NYC Family Law Attorneys

The Spodek Law Group is a premier, and top rated group of NYC family law attorneys. Few areas of law create more distress in life, than family and divorce law. Family law is a complicated process. It can be a result of parting from someone you love, but don’t wish to be with. It is a process filled with anxiety. It can involve losing your property, and custody of your children – and frankly, everything you’ve worked hard for. At the Spodek Law Group, we believe that even though divorce and family law is a complicated and stressful area of law – it shouldn’t mean the end of everything. By hiring the right law firm, you can start over – with a clean slate, and without stress.

Even though divorce, custody, property, and child support issues arise, the stress of them should not be made worse by incompetent family law attorneys. For that reason alone,  you want a divorce lawyer who gets it and is on your side. The Spodek Law Group is here to help you. Not only do we consider ourselves competent family law attorneys, we also are extremely flexible. It means, we offer flexible payment plans – and try to charge the lowest fees possible while offering extremely competent and top notch legal representation.

Dealing with joint legal custody and joint physical custody in family law issues

There are two types of child custody you have to be aware of: physical and legal custody.

Parents are typically granted physical custody if they are the parent the child shall live with. The parent is granted legal custody, if he/she will be responsible for making all major decisions on behalf of the child/children. Parents who are granted joint legal custody by the Court are expected to be amicable with each other and make joint decisions regarding all issues concerning the child. This is a shared responsibility regardless of which parent the child lives with. The parent who has legal custody over a minor is the parent that is going to be making all decisions concerning how the child is raised. If parents are awarded joint legal custody, then this means that both parents will have an equal right in making decisions concerning the welfare and upbringing of the child. If you are forced to share joint legal custody, then you have to take the other parents opinion into consideration when deciding the future of the child.

What’s Joint Physical Custody

The court, in most cases, doesn’t grant joint physical custody in NY family law issues. The parent that spends the most time with the child has physical custody, and the other parent has visitation. Issues concerning joint custody are usually remediated by a custody agreement signed in Court, which details the terms physical custody. The decision to open a case in Family Court, is one that should really think about. Working out issues of Custody and Visitation without the Court intervening are a great idea, if possible. It’s cheaper, faster, and more stress free. The Court process can be long and arduous, and for this reason alone we recommend that you – as parents – decide the fate of your child. When the judge is deciding who gets custody of the child, he/she will look at a number of things. The decision isn’t based on who has more money, or the sex of the mother/father. Typically, the judge will look at at what he/she believes is in the interests of the child. The Judge might order a Court Ordered Investigation in order to gather more facts. In this situation, a Caseworker will visit the homes of both parents, and then write a report for the Judge. This report will describe what the homes of the parents are like, and the case worker will ask questions to the parents as well. The responses are then recorded and given to the judge. If there are possible mental health issues, then court might order a forensic evaluation as well.


The Judge will look at many things to make the determination of who will get Custody of the child. The decision should not be based on who has more money or the sex of the mother or father. The Judge will look at what he or she believes, after reviewing or hearing all of the relevant facts, what is in the Interests of the child in determining which party will get custody. The Judge may Order a Court Ordered Investigation where a Caseworker will visit the homes of both parents and write a report for the Judge. This report describes what the homes of the parents were like and records responses to questions answered by the parents and perhaps other individuals that may live in the home.  If there are possible mental health issues involved the Court might order a forensic evaluation. Here both parties will be evaluated by a forensic psychologist, and this psychologist will provide a report to the Court as well.    Finally, in a case where the child is able to express herself, the Court may appoint a Law Guardian to represent the child in a Custody proceeding. The law guardian’s job is to tell the Court what the child wants. Older children’s opinions in Custody cases are taken very seriously.

Thus, with so many variables, the outcome of a Custody case may be hard to predict.  Even though you think you may love your child more than the other parent this does not mean you are going to get Custody.  You should, however, file for Custody when you and the other parent cannot agree on what’s for the child, or when you believe your children are being harmed or in danger of being harmed by the other parent. Finally, a custody or visitation petition can be filed when you want to find out what your rights are or at least get an official document from the Court establishing your rights.

What happens when the other parent does not pay attention to a court order?

You can bring a legal proceeding for violation of a Court Order and that violating parent could potentially be found in contempt of Court. For example in a custody matter, the violating parent could potentially be incarcerated for violation of a court order.  Repeated violations of Court Orders by a custodial parent could lead to a temporary or permanent change of custody.

Should I file a Family Offense petition to get an Order of Protection against my spouse?

My office takes domestic violence very seriously and I have successfully represented abused women and men in Family Offense proceedings.  Furthermore and unfortunately, there are times when someone is falsely accused of abuse and they are forced to go to court to fight their Order of Protection case.  I have won cases of this type and would be happy to help.

I can answer all other questions by a free phone consultation.  Please call me at 718 864 2011.

I also specialize in divorce actions and have great rates for simple divorces.

My divorce fees are currently:

  • Only $399 (plus the court fees you’d pay even if you were handling your divorce on your own) for an uncontested divorce involving no children and no property
  • Only $599 (plus court fees) for an uncontested divorce involving minor children and only $650 (plus court fees) for an uncontested divorce involving property

Though my fees are lower, my legal services come with the legal knowledge I’ve gained from 11 years of family law experience. Since 2002 I have assisted hundreds of clients affordably and efficiently complete their divorce, retain custody of their children, obtain needed spousal and child support and hold onto their homes, savings and family businesses. Do you have questions regarding:

  • Divorce? My services cost less than “document filers” yet, when you hire me, you get your questions answered and receive guidance and assistance at every step of the divorce process.
  • Prenuptial and cohabitation agreements? I work with straight and GLBT couples to create documents that protect both parties’ interests and are enforceable in the event of separation or death.
  • Property distribution? Be careful when you “buy peace” or “keep it simple” by agreeing to your spouse’s ideas and demands. I can work effectively and affordably to protect your rights to property, health insurance and ongoing support.
  • An alimony or child support modification? Support agreements are meant to reflect current needs. For this reason, courts are amenable to modifications that serve the current interests and rights of both payers and payees.
  • Complex property? Though I have handled hundreds of uncontested divorces, I am also knowledgeable and skilled regarding the protection and division of businesses, investments and complex debt.
  • Child custody, including cases involving the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS)? I can facilitate negotiations and litigate disputes regarding child custody and have handled and appealed dozens of cases in which the ACS has been involved.

My legal services combine low fees with the seasoned, experienced representation needed to obtain the results you and your family need. To begin the process of affordably and fully achieving your family law goals, contact my Brooklyn, New York, office at 718-864-2011. Phone and in-office initial meetings are free. Or if you prefer, start by completing my short online divorce intake form.