Family Law

4 Dating Tips Following a Divorce

dating after divorce in Manhattan

Yes, you can bounce back into the dating world following a divorce, even a painful, heartbreaking divorce. In fact, you may even be a better partner as a result of it, from lessons learned. Here’s some tips to consider along the way. 

1. Ask yourself what lessons you learned. Analyze what went wrong in the marriage so you don’t repeat those mistakes. Likewise, look into the successes in the marriage and how you can replicate those. 

For instance, look at the love languages that exist: such as quality time, words of affirmation, acts of kindness, gift giving, and of course physical touch. Recall which of those was lacking and how you can do better next time, and what you prioritize in your partner. 

2. Decide when to date and what you’re looking for. How soon after your divorce should you date is another question. Some couples will even date before a divorce is finalized, but while they are living separately during the divorce process.  

You may justifiably need alone time to grieve and self-reflect and rejuvenate. Perhaps you take time to travel with a get-away vacation or stay-cation, or you take up meditation or a new hobby like yoga or pilates to help center yourself.   

You may also not want a serious relationship so soon, but rather a more casual fling type of relationship. But keep yourself open-minded to what’s out there. Ultimately, the goal is to find another partner or just yourself that makes you happy inside and adds to your life. 

3. Take advantage of all the amazing apps available nowadays. For instance, there’s popular ones such as Bumble, Hinge, Tinder, Match—there’s even a Facebook Dating app. There’s even segmented dating apps, for example faith-based ones such as J-Date for people seeking a Jewish partner and Christian Mingle for a Christian partner. 

They are pretty advanced too, and may allow you to filter by geography, age, sex, sexual orientation, race, religion, hobbies and interests, whether you’re interested in someone with or without kids; whether you want a serious or fun/playful relationship, your body type, and more.  

4. Consider getting a dating expert or seeing a relationship therapist for professional support. They have extensive experience counseling many people who can relate to your situation. Look at their reviews and seek referrals as well. You may require a quick tune-up session or multiple or on-going sessions. Do what works for you best, and if need be, test out multiple professionals before you find the best one. 

They can help with your self-esteem and confidence, and communication skills for instance. They can also help you see things from a different perspective. They can serve as a great outlet to share your thoughts and feelings.      

If you have a family law issue, contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at (646) 472-7971. The firm’s expertise is in all forms of family law, such as alimony, divorce, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, child custody battles, child support, domestic violence, and restraining orders. 

 

When would you need a forensic accountant in a divorce?

Generally speaking, a forensic accountant offers much more intense accounting and auditing than a traditional accountant, and is similar to a financial investigator.  

It’s often used in a divorce when the finances are complicated or one party feels another is trying to hide or undervalue assets or simply in a high-net-worth divorce. After all, there may be assets and liabilities that have been transferred and unknown within the marriage. So forensic accountants must dig deep into all of the financial concerns. 

For instance: they may investigate bank accounts, retirement accounts, pensions, 401ks, claims by insurance, records of home purchases, including any loan applications, tax filings, personal and business loans, credit reports, businesses records and related financial documents even if created in different states or countries that the spouse wasn’t aware of. 

Assets (and even debt) may be hidden altogether or simply undervalued. They may uncover money laundering, fraud, and more. Those assets are critical in helping to determine the proper equitable division of assets, child support, alimony, etc. 

Unfortunately, people can and do reveal false statements knowingly or unknowingly at times. However, a deliberate lie is considered perjury, which is illegal and can result in harsh consequences such as fines and worse. 

If foul play is suspected, your divorce attorney or judge may recommend you get a forensic accountant in such circumstances to ensure both parties are fairly compensated. This often will take place within the discovery process of a divorce, where parties are required to list their assets and liabilities. The forensic accountant may even be required to testify in court on behalf of one party, or as an independent neutral.  

Of course, there’s a cost associated with hiring such a highly trained professional. And this can range in the tens of thousands of dollars in all and hundreds of dollars per hour alone. Both parties or just one spouse may have to cover the cost of the forensic accountant. But their value may significantly outweigh the cost, based on the results of what’s found. 

To determine equitable distribution in a divorce, full financial transparency is required–which may require, in some circumstances, the use of a forensic accountant to analyze and verify the accuracy of the information. 

