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New York Family Law Attorneys: Fighting for You Like Family
Going through a divorce can be a difficult time for everyone involved. On top of the stress and tension that comes with co-parenting with a former partner, the legal process can add mounds of paperwork to your already too-busy schedule. With more than 40 years of experience litigating family law cases just like yours, the Spodek Law Group can help minimize conflict and expense as you navigate this process.
New York Family Law
In New York, there are two courts that preside over family law cases: the New York Family Court and the Matrimonial Litigation Division of the New York State Supreme Court. While divorce cases are heard exclusively in the Supreme Court, all other family law cases can be heard in either court.
Cases concerning the following issues are frequently heard in both courts:

  • Child Custody & Visitation
  • Child Support
  • Paternity
  • Spousal Support or Maintenance
  • Family Offense Petitions (Order of Protection)
  • Petition for Abuse & Neglect
  • Guardianship

If you are in need of an attorney that specializes in Family Law, the dedicated team at Spodek Law Group may be able to help.
Paternity

New York courts recognize several different modes of establishing paternity. This includes methods like DNA testing, Birth Certificates or other forms of admission or documentation. It also includes instances where the child has been introduced in public as your own.

Child Custody
Custody proceedings in New York Family Court focus on identifying what is in the best interest of the children involved in the case. Custody is determined after paternity has been established. Once the court has identified the custodial parent, this is the parent that will be entitled to receive child support.

There are three primary types of child custody arrangements: joint custody, full custody and residential custody. A joint custody arrangement allows both parents to have equal decision making power when it comes to making decisions regarding major issues like education, religion and medical concerns. Full custody allows one parent to make all decisions concerning the child without input or consent from the other parent. In fact, once a parent has been granted full custody of a child, their only obligation to the non-custodial parent is to inform them of major issues and decisions that involve the child. The final type of child custody, residential custody, grants the recipient the right to have the child live with her or him.

Child Support
After paternity and custody have been decided, the next issue will be child support. Child support is paid by the non-custodial parent to the parent that has custody of the children. In most cases, standard child support guidelines will be used to determine the amount of child support. These guidelines are as follows:
One child = 17%
Two children = 25%
Two children = 29%
Four children = 31%
Five or more children = 22%

Child Visitation
Another important issue to be decided by the family court is child visitation for the non-custodial parent. A standard visitation agreement typically consists of visitation every other weekend, 4 weeks vacation and alternating holidays. In many cases, judges are willing to be more flexible with visitation when they believe a good parent is seeking extra time with their child. The courts believe it is in the best interest of the children to have both parents actively involved in their lives.

As seasoned family law attorneys, the Spodek Law Group understands that your children come first. Our team does everything possible to ensure that their best interests are protected throughout the legal process. If you are ready to start the next chapter in your life, our legal team can help you establish a solid foundation for the future.

A family court appeal is a legal request by an adversely affected party for a review of a decision. The term “adversely affected” means the party lost the ruling. The person, called the appellant, seeks a reversal of the original decision. They request the review because they believe there was a mistake or error made by the family court judge.

The appeal isn’t reviewed by the judge who made the decision. The appeal is sent to a higher court. No new evidence is included with the appeal. The higher court reviews the case with only the original evidence such as documents and testimony provided in the first original decision.

However, both parties can argue their case in a motion for the appeal and answer. An answer is submitted to the court by the party that won the original case. They are called respondent. Family law attorneys are also allowed to make a brief oral argument in front of the trial judge. If the higher court finds in the appellant favor, the decision is overturned. If the higher court finds for the respondent, the decision is upheld.

Not All Decisions are Appealable
The decisions that can be appealed are determined by New York’s Laws, Family Court Act 1112. For example, most temporary family court orders are not appealable. However, a temporary support order is appealable.

Ex-parte, consent orders or default orders aren’t immediately appealable. A party must go through the process of filing a motion to vacate the order first. For instance, in a default judgment, a party must provide a defense to why the judgment should be removed. A default judgment is typically ordered when a party doesn’t appear at trial. The other party automatically wins the case.

Filing a Family Court Appeal
The appellant must follow basic rules to request the family court review a lower court’s decision. These rules are outlined in the Appellate Division Rule 670.3. One original and two copies of the motion to appeal should be filed with the clerk of family court. The motion is referred to as a Request for Appellate Division Intervention Form (RADI). A notice of appeal must also be sent. A copy of the appellant’s order they wish to appeal must be included too. The respondent must receive copies via ordinary mail. Everything must be perfect to obtain an appeal in the family court.

Each party will also have time to file their briefs with the court to convince the higher court the decision should be overturned or upheld. The appellant also has the opportunity to respond in writing to the respondent’s answer.

The Timeline for a Family Law Court Appeal
An appeal is not automatically initiated. The aggrieved party must request the appeal. The court will start the appeals process when one of two things must occur within 30 days. The court receives service by the party’s attorney, or it receives a copy of the appellant. Another way to start the appeals process is receiving the request via mail within 35 days.

Get a Lawyer to Appeal a Family Court Decision
When an appeal is requested, a stay can also be requested. This prevents the parties from being legally obligated to fulfill the decision such as pay child support. An appeal is serious and must be done correctly.

Obtain the help from a New York City family law lawyer if you decide to appeal a family court decision. The appeals process is complex and difficult. Once you appeal a family court case, the decision will be reviewed. If the higher finds in favor of the respondent, the decision can’t be reviewed again. Thus, it is best to hire a family law lawyer to fight for the review and decision to be changed. If you are the respondent, you should hire a family law attorney to fight your case and prevent the decision from being overturned.

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