Types of Family Court Cases

I spend a lot of my time in Family Court, and I notice that many people don’t know what kinds of cases New York Family Court handles. If you are one of those people, this post is for you!

Family Court cases fall into 3 general categories: child protective, juvenile, and general family law cases. Child protective cases include neglect, abuse, and termination of parental rights (tpr). These cases are usually filed by the Administration for Children’s Services against parents or other caretakers of children. The respondents are alleged to have endangered the life, health, or safety of the children. Abuse cases involve more serious conduct than neglect, often rising to criminal offenses. Children can be placed in foster care in these proceedings. If they are, and if the parents take too long to get them back, a TPR can be commenced, and the children could eventually be adopted.

Juvenile cases include delinquency and persons in need of supervision (PINS) cases. Delinquency cases involve allegations of criminal conduct against persons younger than 16. Children can be put on probation or even placed in juvenile facilities as a result of these cases. These cases are filed by the NYC Law Department, also known as the Corporation Counsel. PINS cases are brought by parents or guardians against kids alleging that they are beyond their control. The court can offer services or place the kids in care if the parents refuse to take them.

The last group of cases is the general family cases. These included custody, visitation, child support, spousal support, paternity, adoption, and orders of protection. These cases are typically brought by a family member against another family member. They can result in various types of orders affecting children, families, and people in intimate relationships.

There is one important kind of case that NY Family Court doesn’t handle: Divorces. These cases are actually filed in Supreme Court, and Family Court has no jurisdiction over them.

I’ll try to go into more detail on these proceedings in future posts. Til then, enjoy the Fall.