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New York Divorce and Family Law, the definitive site about divorce, child support and custody.

 

 

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Welcome to New York Divorce and Family Law

"child support" "child custody" "new York Family Law"

Domestic litigation is a part of American life. Almost everyone has been directly or indirectly involved in divorce, custody, or domestic violence proceedings. This site has been designed to make the lawyer more knowledgeable about New York Divorce and Family law.  

 

Joel R. Brandes, President Joel R. Brandes Consulting Services, Inc. 

 

New York Divorce and Family Law is  owned and published by Joel R. Brandes Consulting Services, Inc.,  a Florida Corporation, located at 2881 NE 33rd Court, Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33306.  The principals of the Corporation are Joel R. Brandes and Elizabeth Brandes.

Joel R. Brandes Consulting Services, Inc. is not a law firm, and does not give legal advice. We are a legal research and writing service for attorneys, and only work for attorneys. We publish Bits and Bytes™, an electronic newsletter, for New York Divorce and Family Law Attorneys. Joel R. Brandes and Elizabeth Brandes, the owners and operators of Joel R. Brandes Consulting Services, Inc., are not lawyers.
 


Bits and Bytes is written by Joel R. Brandes, the author of Law and the Family New York, Second Edition Revised, and Law and the Family New York Forms (Thomson-West).

Court Attorneys and Judges may obtain a free subscription to Bits and Bytes, our electronic newsletter published for court attorneys and judges, as a public service,  which reports on important new decisions and laws.  Our electronic newsletter will be sent to you by email twice a month, to keep you up to date on important developments in New York Divorce and Family Law. To subscribe click on this link to fill out a subscription form or send an email containing your name, office address, telephone number and email address to subscribe@nysdivorce.com. Your information will be kept confidential in accordance with our privacy policy.  

Attorneys may obtain a free subscription to Bits and BytesLimited Edition  by sending an email containing your name, office address, telephone number and email address to subscribelimited@nysdivorce.com.    


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Library of All Cases decided under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction


           Reported Federal and New York State Hague Convention Cases are listed in a separate Alphabetical  table of cases with the case name and citation, with comprehensive summaries of each individual case.  

           Reported Federal Hague Convention Cases and New York State Hague Convention cases are organized by name, citation, subject matter and country, with comprehensive summaries of each individual case.                              

           Unreported Federal Cases decided under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction are listed in a separate Alphabetical table of cases. They are organized by name, citation, subject matter and country, and have either comprehensive summaries or slip copies of each opinion.    

           Summary of the Basic Rules for the Granting of a Petition for Return of a Wrongfully Removed Child under the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction

           New and Recent Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Cases 


Joel R. Brandes, the President of Joel R. Brandes Consulting Services, Inc. is the author of  "Law and the Family New York 2d" (9 volumes) (Thomson-West), and "Law and the Family New York Forms"(4 volumes) (Thomson-West). 

These sets can be purchased directly from Thomson Reuters at 1-800-544-3008. For more information, click on the links below the volumes pictured below to go to Thomson Reuters.   


         Law and The Family New York, 2d (New York Practice Library)Law and The Family New York, 2d (New York Practice Library)Law and The Family New York, 2d (New York Practice Library)Law and The Family New York, 2d (New York Practice Library)Law and The Family New York, 2d (New York Practice Library)

 Law and The Family New York, 2d (New York Practice Library, 9 Volumes) By Joel R. Brandes. (Updated November 2013 by Joel R. Brandes, Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes)

Description: This set is both a treatise and a procedural guide. The usual family law issues are covered such as Formation of the Family Unit, Divorce, Judicial Separation, and Annulments. It presents such vital practical considerations as counsel fees to prosecute or defend an appeal. The text analyzes statutes, discusses cases, and includes authors' notes which present hints, practice pointers, and pitfalls to avoid. It also features a complete discussion of appellate practice and offers step-by-step guidance on how to handle an appeal in each of the state's judicial departments. Research aids annotate the text.   

   Law and The Family New York Forms, 2d (New York Practice Library)

 Law and The Family New York Forms, 2d (New York Practice Library, 4 Volumes) By Joel R. Brandes. (Updated July 2013 by Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes)

Description. This set provides you with practitioner-tested forms for a wide variety of family law matters. It includes forms relating to the creation of the marriage relationship, the attorney-client relationship, matrimonial agreements, and matrimonial litigation. Specific topics covered include antenuptial agreements, separation agreements, modification agreements, and matters relating to infants and incompetents, and service of process.

          Law and the Family New York 2d is written with the assistance of Bari Corbin Brandes and Evan B. Brandes, both of the New York Bar. The authors write the annual supplements to Law and the Family New York 2d.   The 2013 update to Law and the Family New York Forms 2d is written by Bari Corbin Brandes and Evan B. Brandes,

          Bari Corbin Brandes maintains her office for the practice of law in Laurel Hollow, New York. 

