Smith, Buss and Jacobs, LLP
Gordon Burrows began his legal career as an assistant district attorney in the Westchester County Attorney’s office. Between 1988 and 1996 he served as an attorney in various law offices, including time as head of the matrimonial department at Smith, Buss and Jacobs, LLP. For nearly 15 years, Gordon Burrows has worked as a solo practitioner of matrimonial and family law in White Plains, New York.
When it comes to the legal dissolution of a marriage, New York is a no-fault state, meaning one or both spouses can enact divorce proceedings on the grounds of irreconcilable differences. However, spouses may still claim a variety of additional grounds for divorce, from cruel and inhuman treatment to adultery.
Should one spouse abandon their partner for one or more years, or be imprisoned for three or more consecutive years following marriage, the latter party may initiate divorce proceedings. Similarly, should two spouses find themselves living apart from one another for a period of at least one year, either party may make a request for a formal legal separation. For more information regarding grounds for divorce in the state of New York, individuals should contact a reputable family law practitioner.
Gordon Burrows serves as the principal attorney for the Law Offices of Gordon A. Burrows, where he handles cases involving matrimonial and family law and draws on more than three decades of experience. He also holds membership with the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), which offers a variety of educational programming. Upcoming events in the Family Law section include the Critical Areas in Matrimonial Law II series.
The second event in the Critical Areas in Matrimonial Law series, the program will focus on drafting motions and will deliver a comprehensive review of the process in matrimonial practice. From venue challenges and jurisdiction to motion enforcement and policies, the program explores motion practices at every stage of a case and examines the ethical considerations in various situations. A judge will attend each session to offer the court’s perspective, and attendees will engage in sample motions to simulate real-life scenarios.
Established and novice attorneys in the area of matrimonial law may attend, and the event is worth seven mandatory continuing educational (MCLE) credits. Available MCLE credits are divided into three types: one professional practice credit, one ethical credit, and five skill credits. Both NYSBA members and nonmembers can attend, although NYSBA members will receive a discount on registration.
The NYSBA will hold multiple sessions for the Critical Areas in Matrimonial Law II in different cities in April and May. For upcoming dates and locations, visit nysba.org/CriticalAreasMatLawIICLE.
An accomplished attorney with more than three decades of experience, Gordon Burrows focuses on matrimonial and family law in his work with clients at his White Plains, New York, practice. Active in his profession, Gordon Burrows belongs to several legal organizations, including the New York State Bar Association.
In early January 2018, the NYSBA’s House of Delegates approved a resolution backing a plan to phase out cash bail for people charged with misdemeanors or non-violent felonies. Even though the state’s Criminal Procedure Law allows for ways other than a secured cash bail to ensure a defendant shows up for future court appearances, most courts throughout the state still rely on cash bail or secured bonds.
According to the NYSBA, as much as 60 percent of the jail population in the state consists of defendants still waiting for trial. Many of them are unable to afford cash bail, and so they sit behind bars, unable to work and apart from their loved ones while waiting for their day in court. The resolution calls for less stringent supervised release guidelines and cash bail imposed only on violent defendants.
An accomplished attorney with more than three decades of experience in family law, Gordon Burrows serves clients out of his private practice in White Plains, New York, where he focuses on child support, custody, and divorce cases. Over the years, Gordon Burrows has maintained membership with the American Bar Association, which offers its own insight about how custody is determined in divorce cases and how that determination has changed over the years.
Child custody law has evolved markedly over the past century and a half. For example, in the early 19th century, children were thought of as property rather than individuals who could think and choose for themselves. And because property rights typically favored men, fathers were almost always awarded custody in divorce cases.
That trend changed in 1850, however, when a new policy called the Tender Years Doctrine began governing custody cases in American courts. In accordance with this doctrine, preference for custody switched to the mother, as she was viewed, at least in the eyes of the court, as the most appropriate caregiver for young, developing children. Only in extreme cases where the mother was clearly unfit (e.g., those involving mental illness, drug abuse, child abuse, etc.) would the mother not be granted custody.
In modern times, the idea of preferring one parent over another has mostly gone by the wayside. In New York, as well as other states, courts are guided by the “best interest of the child” when determining which parent should be awarded custody. Factors that go into the “best interest” determination include which parent has been the primary caregiver thus far in the child’s life, work schedules, and the mental and physical fitness of each parent.