Family and Marriage Law Lerner Law Syracuse, New York
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What Is It?

Matters related to a divorce granted more than one year ago are handled in Family Court, including changes in child support, visitation, and custody.

Claims of domestic violence, child neglect and welfare, and juvenile delinquency and Orders of Protection are all within the jurisdiction of Family Court, but may be handled in criminal court as well.

Who Is It For?

Disputes concerning the operation and well-being of families are addressed in Family Court. Parents, children, and others may have their interests represented by counsel. Some interested persons may qualify for Court appointed representation. Minor children are typically represented by a Court appointed Law Guardian.


Iím sure it is possible for someone to represent himself or herself well in Family Court, but I have yet to see it. It is too hard to separate the emotional issues from the legal ones. The relationships are too complex. And of course the person representing his or her own interests finds it difficult or impossible to step back and see the big picture. Surgeons donít operate on their own family members for just this reason. Since Family Court is the place where the most contentious, highly charged, most emotional issues are resolved, this is the Court where, more than other, except Criminal Court where oneís freedom is on the line, a person needs to be represented by a lawyer.

There is another reason to use a lawyer in Family Court matters. The great majority of Family Court matters are resolved by the parties themselves, rather than by the judge after a hearing or trial. These negotiations will usually go better and produce better results for all concerned if each side has a lawyer representing his or her interests.

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