Who’s Who’s In New York Family Court

JUDGES: A judge is in charge of the hearing (trial). Judges listen to witnesses, examine evidence, and then decide whether the case has been proven. 

SUPPORT MAGISTRATES: A support magistrate hears support cases (petitions seeking monetary support for a child or spouse) and paternity cases (petitions to declare someone to be the child’s father). 

COURT ATTORNEY REFEREES: Court attorney referees hear and issue orders in custody, visitation, and foster-care cases. 

PETITIONER: A petitioner is the person or agency filing the petition. A petition is a written request to the court to make a decision. 

RESPONDENT: The respondent is the person or agency against whom the petition is filed. 

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