Brian D. Perskin & Associates

Rules for Living with Your Ex during Divorce

Living with Your Ex

Filing for divorce can be expensive, and many litigants don’t realize that they are responsible for more than just their legal fees. To help combat the financial blow, you can take steps to save money during divorce. An unusual, but increasingly common, way to keep costs low is living with your ex during divorce.

Living with your ex during divorce is unconventional, but it can save you thousands of dollars in rent, moving, and household expenses. Your children may have an easier time coping with the news of your divorce, as well.

Living with your ex during divorce is risky, so it is best to set ground rules to help ensure that this arrangement goes as smoothly as possible.  Breaking these rules can be devastating.

Rule 1: Develop a Plan for Divorce

You need to develop a plan before entering into this kind of arrangement. Sit down with your ex, and create a rough timeline for your divorce. When will you tell your children? Who should file for the divorce? When will one spouse move out? Setting small markers for your divorce will help keep your plan on track.

Rule 2: Establish a Routine and Be Civil

Contested divorce cases are full of conflict, and this can create a lot stress for your children. The best way to make living with your ex easier on them, is to establish a routine. For instance, you may handle morning responsibilities, while your ex takes care of the evening schedule. This system may even help you develop a co-parenting and custody arrangement later on.

When you cross paths with your ex, do your best to remain civil. Constantly arguing in front of your children is harmful, and can do long term damage.

Rule 3: Don’t Start Dating

You should avoid starting a new romantic relationship until one of you moves out. Dating someone new while living with your ex during divorce is a recipe for disaster. Avoid the awkwardness and drama by putting your love life on hold. Remember: you don’t always share a roof with your ex. This is not permanent.

Rule 4: Prepare for the Long Haul

You need to prepare for the long haul if you suspect you and your ex will live together for the duration of your divorce case. A good way to do this is to see a counselor with your ex. The counselor can help the two of you develop ways to address conflict and other coping techniques.

Creating individual safe spaces to help with grieving is another great way to prepare for living with your ex during divorce. You should also be open with your needs during this tough transitional time. Living with your ex is not easy, and the only way to handle this is to be open, honest, and prepared.

Get Help with Your Divorce

Divorce is one of the most difficult experiences you will face. Living with your ex during this time can make the situation much harder. Hiring an experienced New York City divorce attorney can help.

The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in divorce and child custody matters. Our team of attorneys have over 50 years of combined experience, and have successfully represented thousands of New Yorkers just like you.

For more information on divorce and family law, or to schedule your free consultation, call us at 718-875-7584 today!

Telling Your Children You’re Getting a Divorce

Telling Your Children

The only thing harder than deciding to file for divorce, is telling your children. In fact, doing so is one of the aspects of divorce that parents dread the most.

Luckily, the team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have drawn on their years of experience and put together the essential how to guide for telling your kids about divorce.

Plan and Prepare

Telling your children about your divorce is one of the most difficult conversations you will ever have. It is also one of the most important. It is crucial that you work with your ex to plan what you will say. Divorce is a traumatic time for children, and you can make it easier by remaining a united front.

Before sitting down with your kids, you and your ex need to agree on what you are going to tell your children. They will ask why you are divorcing, but you don’t have to discuss the intimate details. You and your ex can prepare for the talk by discussing living arrangements, visitation, and how the divorce will impact your children’s lives. Having answers for common questions will help put your children’s minds at ease.

Have Age Appropriate Conversations

How you approach telling your children about your divorce will make a difference in how they cope. A good rule of thumb is to tailor the conversation to their age. Younger children have harder time comprehending what a divorce means, whereas adolescents will have a better understanding.

When telling younger children about your divorce, use simple terms and concepts. Young kids can develop inaccurate ideas about divorce, so it is important to let them ask any questions they may have. Always stress that the divorce is not their fault, and the decision for Mom and Dad to live separately does not mean that they aren’t loved.

Adolescents and teens have a better understanding of their surroundings, and it is likely they have figured out that you are getting a divorce before you tell them. You can have a more open and honest talk with older kids, but keep in mind that they won’t let their fears show as easily as their younger siblings. Once again, it is important to stress that the divorce is not their fault, and that they are still loved.

