AREAS of PRACTICE


DIVORCE
Divorce actions present complicated issues for the Husband and Wife, as well as for the attorneys representing the parties.  Issues of fault, child custody, child support, spousal maintenance/alimony, property distribution and debt distribution must be understood and negotiated, in consideration of the requirements of New York State Law.  Ninety to ninety-five percent of divorce actions result in a negotiated settlement when the parties are represented by highly experienced counsel.  Five to ten percent of divorce actions may proceed to trial.  A client is most effectively represented by counsel who concentrates their practice of law in the area of divorce actions, and who has experience in settling and/or trying many hundreds of similar matters.  This is the level of divorce action experience which you can count on with the Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC.

CHILD CUSTODY
In New York State, child custody actions arise either in the context of a divorce action before Supreme Court, or through an independently filed custody petition before one of the Family Courts of the State of New York.  Experience shows that child custody proceedings are one of the most emotionally charged events in the lifetimes of the litigants.  Such emotions can cloud the judgment of otherwise entirely logical and rational individuals.  The client is best served by legal representation from counsel with significant experience in the area of child custody.  The Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC provide the client with  over 24 years of experience in a highly successful child custody practice.  Although over ninety percent of child custody cases may result in a negotiated settlement, up to ten percent of custody proceedings do proceed to full trial.  The Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC provides the client with experience in many hundreds of negotiated and fully litigated child custody proceedings, with a high rate of success.

PARENTAL VISITATION
At times, separated or divorced parents may come to disagreement on the proper frequency of visitation between the non-custodial parent and the subject children.  The first step of any parties who reach disagreement as to proper frequency of visitation should be to attempt to resolve the issue between themselves.  This failing, legal representation concerning visitation issues can and should start with realistic efforts to settle the issue between the parties without the need for the filing of Court petitions.  If pre-action settlement efforts by counsel prove unsuccessful, actions are available to parties before Supreme Court and before Family Court, contingent upon case circumstances, to allow for a judicial determination of whether visitation schedules should be established, modified, or left alone.  The Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC provide the client with over 24 years of experience in negotiating and resolving contested visitation issues.  In the rare case of negotiations failing, full trial services concerning visitation matters are also provided to the client.

GRANDPARENTAL CUSTODY/VISITATION
New York State Law provides specific statutory rights to grandparents concerning visitation actions.  Grandparents also have rights to custody of grandchildren under certain circumstances.  Jack Piller, Esq. has successfully represented numerous grandparents in the Clinton, Essex and Franklin County areas of New York State, assuring judicial determination of grandparental visitation and/or custody rights if efforts at negotiation of these issues fail.  The client should be advised that upwards of ninety percent of such grandparental custody and/or visitation proceedings do end in an agreeable negotiated settlement when highly experienced counsel are involved in the case.

THIRD-PARTY CUSTODY PROCEEDINGS
Under New York State Law, absent extenuating circumstances, parents have custodial rights to their natural and biological children superior to all third parties.  However, under certain circumstances, when abuse, neglect, abandonment or other extraordinary circumstances exist, a related or unrelated third party may be entitled to bring proceedings before a Family Court seeking Orders of legal and physical custody of children.  The Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC provide the client with an extensive history of success, through negotiation or trial, in obtaining custody for third-party litigants when the facts and circumstances of the case so allow under New York State Law.

CHILD SUPPORT
When parents physically separate or divorce, child support is often an issue which must be negotiated or judicially resolved.  Further, certain circumstances under New York State Law require that a responsible adult pay child support during the pendency of a divorce action for an unrelated step-child. Child support, by legal definition, may require cash payments, provision of health insurance, payment of daycare expenses, and/or payment of educational expenses.  The Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC provide the client with over twenty years of experience in negotiating and litigating child support proceedings of all kinds before Supreme Court and Family Court in the State of New York.  The client is provided with the most up to date knowledge of the requirements of the New York State Child Support Standards Act, together with the experience of counsel thoroughly familiar with novel and fair manners of settling the child support issue without the need for trial.  If trial is necessary, however, the client is provided with the benefit of counsel having experience in many hundreds of similar matters.  The client can confidently expect sound advice along with predictable and understandable case results..

SPOUSAL SUPPORT
On occasion clients are faced with a situation where they are separated from their spouse and, due to legal advice or other considerations, do not wish to file for divorce at the time.  Even without a divorce filing, however, financial assistance from the higher earning spouse may be available through a proceeding known as a Family Court spousal support proceeding.  The Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC provide the client with counsel highly experienced in petitioning for, prosecuting, negotiating and trying spousal support cases before the Family Court of the State of New York.  Such support may allow the less monied spouse to meet monthly bills or other financial obligations, thereby allowing the spouse to live with a level of dignity and financial independence until such time as reconciliation occurs, or, in the alternative, until such time as a divorce action is filed, with a resulting Order of spousal maintenance replacing the Family Court established spousal support obligation.

