Factors Considered During New York State Child Custody Hearings


Gordon Burrows

Gordon Burrows

An attorney with over 30 years of experience as a legal professional in the state of New York, Gordon Burrows is a lawyer who practices out of his private firm in White Plains. Since the start of his career, Gordon Burrows has focused on matrimonial and family law, including matters related to parental rights and child custody.

In New York child custody proceedings, there is a collection of factors that the courts consider when deciding which parent will receive custody. All these factors are evaluated with the “best interest of the child” in mind.

Though the definition of what constitutes the best interest of the child will vary slightly by state, New York emphasizes that “the child’s health and safety shall be the paramount concerns.” While each case is different, the factors considered by judges include how much time a parent has spent as the child’s primary caregiver, the parent’s mental and physical health, his or her ability to provide childcare arrangements, whether or not the child has siblings, and a parent’s ability to provide for any special needs that a child might have. Factors such as a parent’s willingness to cooperate with the spouse from whom they are separating may also be considered.


The Rule of Law Initiative at the American Bar Association

Rule of Law Initiative  pic

Rule of Law Initiative
Image: americanbar.org

Gordon Burrows brings more than 30 years of experience to his work as a matrimonial and family law attorney based in White Plains, New York. Throughout his career as a lawyer, Gordon Burrows has worked to improve his practice through memberships in several legal organizations, including the American Bar Association (ABA).

Alongside its professional development offerings for practicing attorneys, the ABA oversees advocacy activities such as its Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI). First launched in 2007, the initiative promotes the rule of law to improve justice, economic opportunity, and human dignity for people around the globe.

The establishment of ROLI consolidated five rule of law programs that the ABA had led for over 25 years. Today, a staff of over 500 professionals guides the initiative, which brings together government agencies, law schools, bar associations, and community organizations in over 100 countries. Together, the ABA and its ROLI partners work to strengthen legal systems, promote citizens’ rights, and advance the public’s understanding of the law.

Research conducted as part of ROLI has provided the foundation for tools and training that help local stakeholders in communities worldwide improve transparency and accountability in their justice systems. The initiative also promotes thought leadership through publications and events, including its annual Contemporary Rule of Law Issues conference.

An Overview of Divorce in New York State


Gordon Burrows

Gordon Burrows, an attorney with more than three decades of experience, has had a matrimonial and family law practice in White Plains, New York, since 2004. In this position, Gordon Burrows represents clients in divorce cases and custody and child support disputes.

New York is a no fault divorce state, meaning one spouse may begin divorce proceedings by claiming an irretrievable breakdown of the relationship. In this situation, any marriage of more than six months duration in the state of New York can be ended by a divorce. There are a multitude of additional grounds for divorce, assuming an individual requires a more expedient dissolution of the marriage or has a legal incentive to describe their reasons for ending the marriage. Cruel and inhumane treatment by one spouse, abandonment, adultery, and a legal divorce following physical separation are a few common examples of grounds for divorce.

Prior to filing for divorce in New York, individuals must meet a number of residency requirements. In most cases, at least one spouse must have been a resident of the state for a minimum of two years before filing. Exceptions to this rule range from the marriage taking place in New York or the grounds for divorce occurring within the state, in which case residency requirements are reduced to one year.

Social Media and Divorce Law


Gordon Burrows

Gordon Burrows serves as a matrimonial and divorce lawyer working in White Plains, New York. Divorce is a major practice area for Gordon Burrows, and he was instrumental in a case that allowed Facebook page information to be used as evidence in a custody battle to prove that one parent was often away from home.

In an era when almost seven in 10 US citizens use some sort of social media platform, websites and apps like Facebook and Instagram have increasingly become a factor in modern divorce. Though these platforms seem private, friends and family can often catch wind of an angry post related to a recent ex. In some cases, social media posts are admissible as evidence against someone in divorce or child support proceedings. Even text messages must be carefully considered since these private messages can sometimes be subpoenaed.

Many divorce lawyers advise against social media use altogether during a divorce or separation, but posts that indicate anything about your financial situation or your relationship status are especially dangerous. Family situations are typically very tense, delicate, and volatile, and even a seemingly innocent post could end up being taken the wrong way. Divorce is stressful for many people, and social media can make that much worse.