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“I wanted to reach out to say thank you for going out of your way to help me through the divorce process. It was not an easy thing, but I really appreciate how very caring you were and your sense of humor helped me to stay positive thoughout.” SH, Queens, NY

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Family Law

The field of family law is an interesting and complicated one. Many times a person will have several questions going into court or hearings. It is important to remember that having the correct knowledge early on will save time and avoid costly mistakes. To that end consulting with an attorney experienced in family law such as Michael A Cohen will greatly increase your chances of a favorable outcome.

Orders Of Protection

One major issue that is frequently dealt with is getting an order of protection against a person or multiple people. You are able to get an order of protection against someone that you have a child with, a family member that you are related to by blood or marriage, someone that you were in an intimate relationship with, or a current or former spouse in Family Court. In Criminal Court, you can get an order of protection against someone with whom you share no relationship. You may apply for an order of protection in both courts at the same time. Your children may also be covered by the order of protection. If you are asking for the order of protection, you would be called a petitioner, while the person who you are getting the order of protection against is the respondent. In Criminal Court, the respondent would be called a defendant instead.
The affidavit of service must be filed to show that the respondent or defendant was told about the case. Both of the parties have the right to an attorney, and the order of protection that would be drawn up will likely ask for the person or persons to not contact you through telephone, email, or letters, not to go to your job, residence, etc., not to harass, threaten, menace, or commit crimes against you, and to be removed by police from your place of residence. If you miss your court date, your temporary order of protection may be thrown out, and in Family Court if either the petitioner or respondent is absent, a warrant for his or her arrest will be issued. If the order of protection is violated, the person whom violated it may be subject to jail time or probation.

Child Custody Legal Matters

Child custody may be broken down into legal custody and residential custody. New York can't make orders regarding the child’s custody and visitation once that child turns eighteen. Sole "legal" custody is when only one makes all major decisions concerning the child, concerning health care, religion and education. Joint custody is where both parents make the above mentioned major decisions. While people can agree to "joint" legal custody, courts rarely order it, unless the parents have shown the ability to put aside their differences for the benefit of their child.

Courts make "residential" custody determinations based on the "best interests" of the child based upon a number of factors, which include, but are not limited to which parent has historically been the primary caregiver for the child, each parent’s mental and physical health, any history of domestic violence, parenting skills, the parents’ work schedules, the relationship of the child to other members of the family, the wishes of the child, and the cooperation of the parents. Another factor courts consider in making custody determinations is which parent is more likely to encourage a relationship between the child and the other (non custodial) parent.
Child custody is an issue that may be settled by the parents by written agreement. However, any agreement must be approved by the court and any attorney that may have been appointed to represent the child. The parent who does not have residential custody will enjoy parenting time with their child. An "attorney for the child" formerly known as a "law guardian" may be appointed to advocate for the child’s best interest. Custody and/or visitation arrangements are not etched in stone, as they may be modified based if a parent can show that a significant change in circumstances has occurred such that a modification of custody/visitation is in the best interests of the child.

Family law is an area of law which requires the ability of an attorney to smooth over disagreements or tension between parents, strong negotiating, and if necessary, strong litigation skills - skills that are possessed by Michael A. Cohen.

Grounds For Divorce in New York State

No Fault Divorce in New York including Suffolk County, Nassau County, Westchester County, and the 5 boroughs of New York City including Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island.
The Grounds for Divorce that include "No Fault" Divorce include the towns and villages such as Great Neck, Roslyn, Manhasset, Port Washington, Garden City, Oyster Bay, Glen Cove, Lloyds Neck, Syosset to the north and Bellmore, Lawrence, Hempstead, Oceanside to the south in Nassau County.
Michael A. Cohen services divorce proceedings in the towns and villages of Suffolk County including Huntington, Commack, Northport, Stony Brook, Port Jefferson, Smithown, Dix Hills, Hauppauge, Islip and out to The Hampton Bays, Montauk, and Greenport.

A few years ago, New York State became the final state in the country to adopt some form of “No Fault” Divorce. For divorce actions started on or after October 12, 2010, in addition to the “fault” based grounds mentioned below, a spouse may be granted a divorce, provided that one party states under oath that the relationship between husband and wife has been “irretrievably broken” for a period of at least six months.
The amendment to the Domestic Relations Law further provides that a judgment of divorce cannot be granted unless and until all economic issues relating to property distribution, the payment or waiver of spousal support (eg. alimony/maintenance), child support, custody, visitation, and attorney’s fees have been resolved by the parties.