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Family Law and Divorce

 

Divorce cases, custody, family offense and child support proceedings are often emotionally charged and the outcomes of those cases can have a lasting impact a litigant's relationship with their children and former domestic partner.  As a result, it is critical to seek out representation as soon as possible if you have either already received a divorce or family court summons or if you believe it is necessary to initiate an action.

Divorce Cases and Matrimonial Law

Divorce litigation presents clients with a variety of challenges, some expected and some unexpected, and for that reason it is important to retain seasoned counsel as soon as possible.  Along with considerations of custody and child support, questions of "maintenance" or spousal support must also be addressed, as well as equitable distribution of marital property and determinations of "separate" property.  While many divorce cases are hotly contested and involve complex litigation, it is possible to approach the process collaboratively and negotiate a settlement that is in the best economic and personal interests of all parties.  Hiring the right lawyer is critical in preserving your rights and leverage in a divorce matter, and it is imperative that clients engage attorneys as quickly as possible in order to achieve the best possible outcome.

Family Offense Proceedings

 

 

Another common variety of family court action is the Family Offense Proceeding, which is governed by Article 8 of the Family Court Act.  These types of actions are often initiated by a spouse or domestic partner in response to a real or perceived threat to their physical safety or the physical safety of their children.  It is important for parties in these cases to retain counsel because they can result in the issuance of an order of protection against the respondent party for a period of time ranging from two to five years.  The terms of such an order place a variety of restrictions on the subject party, and a violation of those restrictions can result in a charge of criminal contempt.  Consequently it is of paramount importance that litigants in these cases find qualified representation as soon as practicable.

Custody and Support Proceedings

 

The family courts in New York have jurisdiction over custody and support of common children.  Whether or not the parties to such a proceeding were formerly married, it is likely that they will end up in family court in order to resolve these issues.

 

It is important to keep in mind that how these types of cases are handled is intensely fact-dependent.  There are a number of important questions that will help the firm evaluate your case. For example, what was the custody and visitation arrangement before the action was commenced? Which party had primary custody of the children? What are the work schedules of the parties? Where do the children go to school? These are just some examples of the kinds of questions you will face, and the outcome of your case may hinge on the answers to these questions.