National Child Abuse Prevention Month
Gordon Burrows is an attorney with more than 30 years of experience in matters concerning matrimonial and family law. Having earned his JD at St. John’s University School of Law in 1984, Gordon Burrows focuses on cases involving child neglect or abuse in White Plains, New York.
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan declared April as National Child Abuse Prevention Month. The annual observance aims to raise awareness about abuse and its effects on children of all ages. During this month, communities around the United States are encouraged to offer families education and support regarding the matter.
April 2018 began with workers from the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) marching across the Brooklyn Bridge. According to the ACS commissioner, the demonstration aspired to raise awareness about its cause; the organization offers services on child welfare, early care and education, and juvenile justice.
Child neglect or abuse is defined by the State of New York as the act of inflicting death or physical or emotional harm on a child under 18 by any parent or caretaker.
According to the ACS, drawing attention to its services would enable individuals to become more aware that a home does not always guarantee safety to children.
Gordon Burrows has over thirty years of experience handling matrimonial and family law cases. In that time, Gordon Burrows has established case law in a variety of matters, including those related to equitable distribution of assets.
In matters of property distribution during divorce, New York is an equitable division state. Decisions of what and how much each spouse should receive depend on what the individual contributed to the marriage and what he or she needs to move forward following its dissolution. Under these guidelines, distribution of assets may not necessarily be equal, though it must be fair to both parties.
Equitable distribution laws apply only to marital property. This generally refers to any assets acquired while the marriage was valid, though property specifically given to or earned by one spouse is considered individual property. Assets owned before the marriage are an individual’s separate property, unless an increase in value occurred due to the efforts of the non-owning spouse.
Assets designated as marital property may go to one spouse or the other depending on each party’s age, health status, and financial needs. The latter includes care of any children in the marriage and whether the custodial parent will need to live in the family home. Similarly, if one spouse has shown more involvement in a jointly owned business, the court may allocate that asset accordingly.
The courts also consider the degree to which each spouse grew or withdrew from marital assets. Wasteful use of finances may impact a spouse’s share of marital property, as will either spouse’s decision to transfer or otherwise inhibit access to assets in anticipation of divorce.
The court may also consider any other factors that it deems relevant, though a couple always has the option of creating their own settlement agreement. In general, courts are predisposed to accepting these individual determinations.