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Top 12 Smart Long Island Divorce Strategies

by | Feb 9, 2021 | Divorce Long Island, NY

12 Tips to Make Your Divorce Sensible, Straightforward, and Successful

Learn How to Take Control of Your Upcoming Divorce

Your upcoming divorce on Long Island may be something you’ve known about for some time, or it may be something that seemingly blindsided you out of nowhere. Either way, it’s important that you take steps now to understand the best legal approach to increase the chances that you will not be taken advantage of in the final divorce decree.

Here are our top 12 smart divorce strategies that will arm you with the knowledge needed to take action to protect the rights and best interests of you and your family.


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Prepare Yourself for Your Divorce

Divorce is emotionally tumultuous, regardless of whether or not it’s something you wanted or something that will benefit your family in the long run. You didn’t take your vows intending to be in this situation, but here you are. Taking steps to mentally prepare yourself for the dissolution of your marriage at the start of the divorce process can help make things much easier for both you and your family.

Accept the End of Your Marriage

Making the final leap from having a marriage that is on the rocks to getting a divorce can be a difficult one no matter what your situation is, even if it’s something you know is the right move for yourself and your family. Give yourself some time and space to accept that your marriage has reached an end and that your vision for your future has radically changed. Don’t expect to be at peace with it right away and be prepared to have ups and downs in your healing journey.

Take Action Now

While you may need time to accept your divorce, don’t hesitate to get a Long Island divorce attorney involved as soon as possible, even if you’re not sure whether or not you want to file for a divorce. Any delay now can negatively and dramatically affect you in the future. You can consult with your lawyer to find out where you stand and what actions may or may not be in your best interests before it’s time to take those actions. Get the information you need to make critical decisions that will affect your family right now and in the coming weeks, months, and even years.

Don’t Move Out During Your Divorce

One of the most common mistakes that divorcing people make is moving out of the family home before the divorce is finalized. Many people feel that they can’t bear to be in the same house as their soon-to-be-ex and think that it would be better for all involved, including their children, if they were not living, and fighting, with their spouse. Others don’t see this as an issue, however, you give up a lot of rights if you do move out of the house too soon.

Living in the same house as your soon-to-be-ex-spouse can be an extremely uncomfortable experience and many people are tempted to stay with a friend or rent a short-term apartment. However, under New York state law moving out can have a significant negative impact on the future of your case.

Things to Think About Before Leaving the Family Home

There are many things you should think about before leaving your house, such as:

  • Will you be financially supporting two households?
  • Will you be leaving most of the childcare to your ex?
  • Will you lose access to your belongings?
  • Will you lose access to paperwork you will need to prepare your divorce?
  • Will you lose access to your children?

It’s important to seriously consider the ramifications of moving out before you relent to the pressure to leave that you are, or will likely receive, from your ex, family, and friends.

Act as If Someone Is Always Watching

You need to always assume that your behavior during your divorce process will be carefully monitored for anything that can be used against you or for your spouse to gain the upper hand. If you make certain mistakes, you could risk losing credibility, assets, access to your children, and more. It’s important that you pay attention to what you’re doing and saying, as though someone was watching your every move. While uncomfortable, this awareness can save you from accidentally hurting your own case, losing assets, access to your children, and more.

Correct Unfavorable Behavior

You have an opportunity now to correct any behavior that may look unfavorable in the eyes of a Long Island family court. You can’t change the past, but you can show that you have changed your ways for the better. For example, getting a drinking or drug problem under control voluntarily now can make a significant difference in a child custody case in the future.

Keep Your Cool During Divorce Process

stay calm during divorceMaintaining civility and composure is critical when going through your divorce. While going through the process of either an uncontested or contested divorce can be harrowing, allowing the stress to come out in your words and actions not only makes you look less in control but also impacts how a New York judge will see your case.

Never Argue In Front of Your Children

Arguing in front of your children is one of the fastest ways to compromise your case. Long Island family courts want to make sure you’re not exposing your children to unnecessary stress or hostility in the home environment. Keep any disagreements with your spouse in to texts and emails and you’ll get bonus points for creating a paper trail at the same time.

