What is Family Law?
Family, (or "Matrimonial"), law encompasses a wide range of issues involving domestic relationships and family conflict.
Family law cases are often emotionally draining for the parties involved, especially in matters involving children. The experienced family attorneys at The Shapiro Law Firm understand that due to the delicate nature of these matters, it is generally in the best interests of our clients to limit, if not altogether avoid, court appearances. We have been very successful at keeping these matters out of the courtroom to the extent possible through our effective negotiation and mediation skills.
Types of Family Cases that our Family Attorneys have successfully handled:
CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES
- Initial Orders & Modifications
- Joint or Sole Custody
- Legal Guardianship
- Legal vs. Physical Custody
- Arrears Payments
- Custodial vs. Noncustodial Parent
- Income Withholding Orders
- Initial Orders & Modifications
- Out of Court Settlements
DIVORCE & SEPARATION
- Contested Divorce
- Separation Agreements
- Settled Contested Divorce
- Uncontested Divorce
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ISSUES
- Family Offense Petitions
- Child Abuse or Neglect
- Orders of Protection
- Violations of Court Orders
- Noncustodial Parent Rights
- Supervised Visitation Orders
The Intersection of Family Issues & the Law
HOW DO FAMILY & IMMIGRATION LEGAL ISSUES INTERSECT?
A prerequisite to obtaining many immigration benefits is the existence of a particular familial relationship. The family relationship requirement complicates the practice of immigration law due to the fact that a host of additional issues involving other areas of law come into play. Our vast experience in filing family-based petitions and green card applications has enabled us to become intimately familiar with the relationship between domestic and immigration issues. Even a simple uncontested divorce can have major repercussions on a non-citizen's immigration case. It is crucial to understand the potential impact your family law case can have on your immigration status. At The Shapiro Law Firm, LLC, we make sure to analyze each client's case with a fine tooth comb to ensure that any actions taken in regards to a family law case will not have a negative impact on a client's immigration case.
Cases & Issues We Can Help You With:
Joint Petitions to Remove Conditions on Residency
FAMILY vs CRIMINAL
Despite increased awareness, domestic violence, ("DV"), remains an issue for far too many people. Often, a DV victim is unaware that he or she is in fact being victimized due to the mistaken belief that DV requires an element of physical abuse. In fact, DV can take take on many forms, including, but not limited to: physical abuse, isolation, economic abuse, emotional abuse, psychological abuse, intimidation, threats, coercion and sexual abuse. A general indicator of all forms of DV is the element of control, whereby one partner in an intimate relationship restricts the freedom of the other partner or puts the other partner in a state of fear.
Unfortunately, even in situations where a victim is aware of the abuse, DV often goes unreported or is not reported until after a serious injury takes place. A DV victim's reluctance to get help can derive from a variety of factors. In general, a DV victim is scared of getting his or her intimate partner in trouble or he or she is scared that the offender will retaliate against him or her.
IF YOU BELIEVE YOU ARE A VICTIM OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, DO NOT WAIT TO GET HELP. FOR A LIST OF SOME NYS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SERVICE PROVIDERS, CLICK HERE.
Due to the prevalence of domestic violence, domestic and criminal issues often intersect in the law. In fact, the criminal court has concurrent jurisdiction with the family court over certain criminal offenses. Concurrent Jurisdiction means that two different courts have the power to hear the same case. Thus, it is possible for both the family and criminal court to have the same case before it at the same time.
The decision of whether to file a family offense petition in family court or to go to the police, which can initiate criminal charges against the offender, is complex and can result in drastically different consequences in regards to length of proceedings, control over proceedings, penalties and privacy concerns. Provided that there is no immediate risk to your well-being, you should consult with a competent attorney to ensure that you fully understand the pros and cons to filing in each court to allow you to make an informed choice.
IF YOU OR A HOUSEHOLD MEMBER IS IN IMMINENT RISK OF HARM, CALL 9-1-1 OR GO TO YOUR LOCAL POLICE STATION.
How do you determine if Family Court is the proper court to help you?
The Family Court's jurisdiction to hear a case is governed by NY Family Court Act (FCA) § 821(1), and is based on 2 factors: (1) the victim's relationship to the offender, and; (2) the nature of the criminal offense at issue.
(1)Qualifying Relationships between Victim & Offender:
Family relative related by blood or marriage
A person with whom you have a child in common
A person who you had an intimate relationship with
(2) Criminal Offenses that can be heard in Family Court:
Although there are no winners when a family breaks up, the right representation will allow you to walk away from the case feeling satisfied and ready to begin the next chapter in your life. We work hard to keep tensions and hostility low. Even contentious cases are capable of being resolved without hostility. You and your family deserve effective representation. The family attorneys at The Shapiro Law Firm, LLC, are dedicated to promoting the best interests of our client. Contact The Shapiro Law Firm, LLC, today to find out how we can protect your best interests.