Child & Family Law

Family Court Proceedings

The Family Courts of the State of New York have jurisdiction in many areas. Harriet Causin has the knowledge, skill and experience to fight effectively for you in all areas handled by the Family Courts of the State of New York.

Abuse & Neglect Proceedings

In New York State a parent may ne charged with abuse or neglect of their child. When this happens, Child Protective Services (CPS), the Department of Social Services (DSS) or the New York City Administration of Childrens' services (ACS) has the ability to bring a proceeding against the parents(s) and ask that the Court remove the child(ren) from the home BEFORE the parents even have an opportunity to defend themselves.

Under certain circumstances, the Family Court had jurisdiction to terminate parental rights.

If you find yourself facing charges of abuse or neglect of your child(ren), the retention of competent legal counsel is essential. At Causin Law, we have over 25 years experience representing parents in abuse and neglect proceeding and will diligently protect your legal rights.

Child Support Proceedings

Whether they are married or not parents of children have a obligation to support them until those children are age 21, unless they become emancipated earlier. In New York Sate, Child Support is based on a strict mathematical formula known as the Child Support Standards Act (CSSA). Basically this formula states that the combined adjusted gross income for both parents (total income minus social security, medicare, city tax, support paid to other children or to a spouse pursuant to a Court Order, and other allowable deductions) is multiplied by a percentage based on the number of children who will be subject to this support order. The percentages are 17% for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, 31% for four children and at least 35% for five or more children. The result, called the combined parental obligation, is then allocated between the parents proportionately to their individual adjusted gross income (referred to as their "pro-rata" share). To this amount more money may be added for what is called "add-ons" . Add-ons can be health insurance costs, health expenses not covered by insurance, child care, educational expenses and similar. Each parent is responsible for their pro-rata share of these expenses.

Although it is possible for parents to "opt-out" of this formula, the Court must approve all deviations from the formula. At Causin Law, we are experienced in drafting "opt-out" agreements that the Court will approve.

Harriet Causin will represent you in all Child Support actions - whether you are seeking child support for the first time, seeking to enforce an Order of Support already in effect, attempting to modify an existing Child Support Order or you are defending against a petition claiming that you have violated an Order of Support.

Spousal Support Proceedings

If you are married and your spouse is not supporting you, an application can be made in the Family Court for spousal support. This should not be confused with "maintenance" (previously called alimony) which can be awarded by the Supreme Court in an action for divorce. At Causin Law, we have the skill and knowledge to represent you in a Family Court spousal support case.

Custody & Visitation

Unless parents come to an agreement on the custody of their children and the visitation rights of the non-residential parent, the Court will hold a hearing to determine who the custodial parent will be and when and how much visitation the other parent will have.

Harriet Causin has the experience and knowledge to assist you in structuring the most effective custody and visitation arrangements for your child and your child's other parent. When settlement is not possible, she has the experience and skill to zealously represent you in a hearing.

Prior to the hearing, the Court may, of its own volition, appoint an attorney for the child(ren) (AFC), direct that a home investigation be conducted by Child protective Services (CPS), the Department of Social Services (DSS) or, in New York City by the Administration for Children's Services (ACS). The Court may also direct that a psychological evaluation of both parents be made as well as drug and alcohol testing, if appropriate.

When the non-custodial parent has drug, alcohol, anger or other problems, supervised visitation may be the only alternative.

At Causin Law, we will aggressively represent our clients who are involved in custody disputes.

Orders of Protection

If they have been the victim of certain criminal acts (i.e. assault, harassment, menacing or similar), a person can bring a petition for an Order of Protection against a spouse (or former spouse), certain members of their family or household or a person with whom they have a child in common, as more specifically defined by the Family Court Act.

Even if the accused party was not present in Court, if the "victim" can convince the Judge that they are in danger, the Court may issue a Temporary Order of Protection, which generally remains in effect until the next Court date. Based on the severity of the allegations, the Court may direct the "accused" to "stay away" from the home, school or place of employment of the "victim", possibly to the extent of directing the "accused" to leave a residence they have in common with the "victim'.

These types of cases may be heard in the Family Court, Criminal Court and in special Domestic Violence Parts of the Supreme Court.

If you are the victim of domestic violence or have been accused of such, you should consult with an experienced attorney. Harriet Causin has represented numerous clients in these matters.

Proceedings Concerning Persons in Need of Supervision (PINS) &s; Juvenile Delinquency (JD)

When your child is accused of a crime (JD)or does not attend school or behaves in a manner that is dangerous or out of control (PINS), you need the services of a skilled attorney.

We have experience in representing adolescents and young adults with these problems. We will work with you to make your child's future better.

Paternity Proceedings

In New York State, the establishment of Paternity is usually conducted in the Family Court. Paternity can be established by acknowledgment or by DNA tests, which are given substantial weight by the Court.

The establishment of Paternity brings with it the obligation to support the child in question until age 21 (unless the child becomes emancipated at an earlier age.)

Baby with Law Books

Family Court can impact your family for many years.

Harriet Causin is an experienced Family Law attorney who would be pleased to represent you in issues such as:

  • Support
  • Custody & Visitation
  • Abuse & Neglect
  • Orders of Protection

In the NYS Family Courts, you need an experienced attorney who will be dedicated to protecting your rights.

Harriet Causin, Esq. 104 South Central Avenue, Suite 14 Valley Stream, New York 11580
© Copyright 2016 Causin Law, All Rights Reverved
  Telephone (516) 823 0100

                                                      WEBSITE TERMS OF USE »
New York City Bar Association
Nassau County Bar Association