Joint Custody

Can You Keep Your Ex-Spouse’s New Partner Away from Your Children? 

ChildrenWhether your divorce is finalized or not, it can be painful to hear that your former spouse has re-entered the dating pool. 

This may be especially troubling if you learn that your ex-spouse's new partner is frequently around your child or is actually babysitting during the former spouse's parenting time.

You'll probably be experiencing a mixture of emotions like hurt, anger and discomfort. After all, you may wonder what impact your ex-spouse's new partner may have on your child or simply feel uncomfortable with the idea that a stranger is helping to raise your child.

All of these feelings and concerns are valid and natural. However, in most cases the law says that is perfectly acceptable for a new partner to be around your kids. How is this possible?

It's because of the parenting time that your ex-spouse has been granted by law. If a parent is deemed competent by the courts to raise a child, this includes their ability to decide about whether or not it's appropriate to have a new boyfriend or girlfriend around the kids. 

While you may not be happy that your ex-spouse is moving on and you may dislike that the new partner is around your kids, it's best to proceed with caution. Judges in New York generally prefer to allow kids to have contact with both parents unless one of them is putting the child in danger. If you try to prevent your kid from spending time with your former spouse and their new partner, then your actions may be construed as interfering in the relationship between the parent and child.

However, if you suspect that your child is being abused or neglected while in the care of the other parent, including while in the care of the new partner, then you have every right to seek legal recourse. This includes situations in which the new partner has issues with drugs or alcohol, is impaired by a mental health issue or is violent or abusive.

If you believe that your former spouse's boyfriend or girlfriend is harming, abusing or neglecting your child, then it is wise to immediately consult with a family law attorney. The courts will protect children who are in abusive and neglectful situations, even if it means limiting or terminating the parent-child relationship. 

If you have concerns about your ex-spouse's new partner, then contact the Sabra Law Group today at 646-472-7971.





What You Need to Know About Effective Co-Parenting After Divorce

co-parenting after divorce Even though divorce may end the legal bond between you and your former spouse, you are still tethered forever if you have children together.    


If you do have children, the most important consideration should be regarding their well-being and what is best for them. For many parents, co-parenting does not come naturally, nor is it easy to navigate this new territory.  Co-parenting after divorce will come a lot easier if you follow the steps below.


Follow These Steps for Effective Co-Parenting with Your Ex


  1. Show Some Flexibility When Necessary:  Yes, there may be specific custody arrangements in place when it comes to who gets the children and when, however, know when to be flexible.  There may be a time when your spouse has to be out of town on business unexpectedly or makes a request to switch the schedule for other reasons; be understanding and show some flexibility instead of being rigid. It is also important to be mindful and respectful of the schedule and to honor the pickup and drop off times.


  1. Do Not Talk Bad About Your Ex-Spouse to Your Children: For those who do this, find that it only backfires on them.  Your children are likely to tell the other parent and it will only create unnecessary friction.  Furthermore, you are putting your children in the middle of your battles; which is not healthy for anyone.


  1. Don’t Fight or Argue in Front of Your Children: Of course, there may be times when you and your ex don’t see eye to eye on something or end up having an argument; however, make sure that your children are not privy to listen in on these type of conversations. One way to do this is to acknowledge the matter that will require further discussion and set up a time when your children are not within earshot to have that conversation. 


  1. Foster Open Communication with Your Children: Create an environment that makes it easy for your children to share their thoughts, worries, and emotions.  Make it clear to your children that they can tell you if they are not comfortable with the other parent or if the parent is somehow mistreating them. When your children know that you are willing to listen to them and they will not get in trouble for what they disclose, it will make it easier for them to open up.


If you are in the process of going through a divorce and need help with formulating an effective parenting plan or any other matters related to family law, contact Sabra Divorce Law today at (646) 472-7971.

Handling Holiday Child Custody Arrangements in Manhattan

With the holidays quickly approaching, there are so many things to handle.  One of the most important things to handle is child custody arrangements for the holidays. 

