As a general practitioner, I spend some time in the Family Courts here in New York. Family law affects people involved in every industry- including those involved in the food, fiber and biofuel industries. When I was in Queens Family Court last week, I finally had an opportunity to visit the resource table by Legal Information for Families Today (“LIFT”).
LIFT seeks to help unrepresented litigants to assist them through the legal process. Nearly 50% of litigants in family court are unrepresented. Even though I highly recommend retaining counsel, I understand that not everybody can afford to do so and I understand the difficulty in locating an attorney that you might know and trust. Please note that litigants under a certain income level are able to receive a court appointed attorney (except for child/spousal support petitions).
If you find yourself in a family law dispute in New York (whether you have retained counsel or not), I recommend reviewing LIFT’s legal resource guides including:
2. Appealing Family Court Orders;
3. Changing Your Name or the Name of Your Child in Court;
5. Child Protective Proceedings;
6. Child Support;
8. Custody, Visitation and Jurisdiction;
9. Fathers in Family Court: Paternity and More;
10. Financial Disclosures Affidavits;
11. How to Start a Case in Bronx Family Court (Queens, Brooklyn, and Manhattan);
12. How to File an Objection or Rebuttal to a Child Support Order;
13. Military Parents and Custody Cases;
14. My Criminal Conviction and my Family Law Case;
15. Orders of Protection;
16. Rights of Immigrants in Family Courts;
17. Rights of Relatives in Family Courts;
18. Serving Court Papers;
19. Termination of Paternal Rights; and,
Some of the guides available in other languages including Spanish, French, Hebrew, Chinese, Korean, Haitian/Creole, and Russian. LIFT also has some helpful resources for children and teens.