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Best Family Lawyers in Rochester

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DelleFave Law logo
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DelleFave Law

45 Exchange Blvd., Ste. 923, Rochester, NY 14614
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  • Prenuptial Agreements
  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

DelleFave Law represents clients throughout the Rochester metro in a variety of legal matters, including family law concerns. The firm often takes on cases surrounding divorce, child custody and support, litigation and collaborative law process, prenuptial agreements, and name changes. Anthony J. DelleFave holds memberships with the Collaborative Law Association of the Rochester Area and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. His other areas of practice include personal injury, business law, small claims, and criminal defense.

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Law Offices of Mark Chauvin Bezinque logo
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Law Offices of Mark Chauvin Bezinque

150 Allens Creek, Suite 250, Rochester, NY 14618
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Offices of Mark Chauvin Bezinque offers its services to families in Rochester. Practicing collaborative divorce, it works with financial management, valuation, and mental health professionals to create lasting resolutions to various issues, such as child custody, spousal support, and equitable wealth distribution. The firm also facilitates mediation among disputing parties and handles high-net-worth and same-sex divorce cases. Mark Chauvin Bezinque, who has been an attorney since 1996, has helped establish the Collaborative Law Association of the Rochester Area.

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Leonard A. Rosner Attorney at Law logo
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Leonard A. Rosner Attorney at Law

290 Linden Oaks Suite 220, Rochester, NY 14625
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  • Divorce

Business Description

Leonard A. Rosner, Attorney at Law, caters to families and individuals in Rochester. One of its practice areas is family law, providing legal representation to clients dealing with divorce cases. The firm negotiates and works closely with parents to help them resolve spousal maintenance, child support and custody, post-divorce modification, and prenuptial and postnuptial agreement lawsuits. It also litigates real estate and criminal law disputes. Primary partner Leonard Roster has been in the industry for more than 25 years.

Pheterson Spatorico Attorneys at Law logo
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Pheterson Spatorico Attorneys at Law

45 Exchange Blvd., Third Floor, Rochester, NY 14614
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Business Description

Pheterson Spatorico Attorneys at Law is a Rochester-based firm that serves clients throughout the metro. It works on family law cases involving various matters, including child custody and support. The firm utilizes an aggressive approach to advocate for the client's interests in litigation proceedings. It also offers estate planning services and helps individuals set up charitable trusts. One of its lawyers, Michael "Mike" Leess, has been in the field since 2016. He is a board of directors member at the Pittsford Chamber of Commerce.

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The Law Office of June Castellano logo
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The Law Office of June Castellano

150 Allens Creek Road, Rochester, NY 14618
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

The Law Office of June Castellano represents individuals and couples facing family conflict throughout Rochester. It focuses on helping clients resolve family law matters such as divorce and separation, child support, spousal maintenance, and custody through negotiation, collaborative law, and litigation, especially for domestic violence lawsuits. Mediation services are also available for couples who wish to consult with a neutral attorney. Castellano previously served as the Greater Rochester Association for Women Attorneys and the Monroe County Bar Association president.

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Van Loon Law, LLC Attorneys at Law logo
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Van Loon Law, LLC Attorneys at Law

421 University Ave., Rochester, NY 14607
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  • Child Custody
  • Divorce

Business Description

Van Loon Law, LLC, caters to the residents of Rochester and nearby areas. It provides legal support to individuals and couples facing family lawsuits. Attorney Nathan Van Loon represents people in various cases related to divorce, child custody, grandparents' rights, and adoption. He prioritizes the privacy of his clients when handling emotional and stressful family law matters. Van Loon has been practicing law since 2006, and he is part of the Monroe County Bar Association.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What kinds of cases do family lawyers handle?

Family lawyers handle all types of family-related issues, including divorce, child support and spousal support, custody, adoption, paternity and guardianship. Family attorneys can also handle prenuptial and postnuptial agreements and divide marital assets based on the policies outlined in these documents. Domestic violence cases are also within the purview of family law attorneys.

Is family court different from district court?

In most states, family court is a division of the district court rather than a separate court system. Family law judges primarily preside over family disputes, such as divorce and custody hearings. Most states require family law judges to receive special training on how to best address family law matters.

