When You Do Not Need a Lawyer

In New York, each county has its own Family Court. The courts are open to all persons and it is not necessary to be represented by a lawyer in that court. In addition, the intake clerks stand ready to assist you in drafting a petition for the relief you will seek before a judge.

The matters that are traditionally handled in the family court, include support both for a spouse and children, custody and visitation issues, paternity suits, and collection of arrears for support. While no attorney is necessary to appear with you, there is no prohibition to obtain the services of an attorney if you wish to do so. You must decide whether the expense will be cost effective. In most support and collection matters, the issues are not complex, and you could well decide to go it alone.