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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, as well as International Child Abduction 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 Reuters Westlaw).

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 Bytes by sending an email containing your name, office address, telephone number and email address to subscribe@nysdivorce.com.    


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Library of All Cases decided 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 as of September 8, 2014     

    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

      


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  (5 volumes) (Thomson Reuters Westlaw). 

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

Law and the Family New York Forms 2d, by Joel R. Brandes, is now available from Thomson Reuters Westlaw with the 2014 updates. The 2013 and 2014 updates, by Bari Brandes Corbin and Evan B. Brandes, have made substantial revisions to the set which has been expanded to 5 volumes.

 


         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, 5 Volumes) By Joel R. Brandes. (Updated July 2014 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 2014 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).  He can be reached at Steiner Legal by clicking on this link.   

          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 

 

Family Court Act §451 amended


          Family Court Act §451(1) , which was amended, effective December 22, 2014,  provides that an application to modify an order of child support must be accompanied by "an affidavit and other evidentiary material sufficient to establish a prima facie case for the relief requested" in order to entitle the petitioner to a hearing on any material issues of fact.  No hearing is required if an affidavit has not been submitted even if material issues are present in the case.  The amendment removed the requirement of filing an affidavit with the petition by removing word “modify” from subdivision 1 and adding  a new subdivision 2, which provides: “ A proceeding to modify an order of support shall  be  commenced  by    the filing of a petition which shall allege facts sufficient to meet one  or more of the grounds enumerated in subdivision three of this section. Former subdivision  2 has been renumbered subdivision 3. See Laws of 2014, Ch 373, effective December 22, 2014.

 

Court of Appeals Establishes Rule for Third Party Discovery Subpoena

In Kapon v Koch, ___NY 3d ___, 2014 WL 1315590, 2014 N.Y. Slip Op. 02327 (2014) the Court of Appeals, in an opinion by Judge Pigott, held that where a subpoena is served by a party seeking discovery from a nonparty pursuant to CPLR 3101(a)(4), (1) the subpoenaing party must first sufficiently state the "circumstances or reasons" underlying the subpoena (either on the face of the subpoena itself or in a notice accompanying it), otherwise it may be challenged for facial insufficiency, and (2) the witness, in moving to quash, must establish either that the discovery sought is "utterly irrelevant" to the action or that the "futility of the process to uncover anything legitimate is inevitable or obvious." (3) Should the witness meet this burden, the subpoenaing party must then establish that the discovery sought is "material and necessary" to the prosecution or defense of an action, i.e., that it is relevant.

 

Court of Appeals Declares Family Offense Statute Unconstitutional

In People v Golb, ___NY3d __,2014 WL 1883943 (2014) the Court of Appeals held that (Penal Law § 240.30(1)(a), aggravated harassment in the Second Degree was unconstitutional, under both Federal and State law because it was vague and overbroad. The statute, which is frequently invoked in family offense proceedings, provides that "[a] person is guilty of aggravated harassment in the second degree when, with intent to harass, annoy, threaten or alarm another person, he or she ... communicates with a person, anonymously or otherwise, by telephone, by telegraph, or by mail, or by transmitting or delivering any other form of written communication, in a manner likely to cause annoyance or alarm.." The Court noted that three federal judges have already found this statute unconstitutional.

 

Appellate Division Holds Family Court Had Jurisdiction to Determine Father's Petition for Custody Even Though Court of Dominican Republic, Applying Hague Convention, Denied His Petition for Return to the United States.

In Matter of Katz v Katz, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 2198516 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.) the father filed a petition for custody in the Family Court alleging that, on October 2, 2011, the mother took the parties' child, who had been residing in the Bronx, to the Dominican Republic without his permission. The Family Court held the matter in abeyance pending a determination in the Dominican Republic with regard to the father's application there for a return of the child pursuant to the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction. On October 5, 2012, the Civil Chamber of the Court of Children and Adolescents of the Judicial District of Santo Domingo rejected the father's request for a return of the child, and directed that the child remain in the company of the mother in the Dominican Republic, finding that if the child were returned to the United States she would be exposed to a violation of her fundamental rights due to issues of domestic violence. Family Court dismissed the father's petition for custody, concluding that it was bound to do so pursuant to the order issued by the court in the Dominican Republic. The Appellate Division reversed. It observed that the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act (Domestic Relations Law art 5-A) governs a New York State court's jurisdiction in international child custody matters. Domestic Relations Law § 76, which establishes initial child custody jurisdiction, provides, inter alia, that a court of this State has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination if this State is the home state of the child on the date of the commencement of the proceeding (Domestic Relations Law §76[a] ). "Home state" is defined as the state in which a child lived with a parent for at least six consecutive months immediately before the commencement of a child custody proceeding (Domestic Relations Law § 75-a[7] ). Pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 75-d[1], a "court of this state shall treat a foreign country as if it were a state of the United States". The Convention provides that a child abducted in violation of rights of custody must be returned to his or her country of habitual residence, unless certain exceptions apply. A decision under the Convention is not a determination on the merits of any custody issue, but leaves custodial decisions to the courts of the country of habitual residence. It was undisputed that the United States was the child's country of habitual residence, and that, at the time the petition was filed, New York was the child's "home state." Thus, the Family Court had jurisdiction to determine the father's petition for custody. Moreover, the denial, by the court in the Dominican Republic, of the father's application for a return of the child pursuant to the Convention, did not preempt his custody proceeding (see In re T.L.B., 272 P3d 1148 [Colo App]. Accordingly, it held that the Family Court erred in dismissing the father's petition.