Tips for Telling Your Children

The internet is full of dos and don’ts for telling your children about your divorce. Each discussion and experience will be different, but it is important to create a safe and calm environment. Set aside enough time to have a thorough discussion with your kids, and make sure you do it at home. Always encourage a dialogue, and be prepared to answer very painful questions. Your goal, as a parent, should be to make the divorce as easy as possible on your kids. This starts with how you tell them.

Never play the blame game during the talk, as it can lead to parental alienation later on down the road. Arguing with your spouse creates tension, and it does not help to foster a safe environment. Don’t be surprised if your child doesn’t have the type of reaction you thought they’d have. All kids process divorce news differently, and they may need time to process their emotions. Never, ever, force your child to pick sides during divorce.

An Attorney Makes Divorce Easier

Your divorce attorney cannot tell your children for you. They can, however, make the divorce process easier for you and your family. With their guidance and representation, you can focus your attention on your children and make sure that they are coping with the divorce. Your kids need to be your #1 priority during divorce, and the only way to do this is to hire a lawyer.

The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is one of New York City’s most experienced divorce powerhouses. The dedicated attorneys have represented thousands of New Yorkers, successfully advocating on their behalf both in, and out, of the court room.

For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!

Modifying Child Custody Orders in New York

Child custody modifications

Child custody is one of the most important components of divorce. Your child custody agreement will determine if your child will live with you, or if you can make decisions on their behalf.

It is likely that your child custody order will need to be changed as time goes on. What are some of the most common reasons parents seek a child custody modification? What will a Judge consider while making their decision?

Significant Change in Circumstance

There are many reasons why you can petition the court for a modification of child custody. A few of the most cited reasons for a modification include:

  • Relocation after divorce
  • Changes to either parent’s lifestyle (finances, health, etc.)
  • Allegations of child abuse or neglect
  • The desires of the child

You must prove that there has been a significant change in circumstance, regardless of why you want to modify your Order.  For instance, a new job in another state, access to critical health care, or unsafe living conditions all constitute a significant change in circumstance.

Best Interest of the Child

Contrary to popular belief, the courts do not favor mothers over fathers in child custody proceedings. The same rings true for modification requests. A Judge must rule in the child’s best interest when deciding if they should grant a request to modify a child custody order.

Some of the factors that help determine the child’s best interest are:

  • Which parent has been the primary caregiver
  • The parenting skills of each parent, their ability to provide for the child, and their lifestyle
  • The child’s relationship with siblings and extended family members
  • Whether there is a history of domestic violence

Each child custody modification case is different, and no two rulings will be alike. These best interest factors are merely a guide for Judges. Discuss your case with an attorney prior to filing your petition.

The Modification Process

You must file a Petition for Modification in order to start a new child custody case. Your petition will be denied if you fail to provide enough evidence that a significant change of circumstance has occurred.

The Court will issue a Summons with Petition for Modification when your request is granted. As with any other legal action, you need to have the other parent served with the Summons. Your Summons will have a court date listed, and you and your ex will need to appear in front of a Judge.

During your modification trial, a Judge will hear testimony and review evidence. After which, they will decide whether or not to grant your request.  The Judge will issue a new child custody order if your Petition is approved. Keep in mind: your current visitation and child support agreements might change if your custody order is modified.

New York’s Child Custody Attorneys

Child custody modification cases are very complicated. You do not want to file your petition without speaking to an attorney first. You are taking the first steps when you hire an experienced family law attorney.

The team of lawyers Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have represented thousands of New Yorkers in sensitive divorce and family law matters. For more information on child custody modifications, contact the firm at 718-875-7584 today!

Divorce During the School Year: Q&A

Divorce during the School Year

Back to school season can be tough for families of divorce. There can be a lot of uncertainty surrounding custody, support, and co-parenting during the school year. Things can become even more complicated if your divorce case is just beginning.

What are the most common questions divorced parents have regarding the school year?

Will my custody agreement change?

Your custody agreement may change, depending on what schedule you and your ex currently follow. For instance, it may be best to modify your agreement for the duration of the school year. This way, your child doesn’t have to split their time between households during the week. Visitation can occur on the weekend, or on weeknights.

