Often the first stumbling block when beginning an action is establishing which Court has jurisdiction over your issue, Family Court or Supreme Court and how do they interact. The Supreme Court has the power to grant a divorce, Family Court does not.
A Family Court “proceeding” is meant to be a less formalized undertaking with standardized forms available to the parties.
Family Court was granted its powers by the NY Legislature through its creation of the Family Court Act and its powers can be periodically altered.
Family Court was created to be accessible to individuals who wish to make the applications for the relief they seek themselves. Often time County attorneys help in the drafting of the Petitions for the public. People appear all the time on their own behalf or Pro Se.
We strongly advise against this for several reasons: First, a person emotion often takeover especially in contentious situations and the soundness of their arguments are lost in a heated exchange with their spouse. Second, an attorney with knowledge and experience recognizes the stronger points of your arguments especially in relation to that particular Judge or Magistrate. Finally, an attorney often times can look at the bigger picture and find relief that would be offered to you that you may not have considered or knew was available to you.
Please consider contacting this office before placing the welfare of yourself and your children in the hands of the Court.
Please call us at (631) 591-2227 so that we can offer our advice as how you should proceed. Family Court Act grants jurisdiction over: