The Family Court of the State of New York was established to take action in the lives of children, parents and spouses. The Court has a wide range of powers to fit the particular needs of the people who come before it.
The Family Court Act gives the Family Court power to hear certain types of cases, including but not limited to matters of child support, spousal support, paternity, custody and visitation, and family offense proceedings (Orders of Protection).
Most Family Court hearings (trials) are heard by judges. Support magistrates hear and determine support and paternity cases. There are no juries in Family Court: the judge or support magistrate conducts a hearing and decides the case.