          Evan B. Brandes is a member of the New York and Massachusetts Bars and a Solicitor in New South Wales, Australia. He is with Steiner Legal in Rozelle, New South Wales, Australia, focusing on parenting and property issues under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).  His email address is evan@steinerlegal.com.au.   (Click on links)

          Notice: The information on this site pertains to New York law and is offered as a public service. It is not intended to give legal advice about a specific legal problem. Due to the importance of the individual facts of every case, the information on this site may not necessarily be applicable to any particular case. Changes in the law could at any time make parts of this web site obsolete. The information on this web site was not necessarily written by persons licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal advice and this publication is not intended to give legal advice about a specific legal problem, nor is it a substitute for the advice of an attorney. This information is provided with the understanding that if legal advice is required the services of a competent attorney should be sought.


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Cases of The Week and News  

New and Recent Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Cases - Click here 

 

New Child Support Standards Chart released March 12, 2014

According to the Child Support Standards Chart, [LDSS 4515 (3/14)] released March 12, 2014, prepared by New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Division of Child Support Enforcement, the 2014 poverty income guideline amount for a single person as reported by the United States Department of Health and Human Services is $11,670 and the 2012 self-support reserve is $15,755.

The combined parental income amount is $141,000. It is adjusted every two years (effective January 31st) based on the average annual percent changes to the federal Department of Labor’s Consumer Price Index for Urban Consumers. The Child Support Standards Chart is released each year on or before April 1. The income tables are used to determine the annual child support obligation amount pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1989. The chart may be downloaded from https://www.childsupport.ny.gov/dcse/pdfs/cssa_2014.pdf

 

United States Supreme Court Holds that Equitable Tolling Does Not Apply in International Child Abduction Cases under the Hague Convention.

In Lozano v. Montoya Alvarez, --- S.Ct. ----, 2014 WL 838515 (U.S.) Respondent Montoya Alvarez and petitioner Lozano resided with their daughter in London until November 2008, when Montoya Alvarez left with the child for a women's shelter. In July 2009, Montoya Alvarez and the child left the United Kingdom and ultimately settled in New York. Lozano did not locate Montoya Alvarez and the child until November 2010, more than 16 months after Montoya Alvarez and the child had left the United Kingdom. Lozano filed a Petition for Return of Child pursuant to the Hague Convention in the Southern District of New York. The United States ratified the Hague Convention in 1988, and Congress implemented the Convention that same year through the International Child Abduction Remedies Act (ICARA). 102 Stat. 437, 42 U.S.C. §§ 11601–11610. That statute instructs courts to “decide the case in accordance with the Convention.” § 11603(d). Echoing the Convention, ICARA further provides that “[c]hildren who are wrongfully removed ... are to be promptly returned unless one of the narrow exceptions set forth in the Convention applies.” § 11601(a)(4). ICARA requires the abducting parent to establish by a preponderance of the evidence that Article 12's exception to return applies. § 11603(e)(2)(B). Article 12 of the Convention states the general rule that when a court receives a petition for return within one year after the child's wrongful removal, the court “shall order the return of the child forthwith.” Article 12 further provides that the court, “where the proceedings have been commenced after the expiration of the period of one year [from the date of the wrongful removal], shall also order the return of the child, unless it is demonstrated that the child is now settled in its new environment.” Thus, at least in some cases, failure to file a petition for return within one year renders the return remedy unavailable.

Finding that the petition was filed more than one year after removal, the district court denied the petition on the basis that the child was now settled in New York. It also held that the 1–year period could not be extended by equitable tolling. In re Lozano, 809 F.Supp.2d 197, 204 (S.D.N.Y.2011). “Viewing the totality of the circumstances, ” the court found sufficient indicia of “stability in her family, educational, social, and most importantly, home life, to conclude that the child was settled in her current environment and that repatriation would be “extremely disruptive Lozano argued that the child should be returned forthwith because the 1–year period in Article 12 should be equitably tolled during the period that Montoya Alvarez concealed the child. The court rejected that argument, holding that the 1–year period could not be extended by equitable tolling. The District Court held in the alternative that even if equitable tolling could apply, it would not be warranted in this case because Lozano had contact information for Montoya Alvarez' sister Maria in New York. Lozano's solicitors did not attempt to contact Maria to determine if Montoya Alvarez and the child were there. 809 F.Supp.2d, at 229–230. Consistent with Second Circuit precedent, see Blondin v. Dubois, 238 F.3d 153, 164 (2001), the District Court also considered “whether to exercise its discretion and repatriate the child even though she was now settled in New York.” 809 F.Supp.2d, at 234. The court declined to exercise that discretion because the “strong evidence that the child is quite settled in New York” outweighed Lozano's “fairly diligent” search efforts and Montoya Alvarez' conduct. On appeal, the Second Circuit affirmed. 697 F.3d 41 (2012). The Court of Appeals agreed that the 1–year period in Article 12 is not subject to equitable tolling. The United States Supreme Court, in an opinion for a unanimous court by Justice Thomas, held that Article 12's 1–year period is not subject to equitable tolling and affirmed.

