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Practice Area

Family & Divorce Law

We’re here to help you and your family.

The practice of Family, Matrimonial, and Divorce Law is about raising children, caring for them, paying for them, managing a household, planning a future, and securing finances. When you find yourself looking down the barrel of a family court petition, divorce summons, prenuptial agreement, or contempt application, these are the things at issue — the most important things in your life.

Zucker Law Offices P.C. will not charge you up front for a consult and will only bill you if you decide to hire our office. You will feel better about whatever it is you are facing after you talk to one of our experienced and professional staff members, so give us a call and feel better today!

Family Law Services We Offer

Child Support

You may have heard the phrase “nothing is certain in life but death and taxes.” However, the correct phrase is death, taxes, and child support. Child support in New York is set pursuant to a statutory structure and is based upon the parents income and the number of children between them. Zucker Law Offices, P.C. represents both custodial parents who receive child support and non-custodial parents who pay support. We can assist in filing the petition, preparing the compulsory financial disclosure documents, and in the courtroom to ensure that the amount of child support is the correct amount.

The amount of child support that is paid is based upon the child support standards act. The non-custodial parent pays a percentage of their gross income (before tax income) based upon how many children they have. 17% for one child, 25% for two, 29% for three, 31% for four, and 35% for five or more. Gross income can be found on your w-2 on line five. However, if the parent doesn’t receive a w-2 or owns their own business, gross income can be difficult to calculate.

Once child support has been ordered, life often changes. Kids get older, expenses go up, people change jobs, and people sometimes just stop paying. Modifications and enforcement of child support awards are emotionally charged and very stressful. If the payor (the non-custodial parent who pays support) gets behind, the court is authorized to put them in jail for a period of six months. This extreme outcome is generally not ideal for either party since you can’t pay child support in jail. Zucker Law Offices, P.C. employs a series of strategies to ensure jail time can be avoided and the payee (the custodial parent receiving support) can continue receiving the support they need.

Child Custody and Guardianship

The one thing you cannot get more of is time. Child Custody and Visitation creates, as a result, some of the most difficult challenges. The custodial parent will always feel like they are losing their important time with their children while the non-custodial parent will always feel like they never have enough. Striking a balance can seem impossible. Further, due to the limited amount of time you get in family court and the procedural intricacies of family court practice, family court judges can easily overlook the minutia of your unique case. An experienced attorney can simplify the issues and present your case to a judge so your issues can be heard and addressed.

There are two types of custody that need to be resolved in a custody case: Legal Custody and Physical Custody. Legal Custody is the right of a parent to be involved in the decision making process for a child. Legal custody is generally referred to as joint custody or sole custody. Joint custody is when the parent need to cooperate in the decision making process for a child. Sole custody is when only one parent makes the decisions for a child. Decision making is the process of deciding which extracurricular activities in which a child is involved, what kind of medical care they get, and how to handle issues in school. Physical custody is where the child is at any given time. This is the schedule the parents follow for sharing time. Parents can share physical custody equally or one parent can have more than the other. The metric for deciding is always what is in the best interest of the child/children.

Guardianship cases are initiated when you are not a parent but need to act like a parent for a child. Perhaps a family member has a drug problem and a baby needs a stable home. It might be that your sister is the subject of neglect proceeding and you don’t want your niece or nephew in foster care. Guardianship petitions are often filed by a child’s guardian angel.


Despite the joy that comes with bringing a new person into your family, adoptions are complicated. There are a number of documents that need to be prepared and you can easily find yourself wrestling with the county to move your adoption forward. While you may feel like you are looking at a rubix cube trying to make sense of what to do, it will feel like tic-tac-toe with us involved.

Domestic Abuse and Violence

Domestic Abuse and Violence is component of at least half of all family court cases. The hard truth of domestic violence is that victims are treated dramatically better in the court of public opinion than they are in family court. Tell ten strangers a story of domestic violence and the outrage will be palpable.

However, in family court domestic violence is often a tool to rend a child from another parent. As such, domestic violence is scrutinized and examined in ways that often feel like the victim is reliving that trauma again. On the other hand, with the epic volume of false allegations in family court, a careful and appropriate examination of those allegations serves both parties. Zucker Law Offices has handled both sides of domestic violence cases with the care and respect and care that domestic violence requires.

Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements are not only for the wealthy trying to ward off gold diggers. A prenuptial agreement allows you and your soon-to-be spouse to make a plan for how you will treat each other in the event that the marriage does not go as planned. Though you can use them to shelter assets, It can be a roadmap for a simpler and calmer divorce. In many ways, it is like insurance. You may never need it but you will be glad you have it if you do.


Divorces are uniquely complicated. Though there are only seven issues that need to be resolved in a divorce:

  • (1) grounds (This is the reason for getting divorced. NY is now a no-fault state which means you do not need a reason)
  • (2) Legal Custody (decision-making)
  • (3) Physical Custody (the visitation schedule between the parents)
  • (4) Child Support
  • (5) Spousal Maintenance
  • (6) Equitable Distribution
  • (7) Attorneys fees.

Presenting a divorce as having only seven issues is deceptive. The reality is that each of those issues has a panoply of sub-issues that makes the resolution of any one a truly herculean task. Divorces require patience, finesse, and a very careful implementation of brute force.


A determination of paternity is the most basic issue in any custody or child support case. Though it can be very easily resolved with a DNA test, which in all but very exceptional cases will be compulsory, a paternity determination will lead to child support and custody determinations. Paternity cases are unique in that they can be easily resolved without an attorney.

However, if paternity is established, you will instantly need an attorney and will not have the time to get one before a decision about child support or custody is made. This point cannot be stressed enough. If you are filing or receive a paternity petition, you need an attorney. If you do not have one, by the time the determination of paternity is made, you are already paying child support or determining an access schedule alone and without any help.

Writs of Habeas Corpus

All of us have heard this phrase at one point or another and have never really cared to look up the Latin. Honestly, why would you. However, this Latin phrase is one of the most important in the law. In Family Court, a Writ of Habeas Corpus is the petition to file when one parent is takes your child away and keeps them away without appropriate justification. If you go to the police when this happens, they will not help. The only mechanism to have a child returned to your care is through a Writ of Habeas Corpus.

Name Changes

Name changes don’t necessarily fit into the family court heading. Name changes are not necessarily straightforward. When it relates to a child, both parents need to consent or there needs to be a compelling reason to change a child’s name. It can be much simpler for adults. However, the procedural requirements can be very difficult without experience in this area. Zucker Law Offices knows how to file these cases and handle the procedure, including publication, that is required to have a name change application granted.

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