his or her visitation time, so an alternate arrangement should be found if possible. Likewise, changes in the availability of travel or childcare will have to be looked at to determine how the child's routine will be changed. These changes will be quick and often difficult, but it will be up to the parents to ensure that they are navigated as smoothly as possible.

If communication between the parents is possible. it is often a good idea to make a parenting plan for COVID-19. This will include both the steps that both parents will take to keep the children safe as well as basic steps that can be taken when unusual circumstances occur. Referring to this agreement can help the parents to better adapt without having to hash out the argument every time the situation changes.

With this said, there will be times when disagreements occur, and steps may need to be taken in order to keep the children safe. While in-person mediation is unlikely to occur in many areas, mediation through teleconferencing can be an effective way to allow both parents to have their say while still allowing a third party to mediate the situation. In those situations when a compromise is impossible, it may be necessary to go to court in order to have the custody arrangement temporarily changed in order to better navigate the new reality of COVID-19.

There is no easy way to co-parent during COVID-19 but there are steps that you can take to simplify the process. Try to be realistic about the situation and make whatever compromises you can, but make sure that you're willing to work to ensure that your child is kept as safe as possible. If you are dealing with a post-divorce child custody issue, make sure to contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to get the help you need.












What Are the Financial Implications of Divorce During the Pandemic? 

divorce during pandemicIt should come as no surprise that divorce can radically change an individual's lifestyle. It not only has a huge impact on how one's personal life will unfold going forward, but it also has a major financial impact on both parties. In these uncertain times, though, divorce can make finances seem even more uncertain than ever before. In fact, the financial implications of divorce during the pandemic have made divorce a far more complex topic than it was even a year ago.

The money that individuals bring in plays a big role in the divorce process. An individual's income is used to determine what, if any, kind of support he or she might pay towards the other partner when the divorce is finalized. With so many people losing their jobs during the early stages of the outbreak and many others having drastically reduced income, those choosing to get divorced during this time may face even more challenges.

What's even more difficult to deal with is how this situation has impacted business owners. Business valuation can be tricky to determine at even the best of times, but the pandemic has driven down values in ways that few can predict. Even worse, the necessity of taking out loans from various government agencies has drastically altered what balance sheets look like, making it harder for courts to figure out what the real value of a business is when deciding on issues like splitting assets. 

These are all high-level issues that don't even get to one of the most important financial issues, which is dealing with the uncertainty of the future for many. Some individuals are experiencing temporary financial lulls, while others might find that there is no financial normal to which they will be able to return. Asking the courts to make decisions about what one's future earnings will look like seems almost impossible when the individuals themselves cannot honestly say that they know what their earnings potential will look like in the short-term. 

Determining the financial implications of divorce at this time is more difficult than ever, with the lights at the end of the tunnel still seeming dim. This does not mean that divorces have stopped, though, nor does it mean that the issues that lead to them have been made any easier. If you are dealing with any issues pertaining to divorce and need advice, make sure to contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to get the help that you deserve.






Why Many Married Couples Put off Divorce During the Holidays but Are Now Moving Forward with Filing

filing for divorce January is traditionally known as “Divorce Month” because there is an increase in divorce filings and inquiries. People wait until January because they do not want to break the news of divorce to their spouse during the holidays.  When there are children involved, it makes it exceptionally hard to split during the holidays because you will have to break the news of divorce to your children. 

Many married couples may have actually decided that they wanted to get divorced before the holidays, but they just decided to wait until January to start the divorce process. 

One of the main reasons that married couples put off divorce is due to the financial implications of divorce.  Expenses are generally higher during the holidays.  

It is also important to have a plan for how you are going to sustain yourself financially if you were to separate or get divorced from your spouse. 

Some important financial considerations are: 

•    Where will you live?  How much will it cost you? 
•    Do you have any savings apart from your joint account with your spouse?
•    What are your total monthly expenses?
•    Are you currently working right now, or do you need to find a job in order to split from your spouse?
•    How will the financial obligations for the children be handled?  Who will pay for what? 

It is also important to note that couples who have been dealing with a lot of financial stress due to pandemic related struggles such as unemployment, and slow business has caused many marriages to crumble.  

The combination of quarantine and being isolated from friends and family has contributed to magnifying existing issues in a marriage. 