 

Second Department Holds That Although Pendente LIte Formula Amount Is Intended to Cover All of a Payee Spouse's Basic Living Expenses, it May Be Appropriate to Direct Payment by the Monied Spouse of the Mortgage and Taxes on the Marital Residence and Other Expenses

In Vistocco v Jardin--- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 1465580 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.), the parties were married in 1995 and had three unemancipated children. The Supreme Court awarded the defendant $3,000 per week for child support and $3,000 per week in temporary spousal maintenance, directed the plaintiff to pay the mortgage and taxes on the marital residence where the defendant resided with the parties' children, directed the plaintiff to pay the defendant's car insurance, and awarded the defendant interim counsel fees and expert fees in the sums of $12,500 and $3,500, respectively. The Appellate Division affirmed. The plaintiff argued, inter alia, that the Supreme Court erred in directing him to pay, in addition to spousal maintenance, the mortgage and taxes on the marital residence and the defendant's car insurance. He contends that the pendente lite maintenance award is intended to cover the defendant's basic living expenses, which include the mortgage, property taxes, and her car insurance. The Court observed that the formula to determine temporary spousal maintenance that is outlined in Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(5-a)(c) is intended to cover all of a payee spouse's basic living expenses, including housing costs, the costs of food and clothing, and other usual expenses (see Khaira v. Khaira, 93 AD3d 194). However, it may be appropriate to direct payment by the monied spouse of the mortgage and taxes on the marital residence and other expenses of the nonmonied spouse under certain circumstances (see id.). In light of the evidence that the plaintiff's income exceeded $500,000 and the gross disparity between the plaintiff's income and the defendant's income, the Supreme Court properly awarded additional support in the form of a directive to the plaintiff to pay the mortgage and taxes on the marital residence (Domestic Relations Law § 236[B][5-a][c][2][a][ii] ), as well as the defendant's car insurance (see e.g. Goldberg v. Goldberg, 98 AD3d 944; Macagnone v. Macagnone, 7 AD3d 680).

 

Second Department Holds That a Party Is Entitled to a Credit for Payments Made to Satisfy the Other Spouse's Legal Obligations.

In McKay v Groesbeck, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 1910489 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.), the Appellate Division pointed out that a party's maintenance and child support obligations are retroactive to the date of the application therefor, and except as otherwise provided, any retroactive amount due shall be paid, as the court directs, taking into account any amount of temporary maintenance or child support which has been paid (DRL § 236[B][6][a]; DRL§ 236[B][7][a]). Generally, voluntary payments made by a parent for the benefit of his or her children may not be credited against amounts due pursuant to a judgment of divorce. A party is not entitled to a credit for payments made to satisfy that party's own legal obligations that were not made pursuant to a pendente lite order of support . In this case, there was a pendente lite order for temporary child support of $1,000 per month issued in 2006, but no payments were made pursuant to that order. However, a party is entitled to a credit for payments made to satisfy the other spouse's legal obligations. It held that the defendant should have received a credit towards arrears for any payments he made toward the plaintiff's car payments and insurance, and for one half of the payments he made toward the mortgage and carrying charges on the marital home, as those payments were made to satisfy the plaintiff's legal obligations.

 

Motion to Voluntarily Discontinue Action for a Divorce Denied Where Motion Is an Attempt to Avoid an Adverse Order.

In Turco v Turco--- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 1798397 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.), the Appellate Division observed that in the absence of special circumstances, such as prejudice to a substantial right of the defendant, or other improper consequences, a motion for a voluntary discontinuance should be granted" ( Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Chaplin, 107 A.D.3d at 883, 969 N.Y.S.2d 67). Supreme Court providently exercised its discretion in denying the plaintiff's application, in effect, to voluntarily discontinue the action, made on the first day of trial, since the record supported a finding that she was merely attempting to avoid an adverse order of the court, and there was a showing that the defendant would be prejudiced by such discontinuance.