Below are some tips on handling child custody arrangements in Manhattan

  1. Plan ahead:  never wait until the last minute to sort out child custody arrangements with your ex.  The sooner you start planning, the better.   Hopefully, you already have a written schedule of custody for your children throughout the year.  However, for some reason, if you don’t, the first step should be to agree on a schedule for child custody. 
  2. Take your children’s wishes into consideration: If your children are old enough to be in middle school or high school, they may have some excursions in mind.  Ask your children if there is something specific they would enjoy doing during the winter break.  This will help you plan accordingly when it comes to custody.  Your child may have a friend’s birthday party they want to attend and you book a family vacation without consulting them; they will not be happy. 
  3. Don’t micro-manage what your ex does when he/she is with your children.  If you are too busy constantly nagging your ex, you will be missing quality time with your children.  It is hard to tell your ex who to bring around or not when your children are over, so choose your battles wisely. 
  4. Be more concerned with making your own winter plans, rather than be obsessed about what your ex is doing.  Your ex may have an extravagant trip planned with his/her significant other.  If you show jealously or try to interfere with their plans, it will only create more conflict.  The holidays are stressful enough without creating unnecessary conflict.  Spend your time focusing on your plans and what you can do with the children to have a memorable holiday season.  Create your own experiences and memories that are just as fabulous as your ex’s activities. 
  5. When you do have to see your ex, be polite and respectful.   Even if your ex can frustrate you, don’t let it be seen.  The more you show your frustration, the more your ex will irritate you.  Set the example and be the kind of person that you would want exemplify for your children.  It is essential to remember that your children may be in the background, listening to your conversations. 

If you need to alter your child custody arrangements in Manhattan, call Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.  And we can help you with creating or altering parenting plans.  Give us a call today.


How to Determine if a Parenting Plan in New York Can Be Changed

While there may be many complicated issues to work out in a divorce, the one thing that most couples can agree on is that they both want what is best for the children.

In order to ensure the welfare of the children, it is imperative to have a parenting plan that has been carefully orchestrated.  When drafting a parenting plan, it is important to consider the long-term and not just the short-term. 

Once a Parenting Plan is Finalized with the Divorce Decree Can It Be Changed?

The parenting plan can only be changed under certain circumstances; for example: both parents can agree to modify an existing parenting plan whenever they choose to do so.

One of the simplest ways to modify an existing parenting plan is for both parents to agree on modifying the plan.  If you feel that the current parenting plan does not meet the best needs of the children or is lacking certain factors, consider having an open and honest conversation with your spouse to see if you can come to an agreement on the suggested modifications.  Once you can both agree on the modifications, the process is quite simple:

  1. Draft a new parenting plan
  2. Both parties need to sign the new plan
  3. Then it has to go to the court for their signoff
  4. Once the court signs off on the new plan, it becomes official

Can a Parenting Plan Be Changed to Reflect a New Schedule or Changes in Schedule?

Yes, a parenting plan can be changed due to schedule conflicts.  Whether the schedule conflict has to do with one parent’s new job or a child transferring schools, it may require a change to the parenting plan that once was a good fit but now no longer serves its purpose. 

If the Changes to a Parenting Plan Are Significant, There Must Be Valid Reasons

Changes cannot be made to a parenting plan just because one parent decides that they want changes.  There must be good, valid reasons that directly impact the children’s best interests. 

Need to Make Changes to an Existing Parenting Plan, Consult a Mediation Attorney

If you need to make changes to an existing parenting plan and need some guidance, it is best to consult a knowledgeable mediation attorney who can guide you along the way.  Contact Sabra Law Group today for a confidential consultation at (646) 472-7971.

Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer Explains Drafting an Effective Parenting Plan

Parenting during and after a divorce can be a challenge even in the best of circumstances. What makes a parenting plan so beneficial in these situations is that you and your ex-spouse get to set the parameters of the plan without allowing the court to impose its own constraints. This means that you have greater control over your parenting decisions.

There will necessarily be compromise involved in drafting an effective parenting plan. The more that both sides can agree to some flexibility in terms of scheduling and daily arrangements, the less time and money you will spend ironing out small details. The most important aspects of the plan to decide on are the health, educational and well-being decisions on behalf of your child. Setting clear guidelines as to how the parents will communicate and act with respect to major decisions in the child's upbringing makes for a much easier transition for all parties involved.

An effective parenting plan will also include some contingency planning. This means setting some guidelines for what will happen in the event of an emergency and how parents will contact each other if something happens to the child. Having a plan in place ahead of time can hedge off any miscommunications and misunderstanding about how emergencies will be handled. These are some of the most important things for the parents to agree upon at the outset.

Other topics of consideration include:

  • Vacations
  • Holidays
  • Birthdays
  • Extracurricular activities
  • Passport and birth certificate
  • Relocation
  • Higher Education
  • Overnight guests

Contact an Experienced Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer Today

To learn more about what an effective parenting plan could look like in your situation, call (646) 472-7971 and schedule an appointment for your mediation in New York. Sabra Law Group is ready to assist with all of your divorce and child custody mediation needs in New York. Find out why so many couples are turning to this convenient and cost-effective method of navigating divorce and legal parenting issues through divorce mediation in New York.