How do extracurricular activities affect visitation?

There is a good chance that extracurricular activities will affect your visitation schedule. Sports games, debates, and school plays are often held on the weekend. This means that the non-custodial parent’s visitation schedule will be interrupted. While this is not an ideal situation, attending extracurricular activities allows for you to perfect your co-parenting skills!

Who pays for additional academic expenses?

Additional academic expenses should be addressed in your support or custody agreement. Typically, the custodial parent will bear the brunt of additional costs. However, the non-custodial parent will often agree to pay a share of extra expenses. It’s best to review your agreement prior to petitioning the court for a modification.

Do we need to tell the school?

You are not required to inform your child’s school of your divorce. However, it is a good idea to let the principal and guidance counselor know, so they can be on the lookout for any behavioral changes your child may experience. Provide the school with updated contact information, and request that they send copies of all documents to you and your ex. This way, you are both being kept up to date and informed during the school year.

How can we make the school year easier for our child?

Back to school time is hard for kids, especially those whose parents are getting a divorce. To make the transition easier, try to implement the following strategies:

  • Create consistency between households (same rules, bedtimes, etc.)
  • Have separate sets of school supplies, clothes, or uniforms at each household
  • Create a schedule for visitation and parenting time, but remain flexible
  • Let your child decorate a calendar that shows which parent the child will spend time with each day
  • Encourage your child to video chat with your ex during your parenting time
  • Never use your child as a messenger to relay information to your ex-spouse

Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C.

It is impossible to predict how well your family will handle the school year while in the midst of a divorce. It might not be easy, but that is why you need a top rated law firm by your side. The team of attorneys at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. have represented thousands of New Yorkers in tough divorce and child custody matters.

For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, contact Brian and his team at 718-875-7584 today!

Parallel Parenting: Conflict Free Co-Parenting

Parallel Parenting: Alternative Co-Parenting

Last week, we briefly touched on parallel parenting during our discussion on alternative forms of co-parenting. However, this method deserves more in-depth coverage, as it can be helpful for divorcees who are unable to co-parent successfully.

What is Parallel Parenting?

Parallel Parenting allows for divorced couples to co-parent while keeping their interaction with each other to a minimum. This method was developed for couples involved in high-conflict divorces. It is also useful for parents who can not interact without fighting.

During parallel parenting, parents are able to make decisions regarding their children without having to consult with their ex. For this to work, parents much agree on which aspects of their children’s upbringing they want to have control over. For instance, one parent will make all medical decisions, and the other will handle schooling and extracurricular activities.

Changing Communication Strategies

The main goal of parallel parenting is for children to be raised in a conflict free environment. In order to do this, parents must change the way they communicate with each other. To accomplish this, parents can:

  • Only communicate via email, text message, or on co-parenting apps
  • Keep conversations factual, and do not let emotion take control
  • Never attend the same school or extra-curricular functions
  • Do not spend time alone with the other parent
  • Arrange a neutral location for custody exchanges
  • Use a third-party to help with custody exchanges

These changes will not happen overnight. They take work. Parallel parenting is not easy, and there will be some trial and error. But, remember: this co-parenting method is good for children.

Pros and Cons to Parallel Parenting

The pros to parallel parenting far outweigh the cons. Since communication between parents is limited, there is less stress. Parallel parenting may even result in lower legal fees, as parents won’t get stuck in a loop of conflict and litigation. This method also helps to foster a stronger relationship between the child and each parent.

In some cases, parallel parenting can have a negative impact on children. Some kids can have difficulties moving between households, and may develop a sense of loyalty to one parent. Children can also feel hurt when they can’t have both parents at graduations, sporting events, and birthday parties.

Get the Help Need

In order for parallel parenting to work, both parents need be on the same page. They must realize that they cannot co-parent without a great deal of strife. Developing an effective co-parenting method is a marathon, and not a sprint. It requires the help of an experienced family law attorney.

Trust the team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. to customize a hand crafted divorce and co-parenting strategy for you. For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, contact us at 718-875-7584 today!