If you are going through a divorce and there are extensive assets at stake, contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at (646) 472-7971 to determine whether a forensic accountant is appropriate in your situation. The firm’s expertise is in all forms of family law, such as alimony, divorce, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, child custody battles, child support, domestic violence, and restraining orders. 

 

Sabra Law Group Interview with Therapist Amy Weber

In this latest “Ask the Experts” blog series with Sabra Law Group, the law firm interviews New York based experts in child and marriage therapy. This particular interview is with Amy Weber, a therapist out of Park Slope in Brooklyn. She has over 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families.  

What are some marriage and parenting trends you see for 2022? 

“I am seeing an increase in separating/divorcing couples this year.  While my evidence is anecdotal, it feels as if many couples delayed separation/divorce from 2020 – now.  I am also receiving a lot more calls about parents needing help getting onto the same page in terms of decisions surrounding their children (whether they're living together or in two households).  The past two years have been so stressful for parents and children, and this has obviously strained relationships.  All adults have different levels of comfort around risk (masks, vaccines, engaging in activities with friends/extended family, whether or not to stay in NYC, etc), and making decisions around safety have been difficult.  I think the next year or so is going to be all about strengthening relationships and learning new strategies for working together to make decisions for children.”

How should parents explain split custody and thus split time to their children after a divorce? 

“This is SUCH an important conversation!  Start with what is not changing – first and foremost, parents' love and commitment to their children.  When children receive this message clearly from both parents, they will feel loved and secure.  Let them know what else is not changing – schedules, schools, routines, friends, rules, etc.  Once the stage has been set for what will remain constant, you can let them know what will be different.  Children are most interested in the concrete information – where will they be living, when will they see each parent, where their toys will be.  It is important to give children information, but not overwhelm them with too many details (especially in an initial conversation).  Using visual schedules (like a calendar) may help children understand the new plan.”

“When you give children information that makes them feel uncomfortable (angry, sad, etc), they will generally try to wiggle out of the conversation as quickly as possible.  This is normal!  Do not try to force a conversation if your child is resisting.  Leave the door open for questions and processing.  Often, kids need time to think about what they've heard, and they'll revisit the discussion a few hours or days later.”

What parenting advice would you give to a newly single parent, recently divorced with the other parent no longer wanting a role in the child’s life? 

“Being a single parent is incredibly stressful, and I think it is really important to acknowledge that.  Taking care of your own physical and emotional health is critical.  If you are in good health, you will be a more attentive, available parent.  Build a support network, and find ways to take time for yourself – walks with a friend, listening to music, reading.  Showing affection (hugs, praise, spending time together) to your child is important as this decreases stress for both of you.  If your child is expressing anger/sadness/disappointment/frustration about their other parent, empathize with their pain, without bad-mouthing them.  This can feel really hard, but your child is not the person you can vent to.  Save your own fury for a friend or family member or your therapist or your journal.  Your child needs to have space to have their own feelings.”

What are some parenting tips for those unfortunately experiencing domestic violence?

“Everyone deserves a home that is safe and free from violence or the threat of violence.  The violence is never your fault.  But it is your responsibility to ensure your child's safety.  Witnessing domestic violence has tremendous short- and long-term impact on children's physical and emotional development.  Seek the assistance of a qualified domestic violence hotline to create a safety plan.

If you have a family law issue, contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at (646) 472-7971. The firm’s expertise is in all forms of family law, such as alimony, divorce, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, child custody battles, child support, domestic violence, and restraining orders. 

 

Sabra Law Group Interview with Psychologist Dr. Francyne Zeltser

In this latest “Ask the Experts” blog series with Sabra Law Group, the law firm interviews New York based experts in child and marriage therapy. This particular interview is with Dr. Francyne Zeltser. Clinical Director of Psychology at Manhattan Psychology Group, PC in New York City. She is a New York State Licensed Psychologist. She manages a team of Licensed Psychologists, Neuropsychologists and Psychotherapists who provide counseling to children, adolescents and adults. 

What are some tips for parents to help children acting out in a divorce? What are some reasons why children act out in a divorce? 

“Acting out is children's way of communicating their thoughts and feelings when they don't have the emotional vocabulary or insight to do so verbally. Some children are upset by the divorce, while others are confused, anxious or agitated. Heightened emotions often lead to dysregulation in children. If your children act out in response to divorce, try to be understanding and provide validation and support for how they are feeling. Children are less likely to demonstrate negative behavior when they feel supported and understood.”