 

Appellate Division Holds New York State's Public Policy with Regard Removal of Barriers to Remarriage (DRL § 253) Cannot Override Forum Selection Clause in Prenuptial Agreement

In Ofer v Sirota, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 1386552 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept.) the Appellate Division held that Supreme Court properly found that the parties' prenuptial agreement was enforceable and that the forum selection clause in the agreement, which granted exclusive jurisdiction over any divorce litigation to a competent Israeli court, was also enforceable (Sterling Natl. Bank v. Eastern Shipping Worldwide, Inc., 35 AD3d 222, 222 [1st Dept 2006] ). Accordingly, Supreme Court properly dismissed this action. The fact that plaintiff alleged that defendant refused to grant her a get (Jewish divorce decree) as required by their agreement was irrelevant to determining whether to enforce the forum selection clause. There was no merit to plaintiff's claim that she would be deprived of her day in court in Israel because Israel does not provide for no fault divorce and defendant's consent to a divorce is required there. While litigation in Israel may be more challenging, plaintiff would have her day in court. It was inappropriate for plaintiff to attempt to avoid Israel's legal system because New York's legal system may treat her more favorably by permitting her to obtain a no fault divorce. Plaintiff, an Israeli citizen, was well aware that Jewish religious laws govern Israeli divorces when she consented to the forum selection clause in the agreement. This State's strong and important public policy with regard to compelling civil litigants to remove any barriers to remarriage (DRL § 253) cannot override the forum selection clause that the parties knowingly included in their prenuptial agreement, particularly because plaintiff will not be deprived of her day in court in the chosen forum.

 

Disparity in Income and Expenses, and Availability of Tax Deductions Rendered Presumptive Amount of Child Support Unjust or Inappropriate

In Smith v Smith, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 1316325 (N.Y.A.D. 3 Dept.), Supreme Court calculated the mother's presumptive weekly child support obligation to be $258.33, but concluded that it would be "just and appropriate" to reduce it to $30 per week. The court also directed that child support be paid retroactive to the date of the judgment of divorce, excluding a nine-month period when the mother was unemployed and received inpatient treatment for alcohol dependency. Finally, the court denied the father's request for recoupment of the child support payments he made to the mother pursuant to the judgment of divorce. The Appellate Division found that father's income was twice that of the mother and such a disparity, alone, can justify a deviation. The father also received significant tax deductions and credits for the children, whereas the mother received none (Domestic Relations Law 240[1-b][f][4] ). Additionally, the mother was responsible for paying a significant portion of the children's uninsured health-related and child-care expenses, as well as other costs associated with her extended and substantial parenting time, all of which impacted the mother's financial resources (Domestic Relations Law § 240[1-b][f][1] ). The mother purchased a home within the children's school district to facilitate the custodial arrangement, as a result of which she has a significant commute to work, with its attendant expenses. Giving careful consideration to the relevant factors, it found no abuse of Supreme Court's discretion in concluding that the presumptive amount of child support attributable to the mother was unjust or inappropriate. Nonetheless, Supreme Court's reduction to $30 weekly was excessive and, it found $150 per week to be "just and appropriate" under the circumstances present here (Domestic Relations Law §240[1-b][g] ). The Court agreed with the father that the mother's child support obligation should have been made retroactive to February 9, 2009, the date the father made a specific demand therefor in his complaint. (Domestic Relations Law § 236[B][7][a]).

 

Appellate Division Holds Natural Parent Has Standing to Seek Legal Custody of His or Her Child

In Matter of Sanchez v Bonilla, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 1043094 (N.Y.A.D. 2 Dept.) the Appellate Division held that Family Court erred in dismissing the petition in which the mother sought orders of custody for her two teenaged children. A natural parent has standing to seek legal custody of his or her child (see Domestic Relations Law § 70 [a]. According to the petitioner, the children's father abandoned the children and, due to their immigration status, they could be returned to El Salvador where they had been subjected to abuse by family members and threats by gang members. The petitioner alleged that awarding her custody would be in the best interests of the children, since it would enable the children to apply for special immigrant juvenile status. Since the Family Court dismissed the petition without conducting a hearing or considering the best interests of the children, it remitted the matter to the Family Court for a hearing and a new determination of the custody petition thereafter.

 

Temporary Maintenance Guidelines Cap Adjusted to $543,000

As of January 31, 2014, the Income Cap under the Temporary Maintenance Guidelines has been adjusted from $524,000 to $543,000. TheTemporary Maintenance Worksheet and Calculator may be found at Temporary Maintenance Worksheet and Calculator.

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 2014 self-support reserve is $15,755.

Combined Parental Income Amount Adjusted to $141,000.

As of January 31, 2014 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

 

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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