Alternative Forms of Co-Parenting After Divorce

Alternative co-parenting strategies

Traditional family dynamics are changing, and so are co-parenting arrangements after divorce. Gone are the days when a divorced mother would be the primary custodian. What are some of the new forms of co-parenting, and will they work for your family?

Parallel Parenting

Parallel Parenting was designed with high-conflict families in mind. The purpose of parallel parenting is to help you and your ex care for your child, while limiting communication.

During this form of co-parenting, you are able to make your own decisions regarding your child, without having to consult your ex. But, keep in mind, your ex is allowed to do the same. Typically, each parent would choose aspects of their child’s upbringing that they would like to have control over. For instance, you would be responsible for decisions regarding medical care, and your ex would choose which schools your child attends.

This form of co-parenting allows for both parents to play an active role in raising your children, without having to risk tension filled arguments. Many people practicing parallel parenting rely on parenting apps to keep verbal communication to a minimum.

Bird’s Nest Parenting

Bird’s Nest Parenting is a unique approach to co-parenting after divorce. The goal of bird’s nest parenting is to put your child’s needs and comfort first. It is 100% child centered.

During this form of co-parenting, your child will remain living in one home, and will not travel between households for visitation. Instead, you and your spouse would take turns living with the child. You are responsible for maintaining a separate home to live in during your non-parenting time. Your ex will have to do the same.

The bird’s nest approach can help alleviate the amount of stress and anxiety your child feels because of the divorce, but it can be quite costly. Review your finances prior to agreeing to this co-parenting arrangement, and make sure your family can afford to support three different households.

Living Together After Divorce

The most unusual way to co-parent after divorce is to live with your ex. Whether in the same home, same apartment building, or same neighborhood, a growing number of divorced parents are choosing to live within close proximity to their ex.

This form of co-parenting should only be attempted if your divorce is uncontested, and you maintain a close relationship with your ex-spouse. The two of you need to have the same approach to parenting, and vow to put your child’s needs first.

Living with your ex after divorce can have tremendous benefits for your child, but this form of co-parenting needs to be approached with caution. Speak with a therapist of mediator, and develop a list of rules that you and your spouse must follow. Doing so can help ensure that this unique co-parenting arrangement is successful.

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The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in complex divorce and family law cases. Brian and his team of attorneys have represented thousands of New Yorkers, and successfully advocated on their behalf. For more information on how we can help you, call us at 718-875-7584 today.

Dealing with Anger during Divorce

Anger during divorce

Feeling angry during divorce is perfectly normal. In fact, it’s to be expected. Divorce is a major life change, and your case will not always go as planned. You need to learn how to recognize when you’re getting mad, and how to deal with your anger during divorce.

Physical Signs of Anger

Nothing is more infuriating than an already stressful situation becoming even more complicated. When going through a divorce, it is important that you learn to recognize your physical signs of anger. You should be on the lookout for:

  • An increased heart rate or rapid breathing
  • A headache or stomach ache
  • Feeling hot in your chest, neck, or face
  • Shaking or trembling
  • A general tightening of muscles throughout your body

Take note of your physical signs of anger next time you fight with your ex. Do you start to tense and feel hot? Knowing how your body responds to stress will help you better deal with your anger during divorce.

Dealing with Anger the Healthy Way

It is easy to lash out when you’re angry, but that will get you nowhere during your divorce. Bottling up negative feelings is horrible for your mental and physical health. Instead of suppressing anger, try dealing with it in a healthy way.

You should already have a general idea of ways to calm yourself down when you’re mad, but if you’re feeling especially agitated, try something new. Enrolling in a kickboxing or cross-training program lets you sweat out your frustration. Or, calm your nerves by taking a walk in the park or visiting the beach.

The best way to deal with anger during divorce is to set time aside to focus on yourself. Pick a day to do what makes you happy. Read a book, spend time with close friends, or cook your favorite comfort food.

Co-Parenting while Angry

One of the worst things you can do during your divorce is co-parent while angry. You may not get along with your ex, but it is best to put your differences aside for the benefit of your kids. How can you do this effectively?