When should a parent consider childhood therapy for your little one? 

“Therapy should be considered if the child is having a prolonged adverse reaction to the news of the divorce. It is normal for children to be upset or even to act out initially after learning of their parents' divorce. If the child continues to be distressed once the news settles and this distress starts to interfere with their daily functioning, it is helpful to seek professional support such as therapy for the children.”

Should parents break the news of their divorce together or separately to their children?

“Children, regardless of their ages, are more aware of their surroundings than adults tend to realize. Often children know or at least have an idea of what is happening with their parents before they are officially informed. The decision to break the news together or separately is dependent on the parents' ability to communicate calmly and effectively to their children in each other's presence. If breaking the news together is going to be stressful or hostile, parents are better off speaking to and supporting their children independently. Regardless of how the news is shared, it is important to revisit the topic so that children have the opportunity to ask questions and reflect on this big change.”

If you have a family law issue, contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at (646) 472-7971. The firm’s expertise is in all forms of family law, such as alimony, divorce, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, child custody battles, child support, domestic violence, and restraining orders. 

 

Sabra Law Group Interview with Child & Marriage Therapist Antonia Di Leo

In this latest “Ask the Experts” blog series with Sabra Law Group, the law firm
interviews New York based experts in child and marriage therapy. This particular
interview is with Antonia Di Leo, licensed marriage and family therapist and
clinical director at Cornell & Associates Marriage and Family Therapy in New
York City.

When should you consider marriage therapy/counseling?

“Marriage counseling or couple therapy could be beneficial prior to getting
married. We have many couples who engage in premarital counseling to work
through difficult topics that often come up during the marriage.”

How do you convince your partner to participate in marriage counseling?

“If your spouse is not comfortable with counseling, it might be helpful to suggest
books to read together, look through a few websites to get a feel for some
therapists and then possibly offer to have a call with a therapist to see if it's a
good fit. Alternatively, you can partake in individual counseling to work through
coping strategies in the marriage.”

What are some things you should and shouldn’t say in marriage therapy, if
there’s anything off the table?

“During therapy, it is best if the couple stays on task and does not blame or
criticize their partner in order to keep the conversation moving forward.”

If you have a family law issue, contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at
(646) 472-7971. The firm’s expertise is in all forms of family law, such as
alimony, divorce, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, child custody
battles, child support, domestic violence, and restraining orders.

Sabra Law Group Interview with Relationship Expert Vladimire Calixte

In this latest “Ask the Experts” blog series with Sabra Law Group, the law firm interviews New York based experts in child and marriage therapy. This particular interview is with Vladimire Calixte, Therapist, MA, CRC, LMHC, celebrity relationship therapist at Life Rebuilding in New York City. 

What are some ways parents going through a divorce can try to lessen their stress? 

“One of the most healthy ways parents going through a divorce can try to lessen their stress is to understand that with divorce comes grief. It's imperative to address the losses that come with going through a divorce. There's a saying: With change comes grief. Grieving is imperative as it allows everyone impacted by the divorce to process and to work through the ongoing and often multiple opposite emotions that arise. Grief allows parents to be radically honest about how they are feeling and why they are feeling this way. Finally, a vital practice when coping with loss and stress is to stock up on compassion. Although it's easier said than done, compassion for ourselves and others enables us to find ways to get through the most painful challenges.” 

What are some coping mechanisms for children suffering from the loss of a parent?

“Create an emotionally safe environment for children to be radically honest about what they are feeling through affirming, validating, and holding space. Children suffering from the loss of a parent need a safe way to work through very painful and often conflicting emotions.”

“Since our bodies keep score, we can help children navigate what they are feeling by inquiring about how their bodies are responding to the loss of a parent. A question like: Where in your body do you feel the sadness? What does it feel like?”

What are some things to look for when finding a great marriage or child therapist?

“I believe in the power of self-inquiry. As such, ask yourself the following:

1. Do you feel a genuine connection, which will allow you to feel safe to talk freely.

2. Cultural competence is a huge component. Additionally, does the marriage or child therapist show sensitivity toward your cultural background and values?

3. Does the therapeutic relationship feel like it is collaboratively? Are you in a partnership with your therapist?”

If you have a family law issue, contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at (646) 472-7971. The firm’s expertise is in all forms of family law, such as alimony, divorce, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, child custody battles, child support, domestic violence, and restraining orders. 

