An unfit parent may seek an award of custody for the wrong reasons. Many mothers have historically been the victims of financial tyranny. Traditionally, the husband has been the primary breadwinner, and the wife may be at a financial disadvantage in matters of litigation.
The recent updates to the Domestic Relations Law, which became effective in October 2010 were designed to reduce overall acrimony between the parties and "level the playing field."
Besides the "No-Fault" ground of "Irretrievable Breakdown in Relationship," there is now a presumption of temporary spousal maintenance to the less monied spouse and temporary attorney fees.
Prior to October 2010, the court was less consistent on temporary spousal maintenance awards, and there was no presumption of temporary attorney fees.
In addition, I have litigated many high-conflict cases on behalf of abuse victims, and obtained orders of protection in matters of domestic violence.