All trials and appeals
My name is Paul Matthews. I am a top rated and affordable divorce and family law attorney, conveniently located here in New York City. I opened my private Family Law Practice in downtown Manhattan in 1996, specializing in family law trials and appeals. To date, I have tried over 500 cases. I have also prosecuted or defended over a dozen appeals, and have successfully filed over a hundred uncontested divorce cases.
I believe that attorney fees in New York State, and particularly in New York City, have become way too high. I charge $200 an hour for all Family Court Cases, including child support and child custody cases, as well as for appeals from the Orders of the Family Court, which is much less than is charged by other New York City Family Law attorneys.
Like all reputable attorneys, I do require an up front retainer on contested cases. The amount of this retainer depends on a number of things, including the type of case, the complexity and difficulty of the case, whether the issues of law are simple or complex, and who the adversary is.
I consider my word, my integrity, and my reputation as my most important assets. My law practice enjoys a rating of A+ with the Better Business Bureau, and I myself enjoy the highest rating of “10-Superb” with AVVO, the most well known attorney rating service.
I offer a free initial telephone or skype consultation/ case evaluation on all cases except for contested divorces. Contact me today at (347) 461-0760.
Best Family Law Attorney
Over 500 Trials In Family Court
At the present time, my practice focuses on Family Law Matters. Family Law is a specialty practice which includes:
(if a child is involved, the case usually is considered to be a family law case). In New York State, except for Divorce cases, which are only heard in the Supreme Court, the majority of these cases are heard in the Family Court
Child Support cases in New York can be very tricky and complicated. Unless you are a w-2 wage earner with a full time job and no overtime, you likely need legal advice and legal assistance from an experienced family law attorney for your child support case. Even then, if your income is either high or very low, you may still need legal help.
What is frustrating for me about child support cases is that the client often thinks he or she can do a child support case themselves, and only contacts me to ask me for help after the trial is over. While it is sometimes possible to fix a botched child support trial, it is almost always very difficult to do so.
Strangely it is usually even more difficult to modify a prior child support order that was reached by an agreement than it is if the court just calculated the order based upon the parties’ income. If you have received a written order from a child support magistrate and you wish to challenge it, you have a very limited to do so, and should contact an experienced child support lawyer right away. I have expertise in all types of child support cases, including interstate cases and high net worth cases.
Child Custody Lawyer
Top Family Law Attorney
Child Custody trials can involve numerous witnesses, and hundreds, or even thousands, of pages of exhibits, such as emails, text messages, photographs, videos, etc. Frequently the Court will order the parties as well as the child or children to undergo a full forensic evaluation by a forensic psychologist or psychiatrist.
The law of custody in New York is somewhat unusual. In most other states when parents of a child or children separate, the law presumes that they will share legal custody. In New York, it can be said that the Law has a presumption against shared custody of a child. New York Courts will almost never award joint legal custody of a child unless the parents get along well together, and in fact most judges will only order joint legal custody on consent.
It is not uncommon for a child custody trial to last a year or more, spread out over numerous court appearances. Over the years I have tried hundreds of child custody cases in New York, including custody cases against some of the premier matrimonial and family law lawyers and firms in NYC, such as the law firm of Raoul Felder, Mayerson, Abramowitz and Kahn, Blank Rome, and many other attorneys and law firms.
Need A Family Lawyer For a Family Court Case?
The New York Family Court is unique in that it has its own customs, practices, and procedures. While most litigants and even some lawyers may think that the law is the law no matter what type of case, there are special statutes that govern Family Law cases, and over the years a whole body of Family Law Statutes and case law has evolved in New York which apply the law differently, especially when a child is involved.
Another difference is that when the welfare and custody of a child is concerned, the court usually takes a much more active role than in other types of cases not involving a child or children.
The court may order investigations by the City Child Welfare or Social Services Agency, may interview the child or children in chambers, and may refuse to sign off on settlements that it believes is not in the best interests of the child or children involved. There is even case law that in certain situations puts the burden on the court to call witnesses if the parties fails to do so.
Family court cases are also different in that the court will often assign free lawyers to a parent, and will also assign family law attorneys to a child or children. These attorneys used to be called “law guardians” but are now called the “attorney for the child”.
Some attorneys believe that just because they are experienced handling other types of cases in other courts that they can serve clients well in the Family Court on a custody or child support case. With very few exceptions, they are mistaken in that belief. You would probably be better served by finding a family law attorney or family law firm with special expertise in the Family Court
Because the only divorces that I presently handle are uncontested cases, the majority of my divorce clients are on the young side, have only been married for a relatively short time, and usually have no significant issues regarding division of property, such as homes, pensions, automobiles, substantial bank accounts, etc.
Most of these cases do not involve a child or children, but some do. These clients are primarily focused on getting their divorce as quickly as possible with a minimum of expense, stress, and aggravation.
However there may be some issues, such as pensions or retirement funds, that must be dealt with correctly in order to protect the client’s interests, even in uncontested divorce cases.
If your divorce involves a minor child or minor children (which includes “children” between 18 and 21), it is still possible to get a low cost uncontested divorce, provided that you and your spouse have figured out all of the issues in the divorce, including who is going to get custody of the child or children, and how much child support will be paid. Divorces involving a child require much more paperwork for the lawyer to prepare, but not much additional paperwork for the client to sign off on.
I pride myself on offering clients personalized attention for their uncontested divorce cases. I promise that I myself, not a paralegal or junior attorney, will prepare all of the necessary papers with the help of the latest software which helps avoid unnecessary mistakes and delays.
After the papers are filed with the Court, I calendar your case up and automatically follow up to make sure that the case has not “fallen through the cracks”. My fees are very reasonable, ranging from $500.00 plus court costs for a case with no children, to around $1500.00 plus costs for a case where there are minor children involved.
I always try my hardest to prepare and submit the papers as quickly as possible because I know that once you decide to divorce you want to get on with your life.