Second Department Holds that Test  Generally Applied to Determine Whether to Award Child Support in Excess of the Statutory Cap Is Whether the Child Is Receiving Enough to Meet His or Her Actual Needs and the Amount Required to Live an Appropriate Lifestyle.


In Matter of Keith v Lawrence, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 54299 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.) the father appealed from an order of the Family Court which denied his objections to an order which, after a hearing, directed him to pay child support of $1,250 per month. The parties were the parents of one child. The mother had sole custody. After a hearing on child support, the Support Magistrate found that combined parental income was $215,818.43, of which 47% was attributable to the father. The Support Magistrate awarded child support based on the parties' combined parental income, rather than the combined parental income cap of $130,000 in effect at the time. Although the father's monthly support payment based on the parties' combined parental income totaled $1,437 monthly, the Support Magistrate modified the amount downward to $1,250 monthly, in light of the fact that the child was receiving Social Security disability derivative benefits based on the father's active disability claim. The father filed objections arguing that the Support Magistrate erred in awarding child support based on combined parental income in excess of the $130,000 income cap. The Appellate Division affirmed. It observed that when the combined parental income exceeds $130,000, which was the "statutory cap" in effect when the order was entered, "the court shall determine the amount of child support for the combined parental income in excess of the cap through consideration of the factors set forth in Family Ct Act § 413(1)(f) and/or the child support percentage" (Family Ct Act § 413[1][c][3] ). The Family Court must articulate an explanation of the basis for its calculation of child support based on parental income above the statutory cap. The Court held that test generally applied is whether the child is receiving enough to meet his or her "actual needs and the amount required to live an appropriate lifestyle ( Levesque v. Levesque, 73 AD3d 990, 990). The record indicated that the child enjoyed a middle-class lifestyle with extracurricular activities, and attended private school and summer camp. The Support Magistrate properly determined that the child's needs would be met, and her lifestyle maintained, with an award based upon applying the child support percentage to the total combined parental income.

 

Second Department Holds that Visitation Schedule For Noncustodial Parent Which Deprives Custodial Parent of "Any Significant Quality Time" with the Child Is Excessive

In Matter of Rivera v Fowler, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2013 WL 6644622 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.), the Appellate Division found that the parties demonstrated that a change of circumstances had occurred and that modification of the existing visitation arrangement was in the children's best interests where the existing visitation arrangement did not specify the exact time and date that weekly and summer vacation visitations were to begin, which led to disagreement between the parties. However, the Family Court improvidently exercised its discretion in providing that the father have visitation every weekend, beginning Saturday at noon and ending Sunday at 8:00 p.m. The extent to which the noncustodial parent may exercise parenting time is a matter committed to the sound discretion of the hearing court, to be determined on the basis of the best interests of the child consistent with the concurrent right of the child and the noncustodial parent to meaningful time together. A visitation schedule that deprives the custodial parent of "any significant quality time" with the child is, however,
excessive. Here, the schedule established by the Family Court effectively deprived the mother of any significant quality time with the children during each weekend. Moreover, the Family Court improvidently exercised its discretion in failing to specify the period of the mother's visitation with the children during their summer vacation. In the circumstances presented, it held that a more appropriate schedule, consistent with the parental rights and responsibilities of both parties, and the best interests of the children, should provide that the noncustodial father have visitation every other weekend, beginning Saturday at noon and ending Sunday at 8:00 p.m., and one overnight visit per week, and that the parties should have equal visitation time during the children's summer vacation. It remitted to Family Court for further proceedings.

 

The 2013 New York Legislature amended  Domestic Relations Law, the Family Court Act and the Criminal Procedure Law, to protect victims of domestic abuse by recognizing, as family offenses, some forms of economic abuse perpetrated against victims by their abusers. 

Family Court Act, §812 (1), Family Court Act § 821 (1) (a), Criminal Procedure Law § 530.11, were amended to add as family offenses, identity theft in the first degree, identity theft in the second degree and identity theft in the third degree (Penal Law §190.80, §190.79 and §190.38), grand larceny in the third degree and grand larceny in the forth degree ( Penal Law §155.35 and §155 30), and coercion in the second degree (Penal Law § 135.60, subdivisions one, two and three.) Laws of 2013, Ch 526, effective December 18, 2013. See NY Legis Memo 526 (2013)

