Family Law

Do Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in New York?

Do Grandparents Have Visitation RightsThe relationship between grandparents and grandchildren can be incredibly important and rewarding. Unfortunately, many grandparents are barred from seeing their grandchildren by circumstances outside of their control. Though working through those family issues on your own is the preferred course of action, there may come a time when you wish to get the courts involved. Before doing so, it's vital that you know whether or not grandparents actually have any sort of rights to visiting their grandchildren in New York.

When Could Grandparents Have Visitation Rights in New York?

It's important to realize that while grandparents do have visitation rights in New York, those rights don't extend to everyone. In fact, there are only three times when visitation rights are granted by the court: when one or both parents die, when the grandparents already have a relationship with the grandchildren, or when the parents have substantially interfered with the grandparents' ability to form a relationship. Only biological and adoptive grandparents are considered for this type of visitation; great-grandparents and other relatives don't have the same rights.

Parental Preference and Visitation

Though visitation rights are automatic when one or both parents die, things become more complicated when the parents don't wish to have the grandparents visit. As with most issues involving children in New York, the grandparents have to show that their visits are in the best interest of the child.

There are a number of factors that can come into play when making this determination. Everything from the age of the children to any pre-existing relationships that you might have had with children. One of the biggest factors that will come into play is your current relationship with the parents. While grandparents do have important rights in the state of New York, those rights rarely supersede those of the parents. It is, however, a path that may be worth pursuing for those who truly wish to maintain a relationship with their grandchildren.

If you are currently being prevented from visiting your grandchildren, you may be able to get a court order to do so. Though it's not possible in every situation, it is something that you might want to pursue. If your difficulty with family matters have reached the point of needing to involve a third party, it may be time for you to contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971 to get the help that you need.

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Protect Your Business Financially During a Divorce

protect your business financially

Are you a business owner who is considering divorce amongst the pandemic?  If so, you are not alone, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a lot of stress and upheaval.   Whether that stress has been financial, emotional, or caused by other extenuating factors, it has definitely contributed to the rising divorce statistics.

 

When there are children, real estate, and businesses involved in a divorce, it definitely makes the divorce process more complex. 

 

By being more knowledgeable, it can give you the upper hand. It is best to speak to legal and financial professionals who can provide guidance based on your state’s regulations.

 

The first aspect to consider is that your spouse’s attorney may request financial documents related to the business as well as an explanation of what type of business you own and how it is structured.

 

It is best for you to continue focusing on your business and perhaps appoint your accountant or a business appraiser as the designated person who will compile all the necessary documents and information.

 

Furthermore, the best way to approach this is to be upfront and honest and not hold anything back.  The more upfront you are from the beginning, the smoother the entire process will go.

 

It is also important to consider that depending on the complexity of your business; your spouse’s attorney may not understand the business; which can complicate matters if not handled strategically.  The best way to handle this is to set up a meeting with both side’s attorneys, both spouses, and a financial expert.   This meeting will help provide more clarity to your legal team so they can provide the best guidance.  

 

What Happens When Both Spouses Own the Business Together?

 

For the most part, it is unlikely that both parties would remain a part of the business after the divorce.  A more realistic scenario may be that one party may end up buying the other party out or giving up the business with their soon to be ex-spouse and start a separate new business (whether solo or with additional business partners). 

 

The business partner that usually ends up staying in the business or buying the other partner out is the one that was the most involved in the business (this can equate to more hours spent, more investment spent, more contributions made, etc.).  

 

If you need assistance with how to protect your business financially during a divorce, contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

There is a Way to Have a Simpler Divorce in New York

simpler divorce in New YorkHow long does it take to get divorced? If you follow celebrity gossip, then you may have the impression that getting divorced requires months, if not years, of legal wrangling.

At the end of the process, both parties are physically, emotionally, and financially exhausted.

Unfortunately, it's not only celebrities who get stuck in a seemingly endless and painful divorce process. It also happens to ordinary families.

This is always sad because it is possible to get a simpler divorce in New York. In fact, an easier divorce process is available to anyone, and it can be achieved through mediation.

It isn't necessary to be rich or perfect to take advantage of mediation. All that's needed is the right mindset.

This means focusing on the things that really matter. For you, that may be the well-being of your children or your own personal health. Perhaps you're choosing to turn your thoughts to a brighter future in a new city or with a new career or by furthering your education.

Whatever your priorities are, it's worthwhile to focus on these healthy, hopeful things rather than looking back at the past and staying mired in the disagreements and arguments of yesterday.

This gives you all of the incentive that you need to enter mediation with the right mindset. When your focus is on your family's well-being and the future, you'll find that you're more willing to compromise, negotiate, and get creative when it comes to settling your divorce.

Accordingly, you'll be less likely to insist on litigation or asking a judge to decide important, private matters on your behalf. This is the key to having a simpler divorce in New York. You will not only forego numerous court dates, each of which may be scheduled months apart but also have a personal hand in critical decisions relating to child custody and support as well as the division of assets.

Moreover, mediation is the far less expensive way to approach divorce. With fewer court dates, fewer court filings, and less time spent with an attorney, more of your family's assets will remain intact so that you can use them to improve your future.

With all of these positive things to recommend it, why wouldn't you choose to mediate your divorce?

If you would like to learn more about how to get a simpler divorce in New York, contact the Sabra Law Group at 646-472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

Why Keeping Your Divorce Out of Court Can Save You Time and Money 

Out of Court Too frequently, people assume that the only way to complete divorce proceedings is in court. They envision numerous court dates in which all the details of their divorce are argued over and decided.