Consider Professional Support

Going through the process of divorce is difficult on the best of days. Consider proactively getting professional therapeutic support to help you manage the divorce before you reach a crisis point.

Manage Interactions with Your Children

Going through a Long Island divorce with children is challenging; there are many more legal issues that arise when you divorce the other parent of your children, including child custody, visitation, and child support. Managing interactions with your children during your divorce is key because you can be sure that New York family courts are paying extra attention.

Get Involved

One of the primary factors courts look for when evaluating child custody cases is how involved each parent is with their child. Even if you didn’t do it before, make sure that now you go to school plays and athletic events, show up for your visitation, and in general, take an interest in what your kids are doing; the courts will be looking for this effort.

Don’t Talk About Your Ex-Spouse in a Negative Way

It’s important that you do your best to foster a relationship between your children and your ex-spouse, even though it may be difficult for you to do so, especially now when you might not want a relation ship with him or her. Never speak ill of your spouse in front of your children or try to turn them against your spouse and favor you. This is considered parental alienation and can result in negative consequences for you

Get Professional Support for Your Children

You should also proactively consider professional support for your children from a pediatric counselor or therapist. Even if they seem to be doing well, working through their feelings about the divorce as it’s happening can help them process these big changes in a healthy way.

Keep Records of Interactions with Your Ex-Spouse

take notes od spous actions during divorceSo many issues in a divorce are one person’s word against the other, with little evidence to back up either party’s claim. Keeping accurate records of all interactions with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse can help you put together a divorce timeline and provide evidence for any claims you may need to make during your case.

Log Every Phone Call, Text, Email, or Other Interaction

As soon as you learn of your divorce, begin logging every interaction with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse, including calls, texts, and emails. You also have the right to audio or video record your conversations if necessary.

Write down everything that was said or anything that occurred during the interaction as soon as you can; the details will muddy over time and may be more difficult to recall later.

Keep This Information in a Safe Place Only You Can Access

Keep all information you collect in a safe place that is only accessible by you. If you are in the family home, store this information at your work, a friend’s house, or in a safe deposit box.

Prepare Your Documents

The court will need to see all of your financial records, including records of property and assets you own, and any other documents relevant to your divorce. Begin getting these together as soon as you learn of your divorce; it can take time to request copies of account history and transactions from some entities and it’s important to allow enough time for that to get done.

The last thing you want to do is be left with you and your Long Island divorce attorney scrambling at the last minute to get your financial records put together before your hearing.

Obtain Copies of All Important Documents

You will need to obtain copies of the following documents, if applicable:

prepare documents for divorce

  • Tax returns
  • Pay stubs
  • Financial statements
  • Loan documents
  • Credit card statements
  • Mortgage statements
  • Retirement benefit
  • Material possessions
  • Bank records
  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements
  • Insurance policies
  • Court documents
  • Bills

The above is not an exhaustive list of documentation that may be requested by your attorney or a judge during the process of your divorce. Ask your Long Island divorce lawyer what documents you may need to gather in your specific case.

Hire the Right Attorney for Your Case

The Long Island divorce lawyer you hire can have a significant impact on the success or failure of your case. Working with the right family law attorney can save you time, money, and stress both during your divorce and after.

Vet Attorneys in Your Area

Start your search for the right divorce attorney by doing some background research on the lawyers in your area. Look for attorneys who work exclusively with family law and have the experience to back up claims of successful divorce settlements.

Prepare for Your Initial Consultation

Write down questions you want to ask the attorney during your initial consultation and take advantage of the time that is offered to you. You can also consult with more than one family lawyer not only to find the right fit but to get greater insight into where you currently stand with your divorce and where you may want to go next.

Make a Decision

There are multiple factors that should go into deciding which attorney to hire. Most importantly, you should work with someone you feel good about and who is eager to represent you.

Be Honest with Your Lawyer

The importance of being honest with your attorney cannot be overstated. Your divorce lawyer represents your best interests regardless of why you are divorcing or if you are accused of infidelity or domestic violence.

Your attorney is not invested in determining whether or not an accusation against you is true; they’re invested in helping you win your case, but they need to know the facts to best represent your interests.