 

The Marriage rate has been decreasing. Surprised? Blame COVID?

Marriage During COVID-19

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), for data compiled for the United States: the marriage rate is 6.1 per 1,000 total population. And there are 2,015,603 marriages with 746,971 divorces (45 reporting States and D.C.). 

Overall, it’s been widely reported that roughly 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce or separation. What’s more, a second marriage increases the likelihood of divorce–at a whopping 60 percent, and 73% of all third marriages result in a divorce. 

In fact, the marriage rate has reportedly been consistently decreasing for many years. Couples have also reportedly been delaying marriage. More recently, COVID can be blamed for much of this…After all, the pandemic has caused extreme financial stress, family stress, and more for countless people across the world. Plus, it’s just more difficult to plan a marriage if you can’t do an in-person wedding or have all your guests attend. It’s just so uncertain in these times whether you’ll get sick or a family member as well. 

As reported in The Hill: “Since the start of the 21st century, the U.S. marriage rate has declined from more than eight marriages per 1,000 down to six marriages per 1,000 population in 2019. … In 2020, the proportion of households consisting of married couples fell to 49 percent.” People have also reportedly been delaying marriage too. 

So, why do married couples split anyways? According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the main reasons for divorce include incompatibility (43%), infidelity (28%), and money issues (22%). “Incompatible” similar to “irreconcilable differences” is a very broad umbrella that can account for a whole host of reasons, such as couples simple falling apart overtime or simply no longer getting along…there may not be a specific reason to pin-point either. It’s just not working anymore. 

“Infidelity” is more straightforward, yet often is difficult to prove. One party may have cheated on the other or both parties may have been unfaithful. While this may have no affect on the outcome of the divorce – giving you or your spouse more, or less, of the assets and/or spousal support – it is a basis for filing for divorce based upon “no fault” or “adultery”.

And “money issues” can run the gamut. A spouse may have been laid off at work and unable to find employment. The couple may have taken on too much debt, such as credit cards or car loans or a mortgage they can no longer afford or student loan debt. A risky business venture investment may have failed. Not to mention, many people come into a marriage already with thousands of dollars in debt. Or the wife may suddenly make a lot more money than the husband and no longer want to split everything. The couple may be suffering, as well, from medical debt from a unforeseen procedure. Plus, when you factor children into the mix, another mouth to feed and clothe and support, the financial strain only increases. Money isn’t the root of all evil, but it is indeed a big factor in many failed marriages. 

Nobody goes into a marriage thinking it will end in divorce. Rather, people in love believe they will defy the statistics.  Still, the numbers don’t lie—divorce is inevitable for many couples. 

But people are still falling in love and planning weddings and marriages, with that, getting divorced too. 

If you’re looking to tie-the-knot (or un-tie it), contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at (646) 472-7971. The firm’s expertise is in all forms of family law, such as alimony, divorce, prenuptial agreements, post-nuptial agreements, child custody battles, child support, domestic violence, and restraining orders. 

 

A Round-Up of Recent Celebrity Divorces

Are you aware of the recent big celebrity divorces? After all, divorce isn’t just for everyday folks. Those we idolize in the entertainment industry, famous politicians, actors, singers, reality stars, and uber-billionaires get divorced too. 

Indeed, it’s been reported that around 50 percent of all marriages will end in divorce or separation. Celebrities are people too, and under a lot of pressure and stress from everyday life  and more from being under the microscope.

Sometimes marriages last just months and other times years and even decades. Whether a spouse was cheating or just fell out of love or due to financial strain, marriages end for all sorts of reasons. But the fact of the matter is, divorce for many Americans is prevalent (including those we idolize). So it can be comforting knowing that you’re not the only one going through the process. 

Some notable recent celebrity divorces include the following: 

  • After over 10 years after famous journalist Maria Shriver sought to end her then-25-year marriage to Arnold Schwarzenegger, the once-governor of California and actor, a Los Angeles judge finally granted their divorce. 

  • The billionaire co-founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, divorced from hubby Melinda Gates after 27 years of marriage. However, the duo maintained that they’d continue working together on their philanthropist venture at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. 

  • After almost 24 years, rapper icon and music producer Dr. Dre finalized his divorce with a $100 million settlement to Nicole Young.  

