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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.


Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

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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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Elizabeth Martin
Elizabeth Martin
21:06 25 Jan 22
The team at Hornberger Verbitsky made me feel at ease after I retained them after a 3 year contested divorce process. I like their approach with how they educate you on ways to get the best outcome in your divorce. Mr. Hornberger made me feel heard and was compassionate to my case while also being aggressive in the courtroom to help me get the most positive outcome. He prevented my case from having to go to trial and he closed the deal in my long drawn out emotional divorce. I was happy that I retained him and would recommend him to anyone that is going through a high conflict divorce.
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Elizabeth Martin
Elizabeth Martin
21:06 25 Jan 22
The team at Hornberger Verbitsky made me feel at ease after I retained them after a 3 year contested divorce process. I... like their approach with how they educate you on ways to get the best outcome in your divorce. Mr. Hornberger made me feel heard and was compassionate to my case while also being aggressive in the courtroom to help me get the most positive outcome. He prevented my case from having to go to trial and he closed the deal in my long drawn out emotional divorce. I was happy that I retained him and would recommend him to anyone that is going through a high conflict more
rrezarta lekaj
rrezarta lekaj
20:47 24 Nov 21
Christine is truly the best there is. She is beyond professional, personable, genuine, extremely trusting, and has made... such a stressful and emotional time for my family and I easier to get through. Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for your guidance, your support, and being there every step of the way. I would highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. to anyone that is in need for legal advice - you will be in the best more
Janine Martello D'onofrio
Janine Martello D'onofrio
21:00 02 Oct 21
Rob and Christine are the very best out there!I can not say enough about them. They both have helped me so much in... different matters throughout the last several years . They have gone over and beyond!I highly recommend this law firm !read more
Tara Tocci
Tara Tocci
20:59 17 Sep 21
I called to make an appointment for a consultation to discuss a mediated divorce, the office was fantastic with getting... me a prompt appointment. When going in all my questions were asked and I left feeling comfortable in my decision to move forward in using the Hornberger/Verbitsky office. Despite a pandemic going on the office still worked diligently to get my papers filed and my divorce complete in a timely manner. Highly recommend!read more
cristina romero
cristina romero
20:17 17 Sep 21
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C were phenomenal in every way. Robert was very genuine, patient and professional. Walking in,... I had no idea what to expect but he went above and beyond to explain the entire process thoroughly. He guided and informed me of my rights. Patty was amazing, she answered every question I had no matter how many times I called, she was very understanding. I highly recommend Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. Even if its just for questions on how to navigate this more
16:57 17 Sep 21
Rob and his team are by far one of the greatest! Patty is amazing and will make sure all of your questions are... addressed and responded to. Rob and his team made a very tough time in my life as simple as possible. Rob is extremely knowledgeable and very empathetic. Patty was a pleasure to work with and I would recommend this firm to anyone that needs a great divorce attorney. Thank you for all of your help!read more
Angela Thearle
Angela Thearle
00:21 07 Aug 21
Hornberger law was the best choice I made when I needed to go to family court with my ex for custody of my children.... They were there at any time when I neeeded them. Going through a custody battle can be a huge emotional rollercoaster and very painful. They helped me through it and made it less painful and heartbreaking. And I got the outcome plus more than I expectedread more
Tammy Granville
Tammy Granville
11:49 04 Jul 21
Everyone was very professional. Never had to call to get an update on my case. Someone always updated me on a regular... more
LilMissPerfct Dessie
LilMissPerfct Dessie
06:46 11 Feb 21
I am a graduate of Norland English nanny college. I thank God every day that Mr. Robert Hornberger protected my clients... in the legal ways i could not. Children are a blessing not a blender to be fought over during some silly spat!read more
Anastasia R
Anastasia R
22:45 17 Dec 20
I went to see Rob for a modification for my child custody agreement to relocate, I can honestly say that working with... Rob and Christine has been the best experience. I cannot recommend them enough I only wish I had seen them sooner. They are prompt with communication, and they are honest which I appreciate so much. They do not give you fake promises and they do their best to fight for what you want which they do amazingly well! You can tell they are passionate about what they do and care about their clients. A very important aspect of lawyer client relationship for me is an open line of communication, the anxiety of the unknown always gets the best of us. The fact they were always available whether it be phone call or email to answer any question was extremely comforting and exactly what I needed. I am not well versed with laws and regulation so knowing I had Rob and his partners there when I was unsure or conflicted was extremely needed and greatly appreciated.When it comes to family court it's never easy but having Rob and his partner by my side I felt extremely comfortable and he helped me have realistic expectations. Please TRUST HIM!! If you're looking for a lawyer (at least for my end from child custody/Family Court) don't look any further you will not be disappointed. I hope to never have to use them again but in the event I have to, they are going to be my forever first more
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15:42 16 Sep 20
I hired Robert to handle a child custody and child support matter. He was prompt and professional and was able to... achieve a result that 3 prior attorneys could not. He and his staff made a stressful situation easy. I highly recommend his more
Ann Masten
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17:48 12 May 20
I am a paralegal in an unrelated field of law. I phoned Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. today intending to refer a client... to their office. Instead (and despite that we are the midst of the present crisis), Mr. Hornberger himself graciously accommodated my questions over the telephone, and was generous with his time and adroit in his response, saving our client a small fortune in unnecessary legal fees. I have not had any similar experience, in which counsel was so generous with his expertise, in 22+ years of interacting with prominent, local attorneys, and the client is overjoyed. Based on this experience, I would now whole -heartedly recommend this firm as trusted professionals to any client requiring a firm expert in family law and related legal more
Everett Roberts
Everett Roberts
14:30 18 Mar 20
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when... you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free more
Annemarie Cusumano
Annemarie Cusumano
21:41 17 Mar 20
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working... with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if more
Randi Gottlieb
Randi Gottlieb
18:47 03 Mar 20
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my... consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!read more
Rob Spielmann
Rob Spielmann
22:15 27 Feb 20
They made our process so easy. They were there to answer and help with any questions that came up. Very friendly
Ashley Hubner
Ashley Hubner
20:30 14 Feb 20
Navigating my divorce was a challenging experience to say the least, but I was supported and guided every step of the... way by my attorney, Robert. With the daunting task of hiring a divorce lawyer, I knew I would need someone with the right combination of knowledge, compassion and integrity. Robert has a strong background in family law, sincere character and direct communication to be superior to the others. He and his staff were professional and caring. I always felt I was in good hands. I highly recommend the Law Offices Hornberger and Verbitsky for the legal expertise, compassion and understanding of the many complex facets associated with more
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Thomas Livingston
21:31 26 Jan 20
Robert and Christine are the epitome of professionalism. They helped us with the purchase of our new home. They were... efficient, dedicated, and focused on making our closing as seamless as more
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Sheila Vasata
23:35 14 Jan 20
Robert Hornberger has been a friend of mine and my family for years. He has helped us all in ways that are too... numerable to mention. I went through a divorce that I don’t think I could’ve done if I didn’t have Robert by my side. He is vivacious, motivated, knowledgeable, and has an extreme desire to succeed and excel...and he does! He goes over and above for all of his clientele. I would recommend his law firm to anybody who is looking for a Great Lawyer with integrity!read more
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