Family Court in NY: On the Mend But Still Needs Work

Family disputes can be extremely emotional and complex matters, especially when child custody or paternity is concerned. When parents in New York are faced with a dispute that requires legal attention, many of them turn to the Family Court system for justice. Unfortunately, many families are forced to wait months if not years to have their cases heard due to the woeful inefficiencies of the state’s legal system. While efforts in recent years have made slight improvements, there is still quite a long way to go to get the courts to an acceptable speed.

The Problem of Overcrowding

One of the biggest issues plaguing New York’s family court system is the issue of overcrowding. While recent 2015 increases in funding have allowed the addition of nine more judges to family courts throughout New York City, some judges, such as those handling child protective matters, have been known to handle more than 500 cases at a time. This overcrowding can cause people to have to wait months to have their cases heard. To put this lack of resources in perspective, a recent article published by The Pacific Standard reveals that nearly half of all child protective service cases in Brooklyn have not been resolved after having been in the court system for more than a year’s time.

As troubling as this seems, current conditions have improved dramatically when compared to those of recent years. No more than five years ago, judges were forced to schedule as many as five court hearings for the same time slot, causing divorce lawyers to frantically run from courtroom to courtroom and miss trials in the process. The improvements that have been made are marginal at best, making it important for people to make an effort to resolve their family issues out of court in order to avoid being caught in the dreadfully slow pace of the legal system. An experimental procedure of assigning different judges to each phase of trial has been implemented in an effort to speed up the courts’ efficiency, though only time will tell if this has any real effect.

The Benefits of Settling Outside of Court

Working towards a settlement out of court can be greatly beneficial means of beating the system and avoiding the lengthy and expensive process of litigation. If you are involved in a family law dispute, it important you make a sincere effort to settle out of court to reach a speedier resolution. An attorney can help you negotiate with your spouse and handle pre-trial resolutions, allowing you to solve your legal issues at your own pace and avoid the headaches of the court system’s delays.

At Hedayati Law Group P.C., our knowledgeable Long Island family law attorneys can protect your interests and help you and your spouse reach a mutually acceptable solution to your family law issue. Having more than 100 years of legal experience, we can handle disputes of any level of complexity and provide the trial-tested support you need during this difficult time.

To find out more about how we can help, call (631) 880-6440 to request a free consultation today.

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