SEPARATION
At times, a husband and wife may grow apart.  They may determine that they wish to establish separate households.  They may further desire to separate their property and financial interests.  If the parties are otherwise agreeable and willing to work together to reach a comprehensive settlement, the negotiation of a Separation Agreement may prove to be an ideal manner of proceeding.  Jack Piller, Esq. has been involved in the negotiation of, drafting of, and successful execution of Separation Agreements for hundreds of Northern New York clients over the past 24 plus years.  In certain circumstances, the pursuit of such a Separation Agreement may be the best available option for parties who wish to maintain health insurance coverage for both spouses at a reduced family plan rate, as compared to the significant expense of COBRA health insurance premiums which may be available after the issuance of a divorce Judgment between the parties.

ORDERS OF PROTECTION/FAMILY OFFENSE PROCEEDINGS
At times, domestic relationships present circumstances where harassment, threats or assault occur, to a spouse, domestic partner, or child.  In those cases, parties may be entitled to file Family Offense proceedings before Family Court.  Alternatively, the parties may be entitled to file a proceeding seeking the issuance of Orders of Protection before Supreme Court.  Further, should an Order of Protection be violated by any party to the Order, enforcement proceedings may be prosecuted, resulting in extensive incarceration of a party found liable by Supreme Court or Family Court for violation of such Orders.  Jack Piller, Esq. has represented hundreds of clients over two plus decades of practice in such proceedings, and has negotiated and/or tried such matters to successful conclusion in the vast majority of cases.  The Orders of Protection which frequently result from such proceedings provide the victim with a level of protection from the Family Court system, Supreme Court system and criminal justice system which acts as a significant deterrent to future threatening or harmful behavior.

VIOLATION OF COURT ORDERS/CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS
Sometimes, after a divorce Judgment, Family Court Custody Order or Family Court Child Support Order issues, a party to the matter fails, knowingly or otherwise, to comply with the Judgment or Order requirements.  In those cases, enforcement of a party's rights is essential.  Those rights may be enforced initially by efforts of the parties themselves to avoid the expense of attorney's fees and litigation costs, through direct communication.  This failing, counsel correspondence advising the party in violation as to the requirements of the Judgment/Order and advising of imminent legal proceedings absent compliance with the Judgment/Order frequently results in a resolution of the situation.  This failing, the filing of a violation proceeding, enforcement proceeding, or contempt proceeding before Supreme Court or Family Court may be appropriate in assuring the rights of the aggrieved party.  The Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC provide the client with over 24 years of experience in negotiating resolutions to such situations, or, in the alternative, trying enforcement proceedings or contempt proceedings before Supreme Court and/or Family Court to successful conclusion.

PATERNITY
Paternity is the issue at the heart of child custody and child support proceedings in the State of New York.  Before a party can be found to be entitled to visitation or custody of a child, and before a party can be found to be obligated to pay child support, the paternity of the child must be established.  In the event that the parties were married at the time the child was born, there is a legal presumption that the married parties are the natural and biological parents.  In the event that the child is born to unmarried parents, paternity cannot be established absent the execution of an Acknowledgment of Paternity in proper form, and/or absent the commencement of a paternity proceeding with resultant DNA testing.  In cases where paternity is questioned, whether the child was born during marriage or otherwise, the Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC can provide the client with full legal representation to assure that paternity is properly established, and/or to prevent parties in the appropriate case from pursuing a paternity proceeding.  As the issue of paternity is at the heart of all custody and child support proceedings, a party who questions paternity should take such issues before the Court with great seriousness.

ADOPTION
Under New York State Law, when a party adopts a child, they assume all rights, entitlements, and responsibilities of a natural and biological parent.  Adoptions occur in private placement situations, through agencies, through contested proceedings and through interstate proceedings.  Children living in foster care are adoptable in the proper circumstance.  In the event that you face an issue or potential issue involving adoption, the Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC provide the client with full service adoption consultation and representation.

FULL DIVORCE MEDIATION SERVICES
When parties think of divorce actions, they often think of vigorously contested proceedings concerning custody, child support, spousal maintenance/alimony, property distribution, and liability distribution, in a public courtroom and at huge expense.  The client should be advised that their divorce experience does not need to proceed in this manner.  For the parties who wish to divorce, but at the same time believe they can continue to communicate with and respect each other, divorce mediation services may provide the parties with the best possible solution.  Mediation services involve both of the parties in frank discussions with the mediator.  The mediator listens, first and foremost.  The mediator answers the questions of the parties, with the benefit of  over 24 years of practice concentrating in New York State divorce proceedings.  The mediator then assesses the income ability of the parties, the assets acquired during the marriage and otherwise, and attempts to facilitate a negotiated settlement between the parties, with both of the parties present, giving full consideration to the requirements of New York State Law.  After an agreement in principal is reached during mediation, a proposed comprehensive Marital Settlement Agreement/Separation Agreement is drafted for review by each of the parties with their own individually retained counsel.  A successfully mediated divorce settlement may save each of the parties tens of thousands of dollars in money that otherwise would be expended on fully litigated divorce proceedings.  A benefit of mediated divorce settlements beyond financial includes the far greater potential for continuation of congenial and respectful communications between the parties.  The Law Offices of Jack Piller, PLLC provides clients with full divorce mediation services.