Family law

Family Court

Order of Protection

If your spouse, intimate partner or another family member is hurting or threatening you or your child(ren), Her Justice can help you obtain a court order that tells your abuser to stop the violent, abusive, harassing or threatening behavior.

An order of protection could do many things:

  • Order your abuser to stay away from you, your home, job, school, child(ren)’s school or day care, and/or any other place where you often go
  • Order your abuser to move out of the home you and he live in (even if your name is not on the lease or title)
  • Order your abuser to not to interfere with the care and custody of your child(ren)
  • Order your abuser to pay temporary child support
  • Give you temporary custody of your child(ren)
  • Revoke your abuser’s gun license and order him to surrender any guns in his possession
  • Order your abuser to pay you for expenses caused by his abuse such as:
    • medical or emergency room expenses
    • repairs for damage to personal property

Her Justice can help you petition (ask) the court for legal and/or physical custody of your child(ren). We can also help you ask the court to order safe visitation arrangements for your child(ren) with their father.

Legal Custody

Having legal custody of your child(ren) means you have the right to have your children live with you. You also have the right to make decisions about your child(ren)’s:

  • education
  • medical care
  • religious upbringing


Visitation is typically awarded by Family Court to the parent who does not have custody of the child(ren). Her Justice can help you ask the court to restrict his visitation or deprive him of visitation if you are worried:

  • that the father may hurt or neglect your child(ren) or
  • about his possible mental illness, alcohol or drug addiction or
  • about other dangerous behavior

Child Support

In New York State, parents must support their child(ren) until they are 21 years old, unless the child(ren) is completely self-supporting.

Custodial parent = A parent who has custody

Non- Custodial Parent = A parent who does not have custody

The non-custodial parent must pay money to the custodial parent toward the care and support of their child(ren). The amount of support that the court will order is based on the child(ren)’s need and the parent’s ability to pay.

Her Justice can help you petition (ask) the court to order the father of your child(ren) to pay child support.

A child support order could do many things:

  • Establish (decide) who is the biological father of your child(ren) – paternity
  • Modify (raise or lower) an existing child support order
  • Order the Support Collection Unit (SCU) to take the child support payments directly from the father’s paycheck
  • Order the father to make a lump sum payment and/or payments over time of money he owes
  • Suspend the father’s driver’s license and/or professional or business license for failure to pay
  • Order the father to jail for up to six months for not paying child support he has been ordered to pay
  • Order the father to pay for health insurance and/or for medical expenses for special needs your child(ren) may have

Spousal Support or Maintenance

Her Justice can help you ask the court to order your spouse to support you financially, either

  • while you are married (spousal support) or
  • after you are divorced (spousal maintenance).

Courts do not always award spousal support or spousal maintenance. To decide whether to award it or not, the court will consider several factors, including:

  • length of the marriage
  • how healthy you and your ex-spouse are
  • you and your ex-spouse’s ability to earn your own income

Her Justice Cannot Assist You With:

  • Child abuse and neglect cases
  • Adoption or foster care cases
  • Criminal cases


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