Domestic Relations Law § 240 (3) (a), Domestic Relations Law § 252, Family Court Act § 446, Family Court Act § 551, Family Court Act § 656, Family Court Act § 842, Family Court Act § 1056, and Criminal Procedure Law § 530.12 were amended to provide that an order of protection may require the petitioner or respondent to promptly return specified identification documents to the protected party, in whose favor the order of protection or temporary order of protection is issued. "Identification document" means any of the following exclusively in the name of the protected party: birth certificate, passport, social security card, health insurance or other benefits card, a card or document used to access bank, credit or other financial accounts or records, tax returns, any driver's license, and immigration documents including but not limited to a United States permanent resident card and employment authorization document. Upon motion and after notice and an opportunity to be heard, "Identification document" means any of the following, including those that may reflect joint use or ownership, that the court determines are necessary and are appropriately transferred to the protected party: any card or document used to access bank, credit or other financial accounts or records, tax returns, and any other identifying cards and documents. The order may include any appropriate provision designed to ensure that any such document is available for use as evidence in the proceeding, and available if necessary for legitimate use by the party against whom the order is issued; and specify the manner in which such return shall be accomplished. Laws of 2013, Ch 526, effective December 18, 2013. See NY Legis Memo 526 (2013)

 

The 2013 legislature amended the domestic relations law, the family court act and the criminal procedure law to protect victims of domestic violence from being charged with and prosecuted for violating their own order of protection.

Among other statutes amended Domestic Relations Law § 240, (3) (b) was amended and a new paragraph i was added. Domestic Relations Law §252 (2) was amended and a new subdivision 9-a was added. The amendments make it clear that victims cannot be prosecuted for violating orders of protection issued in their favor, and are intended to clarify that the protected party in whose favor the order of protection or temporary order of protection is issued may not be held to violate an order issued in his or her favor and that such protected party may not be arrested for violating such an order. The amendments require a notice in orders of protection that make it clear that the order of protection will remain in effect even if the protected party has, or consents to have, contact or communication with the restrained party and that the protected party cannot be held to violate an order issued in his/her favor nor can such party be arrested for violating such an order. The amendments were enacted November 13, 2013 and apply to all orders of protection regardless of when such orders were issued, except for sections of the law that require the addition of a notice on the order of protection, which sections are effective on January 12, 2013, and shall apply to orders issued on or after such effective date. Laws of 2013, Ch 480, effective November 13, 2013.

 

2013 New York Legislation Restricts Parental Rights of Sexual Perpetrators When a Child Is Born as a Result of Sexual Offenses.

Domestic Relations Law 240 (1-c) was amended to provide that there shall be a rebuttable presumption that it is not in the best interests of the child to be placed in the custody of or to visit with a person who has been convicted (in this state or in another jurisdiction) of one or more of the following sexual offenses, when a child who is subject of the proceeding was conceived as a result: rape in the first or second degree; course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree; predatory sexual assault; or predatory sexual assault against a child. Laws of 2013, Ch 371, §1, effective immediately.

Domestic Relations Law 111-a (1) was amended to provide that a person who has been convicted (in this state or in another jurisdiction) of rape in the first or second degree; course of sexual conduct against a child in the first degree; predatory sexual assault; or predatory sexual assault against a child shall not be entitled to receive notice of adoption proceedings, when the child subject to these proceedings was conceived as the result of the sexual offenses committed. Laws of 2013, Ch 371, §2, effective immediately.

 

First Department Holds Parents Who Are Directed to Pay Fees of Attorney Appointed to Represent Child May Raise Defense of Legal Malpractice to Attorney's Claim For Fees.

In Venecia C. v. August V., --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2013 WL 6325172 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept.), the divorced parents had three children, age 17, 14 and 11. In the divorce action, although the parties stipulated to joint custody, it was left to the trial court to direct that plaintiff mother would have primary residential custody in the marital apartment in Manhattan. In 2009, the mother moved for an order allowing her to relocate with the children to Demarest, New Jersey, approximately 12 miles outside Manhattan, and the father responded by moving for a change of custody. The motion court appointed the attorney for the children in this context. On November 22, 2011, the attorney for the children moved for an order directing the father to pay the outstanding fees he owed in the amount of $2,034.60, and for an additional sum covering the cost of making the enforcement application. The attorney for the children stated that the father never objected to any of her bills and had previously paid his 30% share of the fees billed. The motion court granted the motion by the attorney for the children, ordering the father to pay the sum of $2,034.60 for his share of outstanding fees, as well as $1,500 for fees she incurred in making the application. It rejected the argument that the Court's ruling in Mars v. Mars (19 AD3d at 196), gave a parent the right to challenge the fee of an attorney for the child on the ground of malpractice. In any event, it found no factual basis for the malpractice claim.