Another reason why many married couples may have put off divorce is out of the concern and well-being of their children; however, when the marriage becomes more and more of a burden, it may be time to plan an exit strategy. 

Even young children can sense when something is off with their parents…no matter how much your spouse irritates you, it is best to keep your cool in front of your children and save those heated discussions for when your children are not present. 

Are You Ready to Move Forward with Filing for Divorce?

If you are ready to move forward with filing for divorce or need some guidance regarding divorce and family law matters, contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971. 






Understand the Difference Between a Default Judgment of Divorce vs. a No-Fault Divorce 

no-fault divorceDivorce requires more than an agreement to end a marriage. It requires a number of legal steps to complete, after determining that you have jurisdiction to file in New York, then deciding exactly how you want the divorce to occur. For many in New York, this comes down to choosing between fault grounds for divorce or no-fault grounds for divorce. 

Fault Based Grounds for Divorce

If one elects to file for divorce based upon one of the fault based grounds for divorce, they must establish the spousal misconduct that lead to the breakup.  Examples of the fault grounds for divorce in New York include: adultery, cruel and inhuman treatment, abandomment, confinement in prison for at least three years.  While one can still use one of these grounds for an uncontested divorce, it may provide an opportunity to dredge up old emotional wounds that led to the divorce and thereby turn what could be a harmonious resolution to your divorce into a litigated one.  

No-Fault Grounds for Divorce 

A divorce based on a no-fault filing requires only one party to claim that their marriage has been "irrevocably broken" for at least six months and that they wish to divorce. 

In either filing, based upon fault or no-fault, the remaining divorce issues need to be resolved before a judge can grant the divorce.  Both parties can agree and sign a settlement agreement settling the divorce issues, or they can proceed to litigate the divorce in court.  

The divorce issues are: equitable distribution, spousal support, child support, child custody and decision-making.

Default Judgment of Divorce

So, what is a default judgment of divorce?  

A default judgment of divorce in New York does not constitute a statement that there is no fault, nor is it exactly the same thing as a judgment of divorce in a no-fault divorce. Instead, it is the end result of a process by which an individual files for divorce and his or her spouse does not respond in any way. 

This type of divorce judgment is more common than one might think.  Once one of the involved parties files for divorce, he or she must then file an Affidavit of Service showing that the other party was properly contacted and informed of the divorce. If the other party chooses not to respond, the party that did file can then choose to make a motion seeking to have the judge to grant a default judgment of divorce.

However, it should be noted that judges may delay the proceedings toward a default judgment because it can easily be “overturned” by the non-answering spouse at a later date.  The preference is to have both sides be “heard” and then grant the divorce.    

It's always good to know exactly what you need out of any type of legal proceeding. If you are in the midst of a divorce, you need the right representation to show you your options. If you need help with any matters concerning divorce, make sure to contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971. 





If My Spouse Cheated on Me, Can I Get More Money Out of My Divorce?

Spouse CheatedAdultery is one of the primary reasons that marriages end, and according to current information, one spouse cheating on the other is an influence in 15-50% of all divorces. This is a huge number, and it begs a very important question: If there is cheating in a marriage, can you get more money in a divorce?

The answer? Maybe, but it's complicated. It depends on your state. In some states, adultery can prevent a person from collecting alimony. However, that depends on the state and on the proof you have, as mere allegations of adultery do not count. If you think that your spouse cheated on you, you must be able to provide some level of evidence supporting the allegation. Again, the specifics vary, so you'll have to check with your divorce lawyer in order to determine what proof you need in order to make the claim that your spouse cheated on you and have that claim admitted into law.  Either way, seeking to prove and establish this in court takes time and costs a lot in legal fees and other expenses. 

Furthermore, it is important to recognize that the definition of infidelity may vary. A deep emotional relationship may count in some states, a kiss on the lips in others, and a more intense physical encounter in others. This is not a small distinction, as you may need to take additional measures, such as hiring a private detective, in order to prove the adultery and thus save yourself money in a divorce settlement. 

It is also worth noting that an unfaithful husband or wife can wind up losing property. For example, if the cheating partner has expended a significant sum of money on the third party, or paramour, it is possible that a Judge may award a more favorable settlement to the wronged party. This would be to compensate for the financial losses incurred by the cheated spouse. 