  • Develop a communication plan to minimize interaction with your ex
  • Use co-parenting apps
  • Do not respond to your ex’s threatening or confrontational messages
  • Refrain from contacting your ex when you are angry- take some time to cool down first

You might need to cut off all contact with your ex if the two of you are unable to co-parent effectively because you cannot get along. This kind of arrangement is not ideal, but it is common.

When to Seek Help

If you are still having a hard time letting go of negative feelings, thoughts, or emotions, you should consider seeing a therapist. Admitting you need help coping with divorce is hard, but it is nothing to be embarrassed about. Many children need therapy during divorce, and adults are no different.

Talking about your divorce with a trained professional is incredibly therapeutic, and doing so will make the process easier and less stressful. Divorce doesn’t have to be a life ending event, nor does it have to scar and haunt you for years to come.

The Right Attorney Matters

Hiring the right attorney is a great strategy for dealing with your anger during divorce. An experienced lawyer, much like those at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C., is able to make the divorce process easier and less stressful for you.

Don’t try to handle your case on your own- rely on the experts. Call Brian and his team at 718-875-7584 to schedule your free consultation, and get back to focusing on your well-being.

Tips for Celebrating Father’s Day during Divorce

Father's Day During Divorce

Last month, the team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. published a guide for surviving Mother’s Day during a divorce. With Father’s Day quickly approaching, we thought it’d be helpful to bring you our top tips for celebrating Father's Day during divorce.

Let Your Kids Have a Say

Your children may be having a difficult time coping with divorce. Allowing them to help plan Father’s Day activities or gifts is a great way to assist in their healing. The change in routine, and chance for celebration, will be a much needed break from the struggles of divorce.

Have a Plan, but be Flexible

Life in unpredictable. Weather can change, kids can throw tantrums, or time can get away from you. To make the most of your Father’s Day, you have to plan it out. Have a list of possible activities or restaurants, and be prepared to make last minute changes. Having a backup plan can help alleviate stress, and being flexible will help you enjoy Father’s Day.

Celebrating with Long Distance Dads

Some fathers do not live in the same city, state, or country, as their children. Just because they live far away, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to celebrate Father’s Day.

If this situation applies to you, try to facilitate an extended Skype session, or make arrangements for the children to visit you. Father's Day during divorce doesn’t have to be a lonely experience if you take time to plan ahead of time.

You Might Not See Your Kids on Father's Day

If you are the non-custodial parent, you may not have the chance to spend time with your children on Father’s Day. Unfortunately, this is a very sad reality for many dads. You have every right to feel sad that you won’t see your kids, but try keep your focus elsewhere. Visit your family. Make arrangements for the next time you see your children. Have a group outing with other divorced dads.

Father's Day during divorce can be tough, especially when you are unable to spend time with your children. Remember to stay positive, and try not to dwell on negative emotions, or to lash out at your ex.

Father’s Rights Advocates in NYC

The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in complex family law matters. We are strong father’s rights advocates, and we will do everything we can to ensure dads are not separated from their children.

For more information on how we can fight for you, contact us at 718-875-7584 to schedule your free consultation.

4 Signs Your Child Needs Therapy during Divorce

Divorce is difficult, especially for children. Divorcing parents have a lot to worry about, including how their child is coping with the divorce. Are they adjusting well, or are they misbehaving at school? Some out-of-character behavior is expected, but how do you know when your child needs therapy during divorce?

1. Long term behavioral changes

Your child will experience some behavioral changes during the divorce process. Periods of sadness, anger, or acting out are normal. However, prolonged bouts of these of behavioral changes are alarming and need to be addressed. Ignoring them can lead to long term issues, and your child’s academics, social skills, and emotional well-being will be at risk.

2. Problems eating or sleeping

Your child may be having difficulties coping with divorce if they are showing signs of insomnia or a lack of appetite. Both can result in physical and mental side effects, such as extreme weight loss and irritability. If your primary care doctor has ruled out any medical reasons for this behavior, you should consider sending your child to therapy during divorce.

3. Newfound separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is a key indicator that your child is having a hard time adjusting to the divorce. Signs of separation anxiety usually manifests during visitation pick-up and drop-off. It can also occur when you leave for work, or when your child goes to school. While experiencing separation anxiety, your child can throw tantrums, act irrationally, or become overly clingy.