The Appellate Division, in an opinion by Justice Saxe, held that parents who are directed to pay the fees of the attorney appointed to represent the children may raise the defense of legal malpractice to that attorney's claim for fees. He observed that in Mars v. Mars (19 AD3d at 196), the Court held that a parent may assert legal malpractice as an affirmative defense to a Law Guardian's fee application "to the extent of challenging that portion of the fees attributable to advocacy, as opposed to guardianship." He noted that the ruling was limited by the then-prevailing view that attorneys appointed as law guardians for children in divorce cases often functioned in a role similar to a guardian ad litem, advocating for what they believed to be the best interests of the child, as opposed to what the child desired. The Court reaffirmed the essence of the Mars v. Mars ruling, namely that a parent may assert legal malpractice as an affirmative defense to the fee claim of an attorney for a child. The attorney for the child, no less than the attorneys for the parties, is serving as a professional and must be equally accountable to professional standards. That the children cannot hire and pay for their own attorneys, leaving it to the court to make the necessary appointment, does not alter the applicable standards, or the means by which they may be raised. Notwithstanding that the father may have standing to assert such a defense, Justice Saxe agreed with the motion court that the father's accusations here did not establish a prima facie showing of legal malpractice and disciplinary violations. He also found that the father never objected to any of the bills presented by the attorney for the children despite the fact that they were in his possession for a significant amount of time (Pedreira v. Pedreira, 34 AD3d 225 [1st Dept 2006] ). The court therefore acted properly in ordering him to pay the fees under an account stated theory (Shaw v. Silver, 95 AD3d 416, 416 [1st Dept 2010] ).

 

Order of Protection - Disorderly Conduct - Burden of Proof - Second Department Holds Petitioner must Demonstrate Respondent’s Conduct Was Intended to Cause, or Recklessly Created a Risk of Causing, Public Inconvenience, Annoyance, or Alarm.

 

In Casie v Casie, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2013 WL 3813824 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.) the Second Department, in an opinion by Judge Skelos, held that to establish the family offense of disorderly conduct, a petitioner must demonstrate that the challenged conduct was intended to cause, or recklessly created a risk of causing, public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm.

On February 15, 2012, the petitioner, Dionne Cassie, filed a family offense petition against her husband, Richard Cassie which alleged that, on February 11, 2012, the parties engaged in a dispute or altercation because the husband had promised that he was going to leave the marital home and had "reneged on his promise." According to the wife, the husband attempted, unsuccessfully, to push her down a flight of stairs, twisted her arm, causing pain, and pushed her against a wall. Based upon this alleged conduct, the wife asserted that the husband had committed the family offenses of, among others, attempted assault, assault in the second or third degree, harassment in the first or second degree, and disorderly conduct. The wife requested an order of protection requiring the husband to stay away from her and the marital home.

At the close of the evidence, the Family Court found that the husband "engaged in the offense of disorderly conduct in the home, in that he fought with [the wife]." The court thereupon issued a two-year order of protection , directing the husband to refrain from various forms of conduct, such as harassment and disorderly conduct.

The Appellate Division reversed in an opinion by Justice Skelos. He observed that in a family offense proceeding, the petitioner has the burden of establishing, by a "fair preponderance of the evidence," that the charged conduct was committed as alleged in the petition. (Family Ct Act § 832). Under the Penal Law, "A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof: 1. He engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or 2. He makes unreasonable noise; or 3. In a public place, he uses abusive or obscene language, or makes an obscene gesture;..."(Penal Law § 240.20). Justice Skelos pointed out that critical to a charge of disorderly conduct is a finding that the disruptive statements and behavior were of a public rather than an individual dimension". In that respect, a person may be guilty of disorderly conduct only when the situation extends beyond the exchange between the individual disputants to a point where it becomes a potential or immediate public problem. In assessing whether an act carries public ramifications, relevant factors to consider are the time and place of the episode under scrutiny; the nature and character of the conduct; the number of other people in the vicinity; whether they are drawn to the disturbance and, if so, the nature and number of those attracted; and any other relevant circumstances. The complicating factor in this case, which was a family offense proceeding rather than a criminal action, is that Family Court Act § 812 provides: "For purposes of this article, 'disorderly conduct' includes disorderly conduct not in a public place" (Family Ct Act §812[1] ). The husband contended that, even though the Family Court Act specifies that the conduct need not occur in a public place, the petitioner must nonetheless prove either an intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm, or the reckless creation of a risk thereof.