  • The creator of the hit show ‘Gossip Girl’, Josh Schwartz, filed for divorce after 13 years of marriage. Schwartz is reportedly worth $70 million. 

  • Reality TV star Kim Kardashian West had asked to be “legally single” as a form of separation from her ex partner, singer Kanye West. The pair married in May 2014 and have four children together. 

The good news is there are qualified experts to assist you with any family law issue you have. You don’t have to suffer in silence if you’re unhappy. Protect your assets, ensure you're fairly compensated, get full or partial custody of your children, and more. Put simply, end the pain and suffering and move forward with your life. 

If you’re considering a divorce or a prenuptial agreement or have a child custody or child support issue or suffering from domestic violence, contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at (646) 472-7971. 

Did you know that Manhattan divorce rates are less than other states?

Divorced

Did you know that Manhattan divorce rates are less than other states? Yes, that’s right, according to the U.S. Census Bureau government statistics. New Yorkers, it turns out, despite having stressful high-intensity jobs, tend to get divorced less. In fact, the New York divorce rate is even less than the national rate. By comparison, other big states such as Texas, are dubbed as statistically higher rates of divorce. 

Still, New Yorkers do get divorced like in other states. Two high-profile Big Apple divorces included Bethany Frankel from “Real Housewives of New York City”, and actress Mary-Kate Olsen from “Full House.”    

Some common reasons why people get divorced include: financial problems, infidelity, physical and emotional abuse, simply losing attraction over time or falling out of love, constantly arguing and disagreements, poor communication, less physical intimacy, not spending enough quality time together, not being on the same page about kids, sudden addictions, and more. 

If you do end up getting a divorce or there may be the possibility to salvage the relationship "if only" there was a way to protect yourself financially, then it is critical that you choose a great family law attorney familiar with both divorce and prenuptial agreements in your area.

Find one that has both the skills and experience (and results) to service your needs. One with direct experience in the region you’re from and that you feel comfortable with. After all, family law can be very complicated and sensitive, and can have a huge lasting impact on your financial and family structure.  

Thinking about getting a divorce in New York City, Queens, Long Island, Brooklyn, or nearby? Contact the Sabra Law Group in Manhattan at (646) 472-7971. 

 

What Happens to My Rights of Access if I Have a Child with a Partner and We Are Unmarried?

In recent years, it has become increasingly common for unmarried couples to have children. This has presented a relatively new set of challenges when these couples decide to separate.

The good news is that unmarried parents have many of the same rights that married ones do in New York. For instance, it is possible under state law for unmarried parents to claim visitation, custody, and child support.

What Are Some Issues that Can Arise in Cases Where Partners Are Unmarried?

Nonetheless, other issues may arise in such cases that do not usually attend typical divorce cases. As an example, questions of paternity are more likely to arise in these cases than they are in more traditional divorce matters.

Another issue that is more likely to arise is rights of access. Simply because the relationship between the adults is ending, the responsibilities of parenthood do not cease. As the couple separates, it is necessary to create a sensible and realistic plan for continuing to raise the children, ideally with both parents in the picture.

A big part of this plan is custody. "Custody" refers to legal responsibility for caring for a child. Residency or physical custody relates to where the child lives while legal custody relates more to the power to make decisions with regard to factors like health care and education.

How Are Decisions Regarding Physical Custody Handled in New York?

The parents or the court may make decisions with regard to the child's "physical custody," or primary residence, with one of the parents. Consequently, the other parent likely will be granted "visitation" rights, also referred to as “parenting time.” These are effectively rights of access that ensure that a child and parent are able to spend adequate time together to foster a meaningful relationship.

Either of the parents may be granted physical custody, and the other parent is virtually always granted rights of access. Remember that the standard applied by the courts is in “the best interest of the child.” Typically, this means having quality access to both parents. Even if you and your partner were never married, this should not be an obstacle to you or your former partner receiving rights of access.
 

Who Determines Visitation?

The court determines whether or not visitation is in the child's best interest, but, if possible, it's wise to try to settle such matters out of court. Mediation is a sensible and less confrontational option that can settle questions of custody and rights of access.
 

Need Assistance with Your Rights of Access in New York?

If you would like to learn more about rights of access, contact the Sabra Law Group today by calling (646) 472-7971.