Family Court

The Family Court Division plays a critical role in promoting the well-being of the City's children and protecting the general public. You can read more about the Family Court Division on the Division's website.

The Family Court Division consists of two units – Juvenile Delinquency and Interstate Child Support. 

Attorneys in the Juvenile Delinquency Unit investigate and prosecute, where appropriate, juvenile delinquency matters that are referred to our office or removed from the Youth Part. Juvenile delinquency matters involve youth under 18 who have been arrested for conduct that would constitute a crime if they were adults. The goal of these proceedings is to address the needs and best interest of the youth and to ensure the safety of the community. The Division operates 365 days per year, including evenings, weekends, and holidays.

The Interstate Child Support Unit appears on behalf of out-of-state custodial parent petitioners who are seeking to establish paternity and obtain child support from New York City residents. In addition, a custodial parent who lives in New York City may seek the Unit's assistance in filing for child support from parents who live outside the state and the country. Attorneys in the Family Court Division's Interstate Child Support Unit primarily handle child support petitions filed under the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA) by out-of-state jurisdictions or custodial parents residing in other states, U.S. Commonwealths, and many foreign countries. Staff also assist many New York City residents in obtaining paternity and child support orders.

In 2021, the Family Court Division handled more than 2793 juvenile delinquency referrals and approximately 1107 new Interstate Child Support cases.

What New Attorneys Do

New attorneys are primarily placed in the Juvenile Delinquency Unit. The Family Court Division is ideal for attorneys with a passion for juvenile justice. First-year attorneys in the Family Court Division’s Juvenile Delinquency Unit carry a caseload and are responsible for all aspects of the practice. This includes community outreach and engagement, case investigation, motion practice, conducting extensive discovery, and courtroom litigation including pre-trial hearings, trials and dispositional hearings. The Division has offices in each of the five boroughs and new attorneys will be assigned to one office. First-year attorneys are also assigned to a four-month rotation in evening court where they work weekday evenings at 100 Centre Street. 

What Summer Interns Do

Summer Interns are primarily placed in the Juvenile Delinquency Unit. Interns in the Family Court Division will work with attorneys to investigate cases. Interns will conduct interviews with complainants and law enforcement personnel with the goal of drafting accusatory petitions, and may appear in Family Court to conduct pre-petition detention hearings (where a decision is made whether to hold the accused in custody pending the outcome of the case), arraignments, court conferences, and dispositional hearings (where the court determines the appropriate outcome or services to be provided). Interns may also assist attorneys with evidence suppression hearings and fact-finding hearings (at which guilt or innocence is established). Interns can argue on the record in Family Court, under the supervision of an attorney, pursuant to a student practice order. The Division has offices in each of the five boroughs and interns will be assigned to one office.

Read the Law Department's Annual Reports for More Information about the Family Court Division