Justice Skelos pointed out that the First and Fourth Departments had held, albeit summarily, that lack of proof of an intent to cause, or reckless creation of a risk of causing, public ramifications, required dismissal of those branches of family offense petitions that charged the respondent with disorderly conduct. Matter of Janice M. v. Terrance J. ,96 A.D.3d 482, 945 N.Y.S.2d 693 (1st Dept); Matter of Brazie v. Zenisek, 99 A.D.3d 1258, 951 N.Y.S.2d 458(4th Dept). Here, the Court now held that even where the conduct at issue is alleged to have occurred in a private residence, in order for a petitioner to meet his or her burden of establishing the family offense of disorderly conduct, there must be a prima facie showing that the conduct was either intended to cause, or recklessly created a risk of causing, public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm. The intent to cause, or recklessness in causing, public harm, is the mens rea of the offense of disorderly conduct. The plain language of the provision of Family Court Act § 812, in contrast, provides only that the conduct need not occur in a public place. The plain language of Family Court Act § 812 therefore pertains only to the actus reus of the offense-specifically, the place where it is committed-and does not speak to the mens rea of the offense. Indeed, since Family Court Act § 812 does not specify an alternative culpable mental state, if the mens rea provided for in the Penal Law were not applicable in family offense proceedings, it is unclear what the mens rea of this family offense would be.

The Court held that that the wife was required to prove that the husband's conduct was committed with the intent to cause, or recklessly posed a risk of causing, public inconvenience, annoyance, or alarm. The wife did not sustain that burden. Accordingly, the order of protection was reversed, on the facts, the petition was denied, and the proceeding is dismissed.

Court Rules Amended

 The Uniform Civil Rules for the Supreme Court and the County Court, were amended by adding a new section 202.10, relating to appearances at conferences, to provide that any party may request to appear at a conference by telephonic or other electronic means. It appears that “other electronic means” refers to video conference or computer video services such as “skype”. The rule encourages the court to grant the request where “feasible and appropriate”.
 

 

Statement of Clients Rights Rule (22 NYCRR 1210.10) Amended Effective April 15, 2013

Part 1210.1 of the Official Compilation of Codes Rules, and Regulations of the State of New York, containing the the Statement of Clients Rights that must be posted in every law office, was amended effective April 15, 2013. Substantial Revisions were made to the Statement. (Click here to download Revised Statement of Clients Rights)

 

Court of Appeals Amends Rules to Require Digital Copies of Records and Briefs

The Court of Appeals has adopted the Court-Pass system, which provides the public with free access to the Court of Appeals materials for appeals. Parties with appeals, certified questions pursuant to section 500.27 of the Court of Appeals Rules of Practice, or judicial conduct matters before the New York State Court of Appeals must use the Court-PASS Upload Service to submit digital copies of records and briefs as required by the Court's Rules, which were amended effective February 1, 2013. (See 22 NYCRR 500.2).  To access the Upload System, New York attorneys must be registered with the New York State Unified Court System's Attorney Online Services. If you do not have an existing Attorney Online Services account, you must first create an account here and then return to this page to login using your Attorney Online Services account credentials. Filers who are not New York attorneys must contact the Clerk's Office to obtain "guest" login credentials.

 

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Court Rules

For Emergency applications in Supreme Court civil cases outside of regular court hours, call: (800) 430-8457, or email: emergency@nycourts.gov (See http://www.courts.state.ny.us/admin/oca.shtml Last Accessed May 8, 2009)

A "Protocol for Emergency Applications", designed to facilitate applications for Emergency Applications outside of regular court hours in the evening and on weekends and holidays when the courthouse is closed, was issued by the Chief Administrative judge. It establishes the central phone number and e-mail address listed above for attorneys to use in the event of an emergency. According to the protocol, staff members from the Division of Technology will pass on the requests to the administrative judge or a designated back-up, who will arrange to have a judge hear the application.

The Appellate Divisions in the First and Second Departments have rules with regard to the number of words and size of typefaces used in briefs. Click here for a simple explanation of those rules. 

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New York Divorce and Family Laws, Forms, Rules, Court Calendars, Decisions and Information


Adoption Information

American Bar Association, Family Law Quarterly, "Family Law In the Fifty States" chart summarizing Grounds for Divorce and Residency Requirements. Winter 2011

Bar Association Divorce and Family Law Resources

Bits and Bytes ™ Timetable For Service of Motion Papers may be downloaded here.

Child Support Standards Chart for New York (April 2011)

Child Abduction and International Child Abduction Information

Child Abuse Prevention Information

Child Custody Information

Child Support Information

Children's Issues Information

Family Law Uniform Laws

Federal Law Divorce Resources (Pension and Social Security)

Library of New York Maintenance and Equitable Distributions Cases from July 19, 1980 to 2010

Locate a  Divorce Lawyer on the IAML AND AAML websites

New York Courts Help (Court Facts, Law, Courts and Lawyers)

New York Court Websites with Opinions, Decisions and Orders

New York Divorce and Family Law Statutes, Court Rules, and New Legislation

New York Lawyers Rules of Professional Conduct Applicable to Conduct On and After April 1, 2009 

New York Lawyers "Rules of Professional Conduct for Family Law Attorneys," written by Joel R. Brandes, discusses the rules that particularly effect New York Matrimonial and Family law attorneys. (Click here to download the Article )       

New York Lawyers Code of Professional Responsibility Applicable to Conduct Prior to April 1, 2009

New York State Courts eCourts Divorce Resources

New York Divorce County Specific Divorce Information from courts that provide county-specific online divorce information:

New York City:

      Bronx County:
Information on contested and uncontested matrimonial (divorce) actions in Bronx County. Links available to FAQs, forms, flowcharts, checklists, and procedures.