Separation anxiety during a divorce is an indicator of deep seeded fears of abandonment, guilt, and other insecurities. A licensed therapist is the best person to help address these issues.

4. Decline in school performance

Slipping grades, disruptive classroom behavior, and skipping school are signs that your child is having trouble handling the divorce. Academic and social skills are developed in school, and performing poorly can set your child up for years of insecurity and self-doubt. In some cases, your child may be subjected to bullying from fellow classmates.

To help combat this, speak with your child’s principal, teachers, and the school guidance counselor. Let them know you’re going through a divorce (you don’t have to give details). Educators are trained to spot uncharacteristic behavior, and can let you know if something is amiss with your child.

The Benefits of Child Therapy during Divorce

Therapy provides a safe, candid, and confidential environment for your child to express themselves. Having this safe space is crucial to making sure they cope well with the divorce. You love your child and want the best for them, and during divorce, therapy may be in their best interest.

Not all children respond to therapy in the same way, so you need to figure out what will work best for your child. Individual therapy is great for one-on-one conversation, whereas group therapy can help provide a sense of community. Younger children tend to react well to informal situations, where they will feel more comfortable opening up to their therapist.

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The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. specializes in complex divorce and child custody matters in New York City. For more information, or to schedule your free consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!

Traveling with Children during Divorce

Traveling with kids is no walk in the park, but traveling with children during divorce can often present extra hurdles. There is a lot to do before you take off, including obtaining a passport, getting permission, and confirming an itinerary with your ex.

Read on for important information about traveling with children during divorce:

Obtaining a Passport

The process of obtaining a passport for a minor child varies, depending on your current custody order.

If you share joint legal custody with your ex, then you both must consent to the passport application. Both parties must sign a DS-11 form during the application’s submittal. If only you are able to be present at the time of application, you can attach your ex’s notarized Statement of Consent, along with your DS-11 form.

If you have sole legal custody, you are required to bring a certified copy of your custody order, stating the same.

Problems with International Travel

International travel can pose certain risks, especially if your divorce or child custody case has a lot of conflict. The threat of international parental kidnapping is very real, which is why Judges are hesitant to allow international travel with a child during contested cases.

However, Judges are more inclined to permit international travel if the destination country is part of the Hague Convention. Many countries, including the United States, are part of this treaty. These countries have an agreement in place to help protect children who fall victim to international kidnapping.

Letting your child travel overseas is nerve-wracking, but you can take comfort knowing that your child is traveling to a country that is a member of the Hague Convention. It isn’t common for a non-custodial parent to refuse bring their child home after an overseas trip, but it does happen. The process to have your child returned to you is complicated. Do not try to handle this matter yourself.

Hague Convention Map

Members of the Hague Convention 

Domestic Travel

Your child custody order should contain rules for domestic travel with either parent. These stipulations are put in place to prevent misunderstandings between you and your ex. Typical rules may include:

  • Time of year travel is allowed, and for how long
  • The amount of advanced notice that must be given to the other parent
  • Whether or not consent is required
  • Restrictions on activities or destinations
  • Access to the child during travel

Traveling Without a Court Order

It is possible to travel with your child without a court order. However, it is recommended extend these courtesies to your ex before you make any reservations:

  • Get written permission and confirm the dates and location of travel
  • Provide your ex with your itinerary, including travel arrangements
  • Provide your ex with contact information for your hotel
  • Offer to schedule short evening phone calls between your ex and child during the trip

Being courteous during travel has two main benefits, the first being that your ex will appreciate the gesture. They will most likely extend the same to you when they want to travel with the child. The second benefit is that it will help you build a strong co-parenting relationship with your ex-spouse. Learning how to co-parent successfully is crucial to your child’s post-divorce development.

Traveling With Children During Divorce

Traveling with children during divorce requires that you clear a few hurdles, which is why hiring a family law attorney is so important. The law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. routinely handles a wide range of child custody matters, including issues surrounding travel. For more information, or to schedule a free, no obligation consultation, call 718-875-7584 today!