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What's New in Matrimonial Legislation and Court Rules


2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010



2014 Highlights


4/27:

Effective April 27, 2014, new Incoming WIthholding Order (“IWO”)  forms promulgated by the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance were adopted by Administrative Order 93-14 dated April 25, 2014 for use in NYS Supreme Courts.  The new IWO forms are:

The prior IWO forms adopted for use in NYS Supreme Courts by Administrative Order dated September 19, 2012 were repealed by said Administrative Order dated April 25, 2014. At the same time, the Uncontested Divorce Booklet Instructions were amended to include the new IWO forms in the Uncontested Divorce Packets. The newly adopted LDSS- 5039 Form now contains instructions for filling out the LDSS -5037 and LDSS-5038 and NYS Case Registry Form. Corresponding changes were made to Child Support Resources

1/14:

As of January 31, 2014, the Combined Parental Income Cap under the Child Support Standards Act has been adjusted from $136,000 to $141,000.
Revisions to the Uncontested Divorce Packet Instructions and Forms may be found at the Instructions, the UD-8 Child Support Worksheet, and the UD-10 Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law.

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

Note: These changes are required by statute. The statutes (Social Services Law §111-I for the CSSA and D.R.L. § 236 Part B (5-a) for the Temporary Maintenance Guidelines) require adjustment of the cap on January 31, 2012 and on January 31st every other year thereafter pursuant to CPI-U increases published by the Department of Labor.

 

1/14 : Changes were made to the UD-11 Judgment of Divorce to eliminate the requirement that, where orders relating to custody, visitation, maintenance and child support are being continued, a copy of the Judgment of Divorce must be filed with the Family Court within 10 days of entry.

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2013 Highlights


1/13:
A revised Notice of Automatic Orders was adopted to implement the amended Court Rule NYCRR 202.16a

1/13:
The Uncontested Divorce Booklet Instructions were amended to clarify that there is a single packet for both divorces with children and divorces without children. This revision also amended the instructions regarding the UD-6, UD-7 and UD-10 forms. At the same time, revised versions of Form UD-6, Form UD-7 and Form UD-10 were adopted to clarify that the no-fault ground may be used where neither party to the divorce has contested any ancillary issues based on the Affidavit of Plaintiff (which Defendant has not contested).

12/13:
Revised Order of Protection Forms promulgated pursuant to Administrative Order dated 12/26/13 were posted at
http://www.nycourts.gov/forms/familycourt/domesticviolence.shtml

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2012 Highlights


1/31:
Revisions to Uncontested Divorce Child Support Worksheet (Form UD-8), Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (Form UD-10),and Instructions adopted by Administrative Order. Revisions implement increases required by statute in the combined parental income child support cap, based upon the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) published by the United States Department of Labor. The old cap was $130,000, and the new cap is $136,000 effective January 31, 2012. The statute requires adjustment of the cap on January 31, 2012 and on January 31st every other year thereafter.

1/31:
Revisions to Temporary Maintenance Worksheet and Calculator to implement increases required by statute in the combined parental income temporary maintenance cap, based upon the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U) published by the United States Department of Labor. The old cap was $500,000, and the new cap is $524,000 effective January 31, 2012. The statute requires adjustment of the cap on January 31, 2012 and on January 31st every other year thereafter.

5/31:
Effective May 31, 2012 a new form of Income Deduction Order known as an Income Withholding Order ("IWO") was adopted by the Federal Office of Management and Budget on a mandatory basis. The NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance ("OTDA") created a special version of this form for use in New York State. The new form was adopted for use in NYS Supreme Courts by Administrative Order of the Chief Administrative Judge dated June 22, 2012. It instructs employers to reject Income Withholding Orders not on the new form.

5/31:
To coincide with the date that the new IWO form was adopted for use in NYS Supreme Courts, a new website for Child Support Resources (http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/childsupport/) was posted on the UCS Divorce Resources website. The new website makes clear that the Court must issue an immediate Income Deduction Order in every case where the Court orders child or spousal support or combined child and spousal support with two exceptions. See Child Support Resources (http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/childsupport/) for the two exceptions to when a Court must issue an IWO, and for other information about IWO's, child support, and applications for child support services.