Kings County (Brooklyn):
Information on contested and uncontested matrimonial (divorce) actions in Kings County (Brooklyn). Provides links to
FAQs, local and statewide forms, and rules.

New York County (Manhattan):
Information on contested and uncontested matrimonial (divorce) actions. Information also available on local, reduced-fee
mediation program for cases already in court.

Queens County:
Information on contested and uncontested matrimonial actions (divorce) in Queens County. Link also available to local, reduced-fee
mediation program for cases already in court.

Richmond County (Staten Island):
Provides contact information for clerk’s office.

 

Eighth Judicial District — includes: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie (Buffalo), Genesee, Niagara, Orleans & Wyoming Counties (Provides links to forms for contested and uncontested divorces, Help Center information, Children Come First program, mediation and parenting coordination. Residents of Erie County (includes Buffalo) may also want to learn about the Expedited Matrimonial Part.)

 

Nassau County  Information on contested and uncontested divorce in Nassau County. Links to checklists, including one for common filing mistakes in uncontested cases, a time-line for contested divorce cases, information on alternate service (when you cannot locate your spouse), and more. Nassau is also home to an innovative Children Come First Program, where trained professionals help people to resolve parenting disputes early on in the divorce process.

 

Onondaga County — includes: Syracuse
Provides contact information for clerk’s office, and for the Dedicated Matrimonial Part in Syracuse. The 5th Judicial District also provides a
list of neutral evaluators and mediators for people with cases in court.

Westchester County
Links to
Westchester-specific forms, Westchester rules, and to a mediation program for cases already in court.

New York Matrimonial Timeline For Contested Actions

New York Supreme Court and Family Court Official Forms ( Uncontested Divorce Forms and Table of Filing Fees)  All of the Official Supreme Court Forms and Family Court forms for use in child custody, support, paternity, juvenile delinquency, persons in need of supervision and child welfare proceedings can be obtained.)

New York State Unified Court System Future Court Appearance System (including Supreme Court Calendars, Instructions, and Online Decisions )  

New York  Uniform Court System Web site (with link to ecourts Case Information Services to search decisions, case information and free etrack case tracking services)

New York Family Court Attorney Check in

New York Supreme Court Library at Buffalo - Great Big List of Legal Web Sites

New York Valuation Aids

The Lighter Side of the Law

US Supreme Court Databases

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Q & A about New York Marriage, Divorce, Separation and Custody


Annulment: Is annulment different than divorce?  How do I get one?

Agreements: Are Pre-Nuptial Agreements Enforceable?

Agreements: What must be in a settlement agreement to be enforceable?

Child Custody: Will I get sole custody?  What is joint custody?

Child Support: How much support will I receive or have to pay?

Collaborative Divorce: What is it?

Common Law Marriage: What States Allow Common Law Marriages today? 

Divorce: What are the Grounds For Divorce in New York ?

Enforcement of Maintenance & Child Support : How do I enforce my award?

Equitable Distribution: What property am I entitled to receive?

Equitable Distribution Definitions: What is Equitable Distribution?

Maintenance : How much will I get or pay  and for how long?

Maintenance Awards: Who is entitled to Medical, Dental and Life Insurance?

Matrimonial Actions: What is the Procedure?

Matrimonial Costs and Attorneys Fees: What will it cost me?

Mediation: Are there standards of conduct for mediators?

Modification: Can I get maintenance or child support increased or reduced?

Motion Practice: What is a motion and what is the procedure?

Insurance: What kind of insurance can the court award me?

Insurance: How do I enforce my right as irrevocable beneficiary?

Insurance: What provisions for medical insurance must be in child support orders?

Insurance: What is a Qualified Medical Child Support Order?

Passports: How do I find out if one was issued for my child?

Pre-Divorce Rights: What rights do I have as a spouse?

Protective Orders: How do I get one?

Separation and Pre-marital Agreements: What should they contain?

Social Security: Frequently Asked Questions    

Table of Witness Subpoena Fees     

Uncontested Divorce: What is an Uncontested Divorce? How do I get one?