How to Develop a Parenting Plan in New York That Works

If you are going through a divorce in New York and have children, it is important to develop a comprehensive parenting plan so that the parenting of the children is clearly outlined.

There are two parts to an effective parenting plan; part 1 involves establishing custody and visitation and part 2 involves everyday schedule and routine activities of the children.

Part I. Establishing Custody

  1. Determine what the normal schedule will be:the first step in this process is to figure out who the child will live with and how often the other parent will get to spend time with and visit with the child (also referred to as parenting time).There are a couple of different scenarios that can occur:joint custody or sole custody.
  2. Create a plan for how to deal with holidays and vacations:determine which holidays will be spent with which parent.It is also important to determine a plan for travel and vacations.Will one parent allow the other to take the child out of the country for summer vacation? If one parent gets to see the child on the weekends, will that parent make an exception for Father’s Day weekend and let the child spend the weekend with his/her dad?
  3. Allow for special circumstances:there may be instances in which the child may be sick and it may be best for the child to remain at home and not be sent to the other parent.For example, the child may want to attend a friend’s birthday party that is closer to one parent than the other so it would make more sense for the child to remain with the parent closest to the party.
  4. Set guidelines for who you trust around your child or not:the first concern should be the safety and welfare of your child, so it may be best to outline who you allow your child to be around and who you do not.
  5. Determine how the child will be transported from one parent to the next:will the child be dropped off or will the non-custodial parent be picking up the child?

Need Help Developing a Parenting Plan in New York That Works?

Contact the Sabra Law Group for a confidential consultation on developing an effective parenting plan at (646) 472-7971.  You can also check out Part II. In our next blog that will cover establishing everyday activities and normal schedule of a parenting plan.

How to Handle a Custody Battle Over Your Pet in New York

The new custody battle is one over pet custody; if it wasn’t hard enough determining custody or a custody arrangement for a child, now more and more pet owners are finding themselves in a predicament of a pet custody battle.


Although animals are considered property in the eyes of the law at this time, some courts are beginning to recognize that one's relationship with their pet, whether it is a cat, dog, or bird etc., is very different from that of furniture, jewelry, or a car. 


Some Useful Tips On Preparing for Your Custody Battle


  1. If you are the one that purchased the animal from a breeder or animal shelter, make sure you have documentation that shows proof that the animal was adopted by you.
  2. In the event that you are not the one that originally purchased or adopted the animal, there is still hope for your case. Always save all receipts for veterinary care, licensing records, receipts for grooming, dog or pet training classes, food, or any other necessities for the animal. 
  3. If you are the one that walks the dog on a daily basis and is the primary caretaker, it is best to have some witnesses that can validate this claim.
  4. Be fair: it is important to be considerate of your spouse’s attachment to the pet, even if they are not the one that originally adopted or purchased the pet. Consider sharing custody of your pet with your spouse instead of shutting them out of the pet’s life. It is also less stressful for your pet and helps alleviate any abandonment issues.


Consider Mediation for Your Pet Custody Battle


Just as one would seek the legal counsel of a skilled mediator in a divorce, a mediator can also help you with your pet custody battle so it doesn’t end up going to court.  Once it goes to court, it is difficult to come to an amicable arrangement with your spouse – again, since most courts consider animals to be property. 


In a recent mediation in our office, a couple reached a resolution that enabled one spouse to maintain custody of the pet dog, and arrangements were worked out so that the other spouse would have regular visits with the pet dog. 


Contact a New York Divorce Mediation Attorney Today


If you would like to mediate the custody of your pet so that you can keep your pet in New York City, consult an experienced mediation attorney today by contacting the Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.



Who Gets the Dog in a Divorce in New York?

Divorce In New YorkEveryone is familiar with child custody but what happens to the family dog in a divorce?

In the past when couples got divorced, pets were viewed as property, but now with the increased rate of divorce and pets to deal with, pets have to be dealt with in terms of pet custody not asset division.

Below are some factors that the court will take into consideration when it comes to pet custody:

  • Who takes care of the dog’s daily necessities such as food, shelter, walks, exercise, grooming and supervision?
  • Who takes the pet to the veterinarian?
  • Who is responsible for the social interaction with the dog with other dogs, people and dog training?
  • Who is in a better financial position to support the pet?