The Consequences of Misrepresenting the Truth

If you misrepresent the truth, it will most likely come out later in court, leaving your attorney blindsided and unable to effectively help you. Your attorney may later struggle to trust what you tell them and may have difficulty making a strong argument on your behalf.

Give Your Attorney the Tools They Need to Build the Result You Want

It’s critical to ensure that your Long Island divorce lawyer has the tools and resources they need to create the case result you want. Your attorney can only work with what you give them, and providing them with inadequate information can make it more difficult for them to advocate for you.

Don’t Waste Your Attorney’s Time

dont waste lawyer's timeTime is money in divorce cases, and the longer your divorce stretches out, the more money it will cost you. Wasting your attorney’s time is essentially wasting your own money. It’s important to be conscious of how much time your lawyer is spending on your case and what you can do to make your communications with your attorney more effective.

How to Maximize the Efficacy of Your Communication with Your Divorce Lawyer

Don’t email or call your lawyer multiple times throughout the day whenever you think of a question. Instead, write them down throughout the day and call or email once with your questions or concerns at the ready.

Whenever possible, communicate via email or text if you’re paying on an hourly basis; these take less time for your lawyer to check and enable him or her to respond quickly.

Set Yourself Up for Success

How you handle your divorce case now plays a significant role in how successful the final outcome is. It’s important that you take action today that builds a foundation for successful independent living in the very near future. If you don’t, you could be in trouble months and even years down the road when you don’t have the resources you need to live your life the way you want and deserve.

Fight for Equal Representation In Your Divorce

All persons are equal in the eyes of the law, including in a divorce. You have as much right to your children and marital assets as your ex-spouse does, and it’s important that you fight for that equal representation. Here’s how you can do that.

Understand What Is In Your Best Interests and Advocate for Them

Know that you’re not necessarily just fighting for the best outcome now, but you’re also fighting for your future and the future of your children. Child custody, support, and divorce decrees are legally binding and require a process to modify, meaning that the terms you decide on now will likely impact you long into the future.

Advocate for your best interests today, while you still have the opportunity to do so.

Patience, Persistence, and Pragmatism Are Key to a Successful Divorce

Three of the most important things to have when getting a divorce on Long Island is patience, persistence, and pragmatism. Instead of letting emotions cloud your judgment when making critical decisions about your family’s future, embracing practicality can make your divorce go much more smoothly.

Understand that even the fastest divorces aren’t overnight and be willing to exercise patience when going through the various steps needed to finalize the end of your marriage. It takes time to go through the process of dissolving a marriage, and the more issues you have to resolve, the longer it’s likely to take. Finally, be persistent and advocate zealously for your best interests.

How your divorce ends now has the potential to impact you for many years to come; make sure you’re standing up for the future you.

Get Help from Experienced Long Island Divorce Lawyers

Get help from experienced Long Island divorce lawyers Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C., by calling 631-923-1910 or by filling out the short form on this page. We are available now to discuss your divorce and what steps you can take to protect your family’s best interests starting today.


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At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

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Melissa Rappa
Melissa Rappa
18:09 08 Feb 24
At one of the hardest and most stressful times of my life, it was so comforting to have a team at Hornberger and Verbitsky who ALWAYS responded in record speed to my questions, phone calls, emails or texts and who I felt really cared about helping me through this difficult time. It was a long few years and I am grateful to all of you. Thank you so much Rob, AnneMarie, Christine, Patty, Joan and Lawrence. Your guidance, professionalism and expertise is appreciated beyond measure.
Paul Carmichael
Paul Carmichael
16:21 11 Dec 23
I would give 6 stars if I could. I can't say enough good things about Robert and his firm. We were in a situation for over 2 years and I could have never made it through without Robert's experience and knowledge. He guided me through tough times when needed and his expertise could "read" the situation and make the next best move for me. He was tough when he needed to be tough (thankfully) and at the same time guided me through the process to make me feel comfortable in an uncomfortable situation. I would not want to go through this process without Robert and his team having my back. he helped move the case along and not waste any time or money. One last time, I 100% endorse Robert and his expertise.

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