Last, it is possible that someone who cheated may wind up losing leverage in a divorce settlement. In the vast majority of cases, divorces are settled before they go to Court. However, a spouse who has cheated may feel guilt, the fear of public embarrassment, or the threat of a less than favorable ruling by an unsympathetic judge. As a result, they may be more inclined to make a favorable settlement to the wronged party. 

If your marriage is coming to an end, Sabra Law Group can help make sure your interests are protected and that you get the settlement you deserve.  Call us at (646) 472-7971 for a confidential consultation.







Learn What Factors Determine Spousal Maintenance in New York 

Spousal MaintenanceSome people confuse spousal support, spousal maintenance and alimony.  In New York, these terms are used interchangeably and refer to a payment that is made by one spouse to the other during or after divorce.  In 2010, New York passed a statute requiring a formula to be applied to determine “temporary maintenance”; i.e. spousal support that is paid during the pendency of a divorce action.  There is also a formula for determining “permanent maintenance” which is support one spouse continues to pay to the other after a divorce has been finalized. In addition to the application of the appropriate statutory formula, courts will apply various factors in reaching its determination. Are you wondering what factors determine spousal maintenance in New York? 

Spousal Maintenance in New York is Determined by Applying and Evaluating the Following Factors: 

(a)    the age and health of the parties; 
(b)    the present or future earning capacity of the parties, including a history of limited participation in the workforce; 
(c)    the need of one party to incur education or training expenses; 
(d)    the termination of a child support award during the pendency of the temporary maintenance award when the calculation of temporary maintenance was based upon child support being awarded and which resulted in a maintenance award lower than it would have been had child support not been awarded; 
(e)    the wasteful dissipation of marital property, including transfers or encumbrances made in contemplation of a matrimonial action without fair consideration; 
(f)    the existence and duration of a pre-marital joint household or a predivorce separate household; 
(g)    acts by one party against another that have inhibited or continue to inhibit a party's earning capacity or ability to obtain meaningful employment. Such acts include but are not limited to acts of domestic violence as provided in section four hundred fifty-nine-a of the social services law; 
(h)    the availability and cost of medical insurance for the parties; 
(i)    the care of children or stepchildren, disabled adult children or stepchildren, elderly parents or in-laws provided during the marriage that inhibits a party's earning capacity; 
(j)    the tax consequences to each party; 
(k)    the standard of living of the parties established during the marriage; 
(l)    the reduced or lost earning capacity of the payee as a result of having forgone or delayed education, training, employment or career opportunities during the marriage; and 
(m)    any other factor which the court shall expressly find to be just and proper. 


If you have questions about what factors determine spousal maintenance in New York, or are considering a divorce, contact Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971 to assist you with all of your family law matters. 







Is it Possible to Save Your Marriage During the COVID-19 Pandemic?

save your marriageAre you wondering if you can save your marriage during the COVID-19 Pandemic?  If so, you are not alone, thousands of people are struggling with their marriage amidst the pandemic.  There are many factors that can go into play when it comes to staying in a marriage or getting out. 


One of the most important factors to consider is if your marriage was rocky prior to the pandemic or did it become rocky during the pandemic?  Asking yourself this question will help you determine if your marriage was already on the rocks due to underlying reasons or if it was the stress of quarantine and pandemic life that has pushed your marriage to the breaking point.


You Can Try to Save Your Marriage During the COVID-19 Pandemic with These Tips:


  1. Have a reality check with yourself:  this means you need to determine if you are seeing things clearly and objectively or are you seeing things through cloudy lens.  It takes two people to make a marriage work; and it also requires you to do the work to save your marriage.   By becoming more cognizant of your old patterns and how you react to your spouse, you can recognize “bad habits” and use this time to create more trust and connection with your spouse instead of “fault finding” your spouse. 
  2. Take a break from your spouse to see what it would really feel like to be separated/divorced:  sometimes it’s important to take a break from your spouse to see how you really feel about them.   If you have a family member or friend that you can stay with for a few days or weeks, it may be the best way to get away and evaluate your marriage, and how you really feel about your spouse.  For some couples, “distance will make the heart grow fonder” and they will realize that they do still love each other and that giving their marriage another shot is worthwhile.  Unfortunately, for other couples; there may come a realization that they are happier being alone than in an unhappy or tumultuous marriage.
  3. Communication is key:  it is best not to assume anything at a time when emotions are running high and stress is impacting how couples are interacting with each other.  If your partner has suddenly become closed off or distant; it may make sense to sit down and have a heart to heart conversation.  You can do this by being open, kind and curious in order to get your spouse to feel comfortable opening up.


