Divorce

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.

 

Tips for How to Handle Asset Division During a Divorce

Asset DivisionIn addition to being an emotional minefield, divorce presents a myriad of other challenges. One of the largest of these is asset division.

It's a question that is at the heart of many of the bitterest disagreements during dissolution proceedings. One of the reasons for the difficulties surrounding this issue is New York's system of equitable distribution.

Under this system, the court fairly divides the marital property. This doesn't mean that each partner will get 50 percent of the assets. Instead, the judge will work toward an equitable outcome by taking several factors under consideration.

These factors include the length of the marriage, the age, and health of each spouse and the income and property owned by each spouse at the time of marriage and at the time of separation.

Other factors include the need of a parent with custody to continue living in the family home and whether or not spousal maintenance will be awarded. Additionally, the judge weighs the loss of health insurance, pensions and inheritance rights that both spouses may suffer.

Judges further have the power to consider whether or not a spouse has an equitable claim on marital property to which he or she does not have the title. In other words, if the non-owner spouse spent money, time and effort on the property, then they may be legally able to claim some portion of that asset in a divorce.

Asset division can be genuinely complicated, and it's easy to see why it also tends to be contentious. Nobody wants to give up any portion of an asset that they believe they rightfully "own."

This is yet another argument in favor of entering into a fair prenuptial agreement before saying "I do." Such an agreement ensures that the interests of both spouses are protected in the event that things don't go as planned.

This means that the spouses are able to specify how assets will be divided during a potential separation. A prenuptial agreement thereby eliminates much of the fighting that too often accompanies the dissolution of a marriage.

Prenuptial agreements can be helpful financial planning tools that protect both partners and encourage them to discuss the more practical side of their relationship. It's an opportunity to learn more about each other and what their partner values most.

If you have any questions about asset division in your divorce, contact the attorneys at the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971.

 

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.

 

Tips for Telling Elementary School-Age Children About a Divorce

Telling Elementary School Age Children About a DivorceNothing about getting a divorce is easy. One of the most painful parts of the process is breaking the news to your children, who will probably have a difficult time understanding the adult concerns that led to your decision.

When children are in elementary school, approximately between the ages of six and 11, they are more sophisticated than younger kids when it comes to recognizing and talking about feelings. Still, they're not likely to grasp the reasons behind their parents' split. 

This is why it's critical to make time for children to ask questions. They are figuring out why the divorce is happening. Younger children may equate the situation with a particular fight over a small event. Always listen to questions when they arise, and take the time to answer to the best of your abilities. You may not have all the answers, but that's ok. 

When you tell your children about getting a divorce, try to present a united front. This means that both parents should be present to meet the perhaps unpredictable reactions from the children. Getting the whole family together prevents sending conflicting messages so that everyone is on the same page. 

While you do want to be honest, it's just as crucial not to give away intimate details. These complex, adult concerns are beyond their understanding, and they may foster later resentment if they are shared. Keep things on a forthright level but refrain from trying to argue your "side" of things or casting the other parent in a negative light.

Make certain that the kids are told that they did not cause the situation. This statement may need to be made several times and over an extended period of time. At the same time, provide constant reassurance that both parents love the children and have every expectation of spending plenty of quality time with them.

Let your kids know what your immediate plans are. Is one of the parents moving out of the family home? When will that parent be seeing the kids? Answers to questions such as these help children to conceptualize how things will work in the coming weeks.

 

You may want to purchase books that are available to help you start the conversation and introduce this change to the children.  You can find many age-appropriate books on Amazon and other places where books are sold.

If you are getting a divorce, contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971. With an emphasis on mediation to resolve even the most complex issues, Sabra's legal team makes it possible to achieve a resolution in less time and with far less acrimony.
 

 

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.

 

How to Tell Your Teenager That You Are Getting Divorced

How to Break News of Getting a Divorce to Your TeenagerGetting divorced is an undeniably stressful time in your life, but it is even more stressful and complicated when children are involved. Even if you have older children or teenagers, the impact of a divorce can be a serious strain on their development if not handled properly and proactively by their parents. 

 

Presenting a Unified Message

First and foremost, it is critical that you and your ex are on the same page about the message you will share with your children. This includes the timing of letting them know. It is best not to spring this type of news immediately before major changes, such as a parent moving out of the house, are about to happen. Allow time and space for your child to process these developments. 

Also, be clear with your ex about which details you will share with your teenager regarding the reason for the divorce. It is vital to convey to your children that they are not the cause of your divorce, but you should avoid sharing intimate details with them. To the extent possible, do not say anything negative about your ex because this will only make co-parenting more difficult and will encourage your child to act out. 

 

Prepare Your Resources in Advance

Do not be surprised if your child needs therapy to cope with you getting divorced. Do your research in advance to find a local, qualified therapist to work with your teenager. Additionally, be ready to share with your teenager as many of the details as possible about the logistics of the divorce and what this means for your child's life going forward. It is only natural that your child will be anxious to know how this situation will immediately affect their life. If you are able to keep your child in the same school, sports, and other activities, this will provide some continuity and stability throughout a scary and complex process. 

 

Contact the Sabra Law Group for Divorce Mediation in New York

Call the Sabra Law Group right away at 646-472-7971 to schedule an appointment for divorce mediation in New York or schedule a complimentary Discovery Session here. The sooner you call to get started with the divorce mediation process, the closer you are to having clarity and stability for your finances, emotional future, and family. 

 

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.

 

5 Parenting Tips for Divorced Parents You Need to Know

Parenting Tips for Divorced ParentsThe dissolution of a marriage is a difficult transition. For couples with children, the complications seem to never end as they meet the challenges of co-parenting. However, these challenges may be diminished with these parenting tips for divorced parents.

1. Build a New Relationship with Your Ex

It may be helpful to view your relationship with your ex-partner as a new, separate one. The co-parenting relationship isn't about you and your partner; it's about your children. This may make it easier to let go of old resentments.

2. Put the Kids' Interests First

Parents that continue to fight after a divorce create a stressful environment. Making an effort to put rancor behind helps children to move forward. Always remember that the well-being of your kids is more important than any disagreements you have with your ex-partner. 

3. Be Consistent with Consequences

Too many parents who are splitting up let consequences for poor behavior slide. However, forgoing consequences condones misbehavior and encourages worse behavior. Stick to reasonable consequences, and talk with your children about healthier ways to express their feelings.

4. Stay Hopeful

Your family is going through changes. While some of these may be painful, others may be positive. No matter how bleak things may seem, there's room for hope. Your optimism is a wonderful thing to model for your children. It demonstrates your resilience in challenging situations, and that's a quality that will serve them well in their lives too. 

5. Tame Your Emotions

Whenever you are angry or annoyed with your ex-partner, your first instinct may be to fly off the handle and go on the attack. However, this is rarely an effective coping mechanism. Keep a running list of grievances instead, and periodically review them. Most may seem trifling after just a few days. The ones that are of greater concern can be discussed reasonably and without damaging the co-parenting relationship.

If you want to learn more parenting tips for divorced parents, contact Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971. These legal professionals also can help you find an amicable resolution to your divorce proceedings. Contact a legal professional today at 646-472-7971 or set up a free phone consult using our scheduling link here