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It’s finally started, either you or your spouse has pulled the trigger and commenced a Divorce action on Long Island, New York. When a divorce is commenced in New York State, Automatic Court Orders are put in place. The Automatic Orders are Court Orders, which prohibit certain activities immediately upon commencement of the action and each party is directed to follow them.

The Automatic Orders essentially state that both parties must maintain the “status quo” except in the case of mutual written agreement between the parties or further Court Order. Some of the Automatic Orders are that neither party can sell or dispose of marital assets; neither party can withdraw, transfer, or dispose of any money from their bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds or cash accounts that is not within the ordinary course of business or for customary household expenses; neither party can withdraw money or take loans from their retirement accounts; neither party can cancel the health insurance, the dental insurance, the optical insurance, or the automobile insurance or change beneficiaries on their life insurances and retirement accounts. So you can’t sell your spouses car out from under them, but you can pay your kids tuition.

The Automatic Orders go into effect for the Plaintiff the day that the Summons and Complaint commencing your divorce action is filed. However, the Automatic Orders do not go into effect for the Defendant until they are personally served with the Summons and Complaint and become aware of the orders contained in the documents they were served.

If either party violates any of the Automatic Orders, there are certain legal steps that can be taken to rectify the issue. In Suffolk County, an Order to Show Cause for Contempt of Court can be filed in order to hold one party in contempt for violating the Automatic Orders.

If you have further questions pertaining to the Automatic Orders, how they will affect you or if your spouse has already violated same after an action has been commenced please contact Suffolk County Divorce Lawyer Christopher Palermo directly at his office 631-265-1051 in order to schedule your free consultation.

Some stranger just handed you papers labeled “Action For Divorce”, and your mind starts racing. Anger, fear, regret, and anxiety are just some of the emotions you’re feeling. But what should you do next?

First and foremost, don’t overreact and do anything extreme that you will regret later. Do your best to stay in control of your emotions. This is a time to be thinking as clearly as possible.

If you just don’t think you can face your spouse or control yourself in front of your kids right now, it’s ok to take a moment. Take a timeout. Seek comfort from family, friends, or be by yourself for a while if necessary. Devote the day, the night, or a weekend to yourself. Then as soon as possible, get back to your life and routine. Especially, if there are children involved you have to maintain routines for their sake.

Just to be clear, I am not telling you to vacate your marital residence permanently, in fact just the opposite. You have to be prepared mentally to dig in, and do what is necessary to care for your children. Do not give your spouse the opportunity to seize control over the home and your children’s routines.

With regard to your kids and your behavior, the most important thing you can do is to leave your children out of your adult relationship problems. Let your kids be kids. No matter how mature you think they are, be careful not to tell them too much. Instead of burdening them with your relationship problems, reassure them that both of their parents still and will always love them. Explain to your children that regardless of what’s happening with your marriage, they will always be taken care of and loved by both of you.

Once you are able, you will want to start gathering necessary information. Including Copies of previously filed tax returns inclusive of W2’s, statements from all bank accounts, investment account information, retirement account statements for you and your spouse if available. And mortgage statements that include the amount still owed on the loan. Equally important is having all information about debts, such as credit card statements

At this point you need help, and should be seeking a consultation with a respected local divorce attorney. The papers you were served with need to be  answered in a timely manner.

In addition, those papers contain automatic orders that prohibit certain activities. The local divorce attorney you consult with should be able to advise you of what your next move should be. Finally, the papers you were served contain automatic orders that prohibit certain activities. Our next post will discuss the initial automatic order‘s and what to expect at your initial consultation with attorney Christopher Palermo, The Suffolk Divorce Lawyer.

The idea of commencing a divorce around the holiday season can seem scary. Although you can argue that divorce is always going to hurt no matter what time of year it is, there is a certain sentimentality during the holidays that might hold someone back from initiating a divorce until the new year. This is why it is important to weigh the pros and cons and see if it is worth commencing a divorce now, or leaving it until the new year. Hiring a Long Island Divorce Lawyer can help you weigh these pros and cons.

Sometimes doing something scary causes us to make excuses to put off going through with something that we are nervous about. If staying with your spouse through the holidays is only going to cause more negative memories, you aren’t doing yourself any favors by putting it off. Having children in the picture can make things even more complex. But no matter what it is going to be painful.

If you do decide to commence a divorce during the holiday season, here are some tips to help alleviate the process.