9/20:
The OTDA made some important changes regarding the IWO for use in New York State, making necessary the further revision of this form. By Administrative Order dated September 20, 2012, a new IWO form for spousal support only was adopted. Also adopted was a new IWO form for child support or combined child and spousal support. See Child Support Resources (http://www.nycourts.gov/divorce/childsupport/) for detailed information and instructions about the differences between the two forms, where payments must be sent, and on whom the forms must be served.

10/31:
On October 31, 2012, New York State Department of State launched its new Address Confidentiality program adopted as Chapter 502 of the Laws of 2011, making the Secretary of State Agent for Service and provides eligible victims of domestic violence with a substitute mailing address which may be used for court and government records. See See NYS Address Confidentiality Program (http://www.dos.ny.gov/acp/index.html).

12/4:
On December 4, 2012, by Administrative Order 524/12 the Administrative Board adopted an amendment to Court Rule NYCRR 202.16a to clarify that failure to comply with the automatic orders may be deemed a contempt of court.

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2011 Highlights

11/11:
Revisions to the Uncontested Divorce Child Support Worksheet (Form UD-8) and Instructions (see p.24) to implement Indigent Non-Custodial Parent Child Support Law

9/11:
Revisions to Uncontested Divorce Forms and Instructions adopted by Administrative Order to implement Marriage Equality Law, including revised RJI Form for Uncontested Divorces (Form UD -13), for use with Matrimonial Addendum (UCS-840) when there are children under 18, and revised Note of Issue for Uncontested Divorces (Form UD-9)

5/11:
RJI Form now required, without fee, for Uncontested Divorces in NYC by Court Rule (NYCRR§202.6(b))

4/11:
Uniform Preliminary Conference Order / Matrimonial PC Order adopted by Court Rule (NYCRR§202.16(f)(2)) for use in Contested Divorces

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2010 Highlights

"No-Fault" Divorce:

  • There is now a seventh ground for divorce, for proceedings filed on or after October 12, 2010, which does not require the parties to allege fault.
  • To qualify for a no-fault divorce, one of the parties must have sworn under oath that the relationship between husband and wife has broken down "irretrievably" for a period of at least six months. Also, all ancillary issues relating to finances, and custody and visitation must have been resolved and incorporated in the judgment of divorce.
  • The Uncontested Divorce Packet now contains the instructions and forms to obtain a "no-fault divorce."

Temporary Spousal Maintenance

  • When a spouse asks the court for temporary spousal maintenance in a divorce action, the law now requires the Supreme Court to use formula guidelines for determining the award on income up to $500,000.
  • Requests for temporary spousal maintenance should not be made using the Uncontested Divorce Packet. This packet is designed for requests for final maintenance awards only.
  • See the new Temporary Maintenance Guidelines Worksheet and Calculator for determining the guideline amounts in cases begun in Supreme Court after October 12, 2010.
  • If the court lacks enough information about income to apply the formula, the court must award temporary spousal maintenance based on needs or standard of living, whichever is greater.
  • The court will consider factors rather than the formula with regard to awards on income in excess of $500,000 and whether to follow the formula for temporary maintenance awards that are unjust or inappropriate;

Awards of Post Divorce Final Maintenance

  • No formula yet! The court will continue to consider standard of living and needs and factors for the time being, but new factors have been added for the court's consideration.
  • The Law Revision Commission is studying the maintenance laws of New York State with regard to fairness. A final report is due to the Legislature by December 31, 2011.

Counsel and Expert Fees:

  • The law now requires the court in most cases to grant requests of the spouse with less money for payment of their counsel fees by the spouse with more money at any time from commencement to the end of the action. The burden is now on the "monied spouse" to show why the request of the "non-monied" spouse should not be granted. The court may also award expert fees.
  • The purpose of the new law is to make sure that the parties are adequately represented.

Modification of Child Support Orders:

  • The law now allows parties to seek a modification of a child support order upon a showing of a substantial change in circumstances, when three years have passed since the order was entered, or when there has been a change in either party's gross income by fifteen percent (15%) or more.
  • There are new provisions allowing incarcerated spouses to seek modification of child support orders, except where incarceration is the result of failure to pay child support, or an offense against the custodial parent, or the child whose support is involved.
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