As we continue our series on Family Court, we understand that issues of this kind can be difficult, for our clients, and everyone else involved. The information that we are providing is hopefully helpful if you are going through a any type of family break up that may involve appearing in Family Court. For many reasons, and at many times, it may a big help for you to have the assistance of an attorney.
In family court a trial often does not occur for several weeks after the petition is filed. There are exceptions for abuse and neglect cases where children have been removed from their homes and in certain custody cases. Until the trial is concluded, temporary orders are often in place until the court reaches its decision. Temporary orders are made whether or not you have an attorney and can often have serious immediate consequences both financially and in terms of access to your home and your children. Having an attorney helps you have input into the terms of that temporary order that are in your best interests.
If the case cannot be resolved, it will be put down for a trial in the future. There are rules of evidence and procedure which govern how and what the court can consider as evidence. You may have seen examples of this on television shows or in movies involving court room scenes. However, no matter what you have seen on television or in a movie, these are poor replacements for the advice of an attorney on an evidence issue. Likewise, good intentioned friends, coworkers and family members may provide you with advice and support. Support is wonderful; advice however can be dangerous. Unless your friend, coworker or family member is an experienced family court lawyer, you should not be taking legal advice from them.
Source: Westlaw – Callagan’s Family Court and Law Practice New York