If you have tried everything to save your marriage during the COVID-19 Pandemic but have been unsuccessful, it may be time to consult an experienced Manhattan divorce attorney who can guide you on the divorce process during the COVID-19 Pandemic.  Call Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971 to schedule a confidential consultation.








How to Have a Healthy and Harmonious Divorce

harmonious divorceThe first step to having a healthy and harmonious divorce is to determine if you are ready for divorce.  Being ready for divorce involves being emotionally ready as well as preparedness.

When you are making the decision to divorce, it should be based on more than a one-off incident.  Getting divorced is a major life decision and it should be treated with caution and consideration. 


Below is a 5 Step Process You Can Follow to Have a Smooth Divorce


  1. Consult a knowledgeable New York Divorce Attorney to determine what your rights are as well as your obligations.  A family law attorney can guide you on how to best handle divorcing when children or assets are involved.
  2. Change your passwords:  it is essential to protect your privacy during this time and the best way to do this is to change your passwords to make sure your spouse doesn’t have access to your email, social media, individual bank or investment accounts, phone records, credit card bills, or voicemail.  It is also important to be cognizant of video cameras at home that are normally used for home security purposes but can also be used to eavesdrop on your conversations if you are not careful. If you don’t have the privacy you need at home and are unable to go to your office because of the pandemic; opt for sitting in your car to have that private conversation with your best friend or attorney.
  3. Start gathering important documents:  gathering the necessary documents will make the whole divorce process go smoother and faster.  You should start gathering your tax returns, bank account and retirement statements, credit card statements, and insurance policies.  Additionally, if you have any joint real estate ventures, you should gather that information as well.
  4. Be the better person:  handle matters in a dignified and graceful manner.  Divorce can instill anger and resentment, however; it is important to keep your composure and remember that how you act or react will also impact your children for years to come.  Stay calm and choose your words and actions carefully. 
  5. Team up to be there for your children:  if you have children, your children will have questions and concerns about the divorce.  It is important to be there for your children as a team; both parents should be present in-person when breaking the news of divorce to children.  Once you have collectively had a conversation with your children, then work on creating a parenting plan that has the best interest of your children. 


Even if you have only started on this list, contact an attorney who has your and your family’s best interests in mind and to ensure that when the details are worked out, that the proper paperwork can be prepared and filed properly.  An attorney at Sabra Law Group, PLLC will help you get started right away. We can be reached at (646) 472-7971.
















How to Cope with the Mental Anguish of Divorce

Mental anguish of divorceDivorce is never easy, even when you know that it's the right thing for you. You may be plagued by feelings of doubt and remorse. Perhaps you'll even experience moments where you wonder if getting divorced is a mistake.

The mental anguish of divorce may seem endless, but with coping strategies, you can begin to change your perspective. The first step is acknowledging that you're going to experience a huge range of emotions throughout the process. While these emotions can be intense, they also are normal. Similarly, your feelings are not permanent. They will change, and this is ok too. Venturing into unknown territory always involves discomfort.

Another way to cope with the mental anguish of divorce is to use good self-care practices. Spend some time reflecting on what makes you feel better in this difficult time. Do you like to soak in a hot bath? Sit back with a cup of tea? Play basketball with your kids? Take a long hike in the wilderness? Whether you want to spend time with supportive friends and family or take a few hours for yourself, it's important to regularly engage in activities that are all about taking care of yourself.

It also makes sense to avoid fighting with your soon-to-be-former spouse as much as possible. Productive discussions and negotiations are fine, but as soon as the interaction veers into the territory of an argument, it's time to disengage. Fighting is almost always counterproductive at this point.

In the interests of taking care of yourself and avoiding fights, another way to improve your mental outlook is by choosing to mediate your divorce rather than litigating. Mediation is less confrontational and far more collaborative. Rather than fighting over every small decision, mediation gives you and your family a chance to heal and make helpful, healthy choices.

Additionally, mediation tends to resolve issues and the divorce process far more quickly than litigation does. The upshot is that your family is able to move forward more efficiently. This may go a long way toward soothing your mental anguish so that you can develop a more hopeful outlook.

If you are looking for help coping with the mental anguish of divorce, then contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971. These legal professionals will guide you through the mediation process so that you can move on with your life.