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Articles of Interest to Attorneys by our Editors Published in The New York Family Law Monthly

February 2005, The Fugitive Disentitlement Remedy, Applying the Remedy in Custody and Child Support Cases, By Joel R. Brandes

March 2005, Fair Trials and the Recusal of Judges, By Joel R. Brandes and Bari Brandes Corbin

April 2005, Law Guardian or Guardian Ad Litem?, By Joel R. Brandes and Bari Brandes Corbin

May 2005, Interest on a Distributive Award, By Bari Brandes Corbin

July 2005, Identifying Expert Witnesses - The Penalties Of Nondisclosure, By Bari Brandes Corbin

September 2005, Custody Cases and Forensic Experts, By Bari Brandes Corbin

July 2006, Divorce and the Military, Part One of a Three Part Article, by Evan B. Brandes  

August 2006, Divorce and the Military, Part Two of a Three Part Article, by Evan B. Brandes  

September 2006, Divorce and the Military, Part Three of a Three Part Article, by Evan B. Brandes  

March 2007, Unfair Marital Agreements, Part One of  a Two Part Article,  by Bari Brandes Corbin  

April  2007, Unfair Marital Agreements, Part One of  a Two Part Article,  by Bari Brandes Corbin  

December 2007, Interpreting and Applying the Hague Convention, Part One of a Three Part Article, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes             

January 2008, Interpreting and Applying the Hague Convention, Rights of Custody Defined, Part Two of a Three Part Article, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes              

February  2008, Interpreting and Applying the Hague Convention, Defenses to Return, Part Three of a Three Part Article, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes    

June 2008, Hearsay Evidence in Custody Cases, Part One of a Three Part Article, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes  

July 2008, Hearsay Evidence in Custody Cases, Part Two of a Three Part Article, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes

August 2008, Hearsay Evidence in Custody Cases, Part Three of a Three Part Article, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes

June 2009, Important Rules of Evidence for Family Law Attorneys, Part One of a Three-Part Article, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes

July 2009, Evidence and Family Practice, Part Two of a Three-Part Article, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes

August 2009, The Evidence  Rules All Family Law Attorneys Should Master, Part Three of a Three-Part Article, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes

October, 2009, Listening in: the Use of Audio Recordings in Family Court Proceedings, By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes

November 2010, Custody Awards and Zones of Decision-Making By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes, Part One of a Two-Part Article

December 2010, Custody Awards and Zones of Decision-Making By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes, Part Two of a Two-Part Article

April 2011, The New ‘Irretrievable Breakdown’ Ground for Divorce By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes

October 2011, Considering Public Policy When Drafting Separation Agreements By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes, Part One of a Two-Part Article

November 2011, Public Policy Considerations in Drafting Separation Agreements By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes, Part Two of a Two-Part Article

June 2012, Filing Objections to the Final Order of a Support Magistrate  By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan Brandes

July 2013,

Spoilation of Evidence in Family Matters,
By Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes

 

Articles of Interest By our Editors Published in The New York Law Journal

Federal Criminal Enforcement of Child Support Obligations, by Hon. George B. Daniels and Joel R. Brandes, New York Law Journal, December 9, 2011

Enforcement of Unacknowledged Marital Agreements, by  Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes,   New York Law Journal, October 15, 2012

 

 


Now You Know

Experts are people who know a great deal about very little and who go along learning more and more abut less and less until they know practically everything about nothing. Lawyers, on the other hand are people who know very little about many things and keep learning less and less about more and more until they know practically nothing about everything.

Judges are people who start out knowing everything about everything but end up knowing nothing about everything because of their constant association with experts and lawyers.

From: "The Howls of Justice: Comedy’s Day in Court" © 1988 By Angie Papadakis and Harry T. Sharer. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.

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New York Divorce and Family Law Site Map

"child support" "child custody" "New York Family Law"

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New York Divorce and Family Law

Owned and published by Joel R. Brandes Consulting Services, Inc.

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Telephone (954) 564 - 9883.

 

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Notice: The information on this site pertains to New York law and is offered as a public service. It is not intended to give legal advice about a specific legal problem. Due to the importance of the individual facts of every case, the information on this site may not necessarily be applicable to any particular case. Changes in the law could at any time make parts of this web site obsolete. The information on this web site was not necessarily written by persons licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. The publisher is not engaged in rendering legal advice and this publication is not intended to give legal advice about a specific legal problem, nor is it a substitute for the advice of an attorney. This information is provided with the understanding that if legal advice is required the services of a competent attorney should be sought.

Our web site has many links to web sites of other organizations, including, but not limited to court systems, publishers of legal information, agencies, educational institutions, profit making companies and non-profit associations. While we offer these electronic links for your convenience in accessing New York Divorce and Family Law related information, please be aware that when you exit our web site, the privacy policy stated on our web site may not be the same as that on other web sites. In addition, we cannot attest to the accuracy of the information provided by linked sites. Linking to a web site does not constitute an endorsement by us of the information presented on the linked site or the products that may be sold on the linked site.

Potential clients of any law firm listed on this site are advised to read the Statement of Clients Rights, which New York matrimonial attorneys are required to provide to them at the initial consultation, as well as the Statement of Clients Rights and Responsibilities.

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This website was Last Updated on April 3, 2014

 

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