An order of protection, commonly called a “restraining order” on Long Island, is a legal tool that can be used in cases of harassment and violence between people who share a relationship. When should you get an order of protection, and more importantly, when can you? (more…)
If your ex-spouse calls Child Protective Services, or CPS, your divorce in Nassau or Suffolk County court can become exponentially more difficult. Dealing with CPS is rarely a pleasant experience and even if your ex-spouse has made false claims against you, CPS still has to do its due diligence and fully investigate the situation and ensure the safety of the children in your home environment before closing the case. CPS investigations can make you feel vulnerable. Children may not understand why you are being investigated, and it can be difficult to explain. If your ex-spouse reported you to Child Protective Services, here are the five steps you should take. (more…)
If you’re considering the possibility of getting a divorce on Long Island, it’s important that you understand some of the basics of New York divorce law. Explore the grounds for divorce and decide which option best describes your unique situation. Then, contact an experienced family law firm to help guide you through the process of filing for divorce in Long Island and inform you of what your next steps should be.
Long Island Grounds for Divorce
In New York State, a few basic criteria must be met before you can file for divorce. You must meet the residency requirement, and you must also have a legally acceptable reason for divorce, also known as “grounds“. (more…)
As an experienced Long Island Divorce and Family Law Attorney, we see countless clients come to us seeking advice on obtaining an Order of Protection (OP).
The Basis for Granting an Order of Protection on Long Island
Orders of Protection are court-ordered documents that require the respondent (the abuser) to stay away from or refrain from contact with the petitioner (the victim of abuse). Family Courts in Suffolk County, Nassau County or any other county in New York are the most common forum in which to seek an Order of Protection. In order for the Family Court to grant an Order of Protection, the respondent must have committed a family offense.
What is a Child Protective Proceeding on Long Island?
A child protective proceeding is commenced by a Long Island child protective agency with a petition in the family court in Nassau County or Suffolk County. If your county or city agency has a concern for abuse or neglect, it can petition the family court and begin an action against the parent or guardian who is suspected of abuse or neglect. The county or city agency is known as the petitioner, and the parent or caretaker that is suspected of abuse or neglect will be the respondent. The goal of these proceedings is to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the child. Sometimes this means the court will have the parent or guardian address and correct problematic behaviors. If the parent or guardian cannot or does not correct abusive behaviors, the child may be removed from the home and placed into kinship or foster care. (more…)
Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection on Long Island, New York
As a family law attorney serving Suffolk County and Nassau County residents of Long Island, I am saddened to see a number of domestic violence cases each year.
For a person experiencing family violence, including threats or other abusive behavior, an Order of Protection is a helpful tool that can help to limit the behavior of the offender.
In Suffolk County or Nassau County Family Court, these orders are often between a current and former spouse, a person with whom the victim has a child in common, another family member related by either blood or marriage, or a person with whom the victim has had an intimate relationship. Many Orders of Protection in New York are “limited” in that they allow contact between the offender (also known as the respondent) and victim (also known as the petitioner) so long as there is no harassment, physically abusive behavior, or other intimidating or threatening conduct.
Orders of Protection Vary in Nassau County and Suffolk County Family Courts
Orders of Protection can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of each case and the reason the order is needed. Orders of Protection can instruct an offender to “stay-away” from the victim and the victim’s children and/or to “refrain from” certain abusive behaviors or activities. In certain circumstances, an Order of Protection may direct the offender to move out of the home in order to protect the victim. An order will likely direct the offender to refrain from threats, intimidation, or physical abuse. The Order of Protection can also instruct the offender to follow custody orders, pay child support, to not have a gun, or to stop calling or texting the victim.
In Suffolk County & Nassau County, Orders of Protection Issued by Family Court, Criminal Court & Supreme Court
Orders of Protection may be issued by the Family Court, Criminal Court, or Supreme Court. The existence of any other legal proceeding involving the parties may determine which court issues the Order. For example, for couples involved in a divorce, an Order of Protection may be issued in Supreme Court where the matrimonial proceeding is pending. For parties involved in a domestic violence or other criminal charge in Criminal Court, the Criminal Court may issue the order. And, finally, a family member may petition the Family Court for an Order of Protection.
Family Offense Petition
In Family Court, the victim may wish to file what is called a “Family Offense Petition.” The petition should contain all of the relevant information, including the conduct and behavior that caused them to believe the protective order is necessary. Once the petition is filed, a temporary order of protection may be issued until the other party has a chance to appear in court. Once the court determines that, based on the petition, an Order of Protection may be necessary, both parties will be asked to appear in court. The judge will decide which terms and conditions are to be included in the order based upon the nature of the offense and conduct in the petition.
Orders of Protection Can Be Useful Deterrents for Abusive Behavior on Long Island
An Order of Protection is often a useful deterrent for abusive behavior. It is a crime to violate an Order of Protection. The Order acts as probable cause for an arrest if police are called to a scene of a domestic dispute. This means that the police will not have to use judgment in determining whether to arrest the offender at the scene; the order of protection will allow the police to arrest if it appears that the Order of Protection is being violated. Any violation of an Order of Protection can result in new criminal charges. It is important for offenders to know that even if the victim/petitioner initiates the contact, it does not excuse the violation of the Order of Protection.
Contact Long Island Family Law Lawyer for Information on Domestic Violence and Orders of Protection in Nassau County and Suffolk County
If you believe that you may need an Order of Protection, or if an Order of Protection has been issued against you, it is important that you speak with an experienced attorney to know your rights and options. The Law Office of Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. can assist you with your Family Law and Divorce Law matters in Nassau County and Suffolk County. Contact our office at 631-923-1910 or fill out the short form on this page to schedule your free consultation.
Download our Free New York Divorce Guide
Our 41-page “Guide to New York Divorce: What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New York” written by an experienced family law lawyer Long Island’s Robert E. Hornberger, Esq., provides you with real information on the divorce process and the laws it rests upon in the state of New York. This book will help give you a solid foundation upon which you can begin the process of making your family’s, life better. Download your Free Guide to New York Divorce here.