Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence


Summary of New York State Domestic Violence and Related Laws by Subject (beginning from 1995)

Subject Categories

Matrimonial/Divorce/Child Support   
Age of Consent for Marriage – A.5524-B Paulin /S.4407-B Lanza

Prohibits marriage under age seventeen.  Strengthens the process for a Supreme Court or Family Court judge to review and provide consent for seventeen-year-olds to marry.  An attorney for the child, with training on domestic violence and forced marriage, must be appointed to represent any seventeen-year-old minor requesting consent to marry.  The judge must advise all minor parties of their rights and services available, including domestic violence services, and must review any warrants or orders of protection related to either party in the state registry.  The judge must also conduct a private interview with each party and issue a written finding.

Signed:  June 20, 2017 Chapter 35
Effective:  July 20, 2017
Amends: Domestic Relations Law §§15 (1)(a), (2), (3) and (4); 15-a

Enforcement of Child Support or Spousal Support Orders - A.7253 Weinstein/S.5189 Bonacic

Eliminates the requirement that other enforcement remedies must be exhausted before a person who fails to pay child support and/or spousal support can be held in contempt by the court in a matrimonial proceeding.

Signed: September 29, 2016 Chapter 365

Effective: September 29, 2016

Amends: Domestic Relations Law §245

Maintenance and Spousal Support - A.7645 Weinstein/S.5678 Bonacic

Establishes new formulas for the court to use to calculate the duration and amount of maintenance and spousal support.  The law also establishes what factors can used to appropriately deviate from the formulas.

Signed: September 25, 2015   Chapter 269

Effective: January 23, 2016 for all matrimonial actions and Family Court actions for spousal support commenced on or after this date; October 25, 2015 for temporary maintenance awards in matrimonial actions commenced on or after this date

Amends: Domestic Relations Law §§236 & 248; Family Court Act §412

No-Fault Divorce  (A.9753-A Bing/S.3890-A Hassell-Thompson)

Allows a spouse to file for divorce on the grounds that the relationship has irretrievably broken down for at least six months.  A divorce cannot be granted until the issues of marital property distribution, spousal or child support, child custody and visitation, and counsel’s fees have been resolved by the parties or the court. 

Signed: 2010 Chapter 384

Effective: October 12, 2010

Amends:  Domestic Relations Law §170(7)  

Post-Marital Maintenance  (A.10984-B Paulin/S.8390 Hassell-Thompson)

Requires courts to assess the respective incomes of divorcing parties and award temporary maintenance, determined by an established formula and set of factors, to the less moneyed spouse. The law also requires the NYS Law Revision Commission to assess the economic consequences of divorce on married couples, to review the spousal maintenance laws of the state and to submit a preliminary and a final report to the legislature and the Governor with recommendations for revisions to spousal maintenance laws.

Signed: 2010 Chapter 371

Effective: October 12, 2010

Amends:  Domestic Relations Law §236(B)(5-a)

Counsel and Expert Witness Fees in Divorce Cases  (A.7569-A Weinstein/S.4532-A Sampson)

Establishes a presumption that the less moneyed spouse in a divorce case is entitled to payment of counsel and expert witness fees and requires the parties to submit financial information to the court to determine payment by the other spouse.

Signed: 2010 Chapter 329

Effective: October 12, 2010* 

Amends:  Domestic Relations Law §237(a) and (b)

*A subsequent law (Chapter 415) moved the effective date up to August 13, 2010

Divorce/Health Insurance  (A.7561 Bradley/S.2851-A Sampson)

Repeals section 177 of the Domestic Relations Law, which was intended to insure that divorcing spouses are made aware of the potential loss of health care coverage, depending on the terms of their insurance plan, when that coverage had been obtained through one spouse. A.7561 creates a new section 255, which provides for notification of the health insurance provisions to both parties, but gives judges greater discretion in insuring the time and method of notification. 

Signed: 2009 Chapter 143

Effective:  October 9, 2009

Amends:  Domestic Relations Law §177 repealed; §255 added 

Divorce/Assets and Benefits Protection  (A.2574 Weinstein/S.2974 Sampson)

Requires orders to be issued by the court, at the beginning of any divorce proceeding, to prevent both parties from incurring unreasonable debts, dissipating assets (including personal property, real estate, retirement funds, etc.), or removing a party or the children from health or life insurance policies.

Signed: 2009 Chapter 72

Effective:  September 1, 2009

Amends:  Domestic Relations Law §236(B)(2) 

Collection of Child Support Arrears  (A.7698 Weinstein/S.5872 Saland)

Extends for two more years the current law authorizing the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance to seek enforcement and recovery of child support arrears in excess of four months.

Signed: 1999 Chapter 139

Effective: June 30, 1999

Amends:  unconsolidated law - Section 5 of Chapter 706 of the Laws of 1996

Social Services Law §111-b(16)(b)

Out-of-State Child Support  Orders  (A.7708 Weinstein/S.4432-A Saland)

Requires that out-of-state orders of support may only be modified in accordance with the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act (UIFSA).

Signed: 1999 Chapter 533

Effective: September 28, 1999

Amends:  Family Court Act §§171-a; 451; 455(2) and (5); 511; 519(c); 527(a); 528

Criminal Procedure Law §5241(b)(2)(i)