How long do custody cases last in family court?

The duration of custody cases can differ based on the circumstances surrounding the claim. A case in which parents agree to split custody can be quick, while lawsuits in which both parents or guardians are fighting for full custody can take much longer. Most child custody cases last three to 10 days, but this can vary under more challenging circumstances.

Why is there no jury in family court?

There are no juries in family court cases because the concept of innocence or guilt does not apply. While there may be some cases in which additional opinions could be helpful, most cases are based on the letter of the law versus individual circumstances. Some states, including Texas, permit jury trials for family court cases, but this is uncommon.

What are the most common cases in family court?

Family law covers a variety of different cases pertaining to familial relations. The most common cases in family court include:

  • Divorce cases, including settling issues of alimony, property distribution, and child care
  • Child custody and the determination of paternity
  • Domestic violence protection orders
  • Name changes, including modifications due to adoption or personal preference
  • Guardianship, including who will handle the care of a child or adult should current caretakers be unable to do so
  • Adoptions and the termination of parental rights
  • Juvenile matters, including child abuse and neglect, foster placements, and criminal conduct
  • Emancipation, which is the process of declaring a minor as independent from their parents
  • Approval of underage marriages

Do family lawyers handle mediation?

Mediation can be a valuable part of a divorce case, counseling spouses to work through areas of disagreement in a fair, calm, and unbiased manner. Most, but not all, family lawyers handle mediation. Anyone who believes they may need intervention services is encouraged to ask about an attorney’s experience with resolving disputes, to ensure that support is available if necessary.

What is family law?

Family law is an area of legal practice that places a special focus on issues concerning families. Common areas of family law include separation of assets and potential alimony arrangements during a divorce, child custody and child support mediation between estranged or divorced parents, paternity cases, and matters of adoption. Family lawyers not only oversee mediation during disputes over things like child support and custody arrangements, but they also represent parties' interests when family matters are dealt with in court.

What is a custodial parent?

When two parents do not live together with a child, one will be named as the custodial parent. The designated parent—or other guardian if both biological parents are deemed unfit—will have precedence in any legal decisions made concerning the child's life, including education and other matters of the child's welfare. The other parent is referred to as the noncustodial parent.

What is sole custody?

When a child lives with one parent full time after a divorce or a legal separation, that parent has sole custody. This parent will be fully responsible for providing basic necessities for the child's well-being, including food, shelter, and clothing. The alternative is joint custody, in which both parents share physical custody of the child, based on a predetermined legal arrangement.

While they may sound the same, sole custody is not identical to full custody. In full custody, the noncustodial parent may have visitation rights, while in sole custody, they do not. A court would rule that a parent has sole custody rather than full custody when only one parent is deemed fit to act in the best interests of the child.

What is joint custody?

Joint custody is a preset arrangement that occurs after a marriage is dissolved. In joint custody, a child lives with their custodial parent for certain days or weeks and their noncustodial parent for the remainder. The custody arrangement may be decided in a hearing, but if two parents come up with a suitable agreement on their own, the court will likely accept it.

What makes a good family lawyer?

There are a number of characteristics to look for in a good family lawyer. The first is experience. An experienced family law attorney will understand the right steps to take to come to an equitable resolution that reflects the best interests of the family, often without going to court. The ability to communicate and act as an intermediary between parties in a dispute is important, whether it concerns a divorce, custody, paternity, or something else. Family legal disputes can be stressful to manage, especially when mediation and finding a common ground is involved. A good family lawyer is also available as a resource to help their client navigate a difficult situation in a way that won't harm their chances for a positive resolution.

How can a mother lose custody of her child?

A mother could lose custody of her child if she's deemed unfit to provide or take proper care of them. This decision often comes as a result of the mother being unable to provide a safe home or take care of a child's basic needs. It can also come from a mother abusing the child or neglecting them, abusing drugs and alcohol, or frequently being arrested.

In any of these cases, the state can revoke custody from the mother, citing details learned through home visits, interviews, court records, and a variety of other sources as the reasons. In this case, sole custody would be given to the other parent, if he/she is able.

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