Just as it is best to put the child’s interest first in a custody battle, it is also best to put the dog’s interest first in a pet custody battle.  

If one came into the relationship with the dog, then it makes more sense for that person to be given custody of the dog, unless, there are other circumstances that would be in the best interest of the dog.

If you and your spouse decide to share custody of your dog, make sure that you are not constantly disrupting the comfort of the dog by transporting him/her weekly; opt for a monthly arrangement to make it easier for your dog to adjust in a new home environment. 

It is also important to determine who will be responsible for pet related expenses such as food, clothing, visit to the vet, etc. The more pet parenting decisions that can be made in advance, the easier it will be when it comes time to determine who gets custody of the dog.

For assistance with working out a pet custody arrangement for your dog, contact the Sabra Law Group for more information on divorce mediation at (646) 472-7971. 

Manhattan Divorce Mediator Discusses Why Mediation Works for Couples with Children

The whole idea of divorce gets complicated with children. Custody of the children after divorce is one of the most sensitive issues in any divorce process. Deciding which of you will take custody of the child is invariably difficult, especially if a third person will have to make that decision for you.

Divorce Mediations Shield Children

In litigated divorce, arrangements for child custody will be decided by the court. Children, depending upon their age and maturity, may be involved with the process and may be required to be interviewed by the court. Too often, sensitive issues on their relationships with siblings, parents and relatives will have to be recollected. This is true when there is a history of child abuse and domestic violence. The process tends to be more painful for children.

In divorce mediations, parents decide the child custody for themselves. A Manhattan divorce mediation lawyer understands that only the parents know what is best for their children. He or she will guide you to make the right decisions compliant with Manhattan divorce and family laws. You can feel reassured and confident that the decisions that you make concerning your children are for their best interest when you work with a specialist familiar with similar situations that have determined what is optimal for the family.

A Manhattan divorce mediation lawyer will help you arrange for child support and the future education of your children, depending on the capacity of the spouses. All of these issues will be discussed privately and confidentially. You do not have to expose your children to the court process. We know that simply being in court is stressful for young children.

Divorce Mediations Allow Customized Parenting

Divorce mediations allow couples to select the terms of custody like visitation, education, health and support of their children. Couples make the decisions together that affect their child’s future.

You could choose either sole or joint legal custody. Sole legal custody allows one of the spouses to make major decisions for the child while joint legal custody allows both to make big decisions. Day to day decisions concerning the child however may be made by the spouse with whom the child resides.

In any case, visitation rights are awarded to the non-custodial parent. A Manhattan divorce mediation lawyer could advice you on the terms of visitation that will provide maximum quality time with the child. Divorce mediations allow you to customize how to go about parenting even after separation. Parents are given the hands-on say on how to plan their children’s future.

Schedule a Consultation with a Manhattan Divorce Mediator Today

Let a Manhattan divorce mediation specialist guide you how to have a hands-on parenting arrangement even after divorce. Contact Sabra Law Group today at (646) 472-7971.




Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer Discusses How Divorce Impacts a Child’s Life

Manhattan Child Custody LawyerNo matter what age a child is, divorce brings dramatic change to the child’s life.

When the child has to adjust between two different households, the absence of one parent while living with the other, it creates a challenging atmosphere in the household. 

Divorce tends to magnify the child’s dependence.  The child that once depended on stability and security is faced with transitioning back and forth between two households and subject to unfamiliar surroundings and happenings. 

Younger children fantasize of the day that their parents will get back together and reunite.  They rely on wishful thinking to deal with the pain associated with the loss of their parents living together. 

After the divorce or even during separation, some parents think it is healthy to celebrate special holidays with the child together, but this only delays the child’s adjustment process.  By giving a child even a glimpse of hope by seeing their parents together again; even if it is just for one day, only gives the child a false perception of reality.

In such an unstable environment, it is important to reassure your child that they will always be well taken care of, that they will always be loved, and that just because the parents are no longer living together, that does not mean that they will be left without the other parent. 

For the child’s sake, it is essential to create an environment that is predictable and provides a sense of security.  Both parents need to work hard to establish routine visitation as well as a familiar home environment so that the child knows what to expect and feel more secure in each household.  By establishing daily routines for the child, it allows the child to feel more in control of their life.  It also provides reassurance that both parents love the child just as much as they did when they were together and are committed to making the new living arrangements work.  

Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer Can Help with Setting Up Proper Visitation Schedules

To learn more about creating a child visitation schedule that provides stability for your child, contact Manhattan Child Custody Lawyer Sabra Sasson at (646) 472-7971.