  1. Plan ahead: If you have children, you wouldn’t want them to feel left in the dark wondering what their holidays are going to be like. Having plans with them will give them something to look forward to. If you don’t have children, make sure you aren’t alone during the holidays. Being alone will only encourage negative thoughts and can lead to an emotional downward spiral. Reach out to other family members or friends and enjoy yourself.
  2. Avoid Public Arguments: Although conflicts often arise during the divorce process, do not argue with your ex-spouse in front of your children. This will turn their holidays into a negative memory.
  3. Create New Traditions: Reminiscing on old traditions may only bring bad memories. A divorce can represent a new stage of your life, and having new traditions can add new excitement to that. If you have children, have them help contribute ideas. This creates something new and exciting for you and your kids.
  4. Plan a Getaway: If you find the holiday season to be too emotional for you, some have found taking a “perspective vacation” to help clear the mind. It is pretty common to take off work around the holidays, so using a couple vacation days to get away can really help you. Even if you don’t have the money or circumstances to go somewhere on vacation, take a vacation at your hometown. Rent a hotel for a couple of days and enjoy the amenities. Being away from your home and family drama can help give you peace and perspective.
  5. Make A New Years Resolution: Now that you’re essentially turning the chapter in your life, it’s not a bad idea to come up with some resolutions for the New Year. Become someone new. Join a club, join a sports league, or try and find ways to get yourself out there and meet new people.

Not every couple can go their separate ways with level heads. In many cases, one spouse may be extremely controversial – expressing feelings of anger, resentment, and attempting to make the divorce a living Hell. While divorce is never a walk in the park and always stirs up negative emotions, some may catastrophize the situation. When it comes to splitting up financial assets and property, they may hide marital assets. They may try their hardest to take a majority and leave you with little. If you have children, they may even try to pin them against you, manipulating them into disliking you.

It’s important you protect yourself from toxicity that may come along with a combative spouse – while you’re going through divorce, and even after. You have to safeguard your future as well as your children’s lives. It can be difficult when your ex or soon-to-be ex-spouse is overbearing, manipulative, or narcissistic. But there are ways you can take the wheel. Here are 4 tips for dealing with a toxic divorce…

Make Sure To Get Everything In Writing

With a volatile soon-to-be ex-spouse, phone conversations may end in shouting matches. Limit your interactions to only written forms of communication, such as e-mail, texts, or messages sent between both your attorneys. Written communication can be presented in court if needed. It can also be reflective for you, helping you deal with your aggressive soon-to-be ex or ex-spouse. Make sure you keep your messages short and concise, though. There’s no need to be extremely descriptive. If you receive an extremely explosive message through text or email, try to take time if necessary. You may be tempted to say something that you regret. Don’t let angry messages evoke anger in yourself. With written communication, you have the time to reflect on how you will respond.

Written communication can also be extremely beneficial when it comes to temporary custody and support orders as well as alimony. These may be put in place before the finalization of your divorce. While some divorcees on friendly terms come to verbal agreements and stick to them, high-conflict divorcees may deny ever making verbal agreements. It’s best to have these agreements down in writing. Your attorney can help you establish written orders and file, or you can file with the courts.

Get Financial Paperwork Together As Soon As Possible

An aggressive or manipulative spouse may try to hide marital assets when they know a divorce is imminent. These assets are important when it comes to determining alimony, child support and asset division. These types of assets may include pay stubs and tax returns, bank statements and credit card bills, stock portfolio and retirement account info, and more. They may do this either as a means of obtaining more than you in terms of your financial split or as a means of revenge.

So, to make sure this doesn’t happen, it’s best collect as much financial paperwork as possible before the divorce process. You should run a credit report to help identify financial accounts that are open in both of you names. If you do happen to file your taxes together, you can request a copy of your tax return from the IRS. This may help you in determining whether or not marital assets are being hidden from you.

Leave Your Children Out Of It

An aggressive or resentful ex may actually use your children as a weapon against you in your divorce. This is highly detrimental to children. It’s a good idea – until cooler heads prevail – to have someone with you when you drop off your children. You don’t want to get into a verbal argument in front of them. You can immediately end the conversation if your ex tries to lure you into an argument. If your ex is extremely aggressive and you believe they intend to sue you for full child custody (ie. with allegations of child abuse), keep a parenting diary that details your day-to-day life as a parent. This journal may become a valuable piece of evidence to disprove these types of allegations.

Get A Restraining Order

If you’re ex is overstepping your boundaries, you have full control to file a restraining order. You ex may be sending you angry texts, stalking you, etc. Anything that makes you feel unsafe should be a red flag to file a temporary restraining order for both you and your children.