September is Kinship Care Month. Kinship Care refers to caregiver grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, adult siblings, and even family friends. Nationally, more than 2.7 million children live with relatives, and New York State has more than 200,000 children living full time with kin. The Center for Elder Law & Justice provides free legal representation to…

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Submitted by Gabrielle Markle As of March 16, 2020, all non-essential matters in the Unified Court System of New York State were adjourned until at least April 30, 2020. Essential matters were narrowly defined to reduce traffic in the courthouse. It is advised that if you have an upcoming court date, to call the court…

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submitted by Sarah Hedden, Esq. The coronavirus pandemic is a scary and stressful time for everyone, but particularly for children. Their schools are closed, routines are disrupted, and they or their loved ones may be sick. It’s important to continue a routine for ourselves and the children we care for. Across the United States, about…

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Great news for non-parent custodians! I’m often asked, what’s the difference between guardians and custodians? Generally, Family Court issues Orders of Custody, and Surrogate’s Court issues Letters of Guardianship. There are several legal nuances, but one significant difference has been that non-parent guardians have the statutory authority to make medical decisions for children, just like…

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older person's hand with young child's hand

by Sarah Hedden, Esq. On October 29, 2019, an update to Section 1028-a of the Family Court Act was signed into law, paving the way for more relatives and “fictive kin” to be considered as placement resources when children are removed from their parents. It has expanded from relatives within three degrees of consanguinity to…

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By David A. Shapiro, Esq., Staff Attorney I’ve been a family law attorney since 1981, and there’s one thing I’ve learned: try not to get into a dispute with parents over visitation. This is a losing proposition. The nastiest cases that I have involve grandparent visitation. If your son or daughter is deceased, the situation…

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        Grandparents (or other family members) raising grandchildren face unique challenges as they become parents a second time around, and must often navigate a dizzying array of legal, financial, and social challenges as they step in to care for their grandchildren. In addition, grandparents must often stretch their budgets when they take on the…

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This information was provided by the Rural Law Center of New York and is re-published here with permission. LSED thanks the RLC for its generous contribution of content to our blog. Please visit the RLC website at www.rurallawcenter.org and for more information on grandparent visitation rights: http://www.rurallawcenter.org/docs/Grandparent%20Visitation%20Guide.pdf In New York State, grandparents have the right…

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A grandparent, or other relative, has the right to petition the Court for custody of children where it can be shown the parents are negligent or abusive.  Legal Services for the Elderly has helped many grandparents take custody of their grandchildren to get them out of dangerous situations.

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