Each year, LIFT provides close to 30,000 parents and grandparents with high-quality legal information and expert guidance so that they can successfully represent themselves in New York Family Court and secure access to community resources to support their families.
There were 650,000 filings in New York State Family Court last year; 250,000 were filed in New York City alone. Eighty percent of litigants are unrepresented because they don’t qualify for a court-appointed attorney and can’t afford to hire one on their own. LIFT is there to help as these families tackle legal issues such as child support, custody, and visitation.
In the Courthouse
Every day, LIFT staff are in the Family Courthouses in all five boroughs providing immediate answers and guidance to those confused and overwhelmed by the court system. We also offer in-depth assistance wherein members of our Legal Center staff work one-on-one with litigants. We meet with individuals to help prepare them for court—organizing documents, explaining the process and procedure, practicing their presentation, and describing what the judge has asked of them.
In the Community
Back at LIFT’s office, our bilingual Hotline staff answers calls, emails, and live chat questions on family law matters from across NY State. And, since legal assistance alone cannot address the multiple challenges that confront families in crisis, LIFT offers community-based social services programs including Parenting Workshops and Mothers Support Groups.