This perception may prevail in divorces that are relatively amicable and in those that are filled with animosity. However, court proceedings don't have to be the order of the day when a couple is looking to go their separate ways.

Mediation is a much more cost-effective and efficient manner to end a marriage. Contrary to popular belief, it's not necessary to have a judge make critical decisions for your family. You and your former partner have the power to make these decisions, and that tends to lead to better solutions for the entire family.

Through mediation, it's possible to negotiate all facets of your divorce. This even includes the hot-button issues like child custody, child support and alimony. The division of property and assets also can be decided out of court without a judge ever having to make a decree.

When you and your former partner agree to mediate instead of litigate, you are potentially saving yourselves tens of thousands of dollars. This is not only because legal services in courtroom divorce proceedings are expensive but also because court filings and court dates cost money as well.

Moreover, when you litigate a divorce, many of the proceedings happen on the court's schedule. It's probably not surprising to hear that court dockets are pretty crowded, and that judges sometimes take vacations. All of this means that it could be months or even a year or two before the court can get around to hearing your divorce.

It's also worth noting that one court appearance may not be enough to settle the issues in your divorce. This means that you'll have to schedule a later court date. How many months down the road will that be?

When you resolve to keep your divorce out of court, you are making a decision that's healthy and financially responsible for the whole family. Mediation may enable your divorce to be settled within just a few weeks or months and at far less expense than court proceedings. The outcome is that you get to move forward with your new life sooner.

If you want to save time and money by keeping your divorce out of court, then contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Reasons Why a Toxic Marriage is More Harmful to Your Children Than Divorce

toxic marriageIs it better for your children for you to stay in a toxic marriage instead of getting a divorce? Research suggests that it nearly always is the most sensible for unhappy parents to go their separate ways.

Let's take a closer look at why staying in a toxic marriage usually is more harmful to your children than getting a divorce.

1. It can damage self-esteem

Most children are highly intuitive, and they pick up on negative emotions. Low self-esteem and feelings of unworthiness are common characteristics of children who grow up in high-conflict environments.

Divorce can give kids a happier home life, which helps them build healthy self-esteem.

2. They believe that all relationships are dysfunctional

Children model the behavior that they see in their parents. When they observe their parents constantly being unhappy, they grow up believing that this is what relationships are like. It's not unusual for these children to become depressed and pessimistic about the chances that they will find happiness with a romantic partner.

3. You're not as available for your child

Dealing with an unhappy relationship takes time and energy. You're fighting with your partner or spending time stewing or being distracted. When you're mired in a cycle of fights and depression, then you're not as present and available for your children as you would be if you were happier.

Living in a one-parent home will make you a better parent.

4. Kids may look for unhealthy ways to numb their emotions

Children and teens are developing the coping skills that will help them to deal with adverse circumstances as adults. With your help, they can develop coping strategies that are healthful, productive and effective.

However, children whose parents are trapped in an unhealthy marriage are more likely to develop habits to help them numb their emotions. These habits could be things like overeating, getting in fights, spending too much screen-time online and losing interest in school.

5. Kids may be uncomfortable in their own homes

Children thrive on structure and predictability. How can they cope when their parents are frequently at odds? When they don't know what to expect, they are incapable of relaxing in their home.

Are you dealing with a toxic marriage? If so, then it's time to consider your options by consulting with a legal professional at the Sabra Law Group. Call attorney Sabra Sasson today at (646) 472-7971 to learn more or click here to schedule a complimentary Discovery Session.

 

 

 

What You Should Know If You Are Considering Marriage During COVID-19 

Marriage During COVID-19The arrival of the Coronavirus has meant that many of life's events are being cancelled, postponed or reimagined. That is certainly the case where weddings are concerned. 

Plans for lavish nuptials with hundreds of guests are on hold. While some couples are hoping to carry through with their plans when social distancing is at an end, others are appling online to get a marriage license – and are getting married virtually in New York. 

Which of the many available options is right for you? Only you and your partner can decide that, but if you give it some thought, you may begin to see the COVID-19 delay as something of a blessing in disguise.

That's because you now have an opportunity to go over all of your wedding plans again. You can make adjustments to that big ceremony that you'll be having as soon as you're able or you may have discovered that your heart's really not into having an over-the-top ceremony.

Even more critical than planning your wedding is planning your marriage. Accordingly, you might choose to reflect on marriage during COVID-19. This provides you and your partner with an opportunity to talk about whether or not you want kids, and when you might want to start a family. Another important topic might include your family's financial future. Will you be combining bank accounts or keeping everything separate?

As you are formulating plans for the future, it makes sense to ask your partner about whether or not it makes sense to have a prenuptial agreement. These agreements are not just for wealthy couples who each bring considerable assets to their union. Frequently, prenups are drawn up for ordinary couples who want to take a loving and proactive approach in the event that their marriage doesn't succeed.

Prenuptial agreements can cover a variety of topics, including ensuring that each of you remains responsible for the debt that you bring to the marriage or that you'll be able to keep your grandmother's Tiffany lamp no matter what. Considerations for children from previous relationships, retirement accounts and real estate also may be included so that every aspect of your financial and personal lives receives the attention that it deserves.

If you are considering marriage during COVID-19 and would like to have a prenup drafted, then contact the Sabra Law Group at (646) 472-7971.