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What is the Difference Between a Divorce Case in Supreme Court and an Action in Family Court in New York State
More ArticlesIn order to understand the difference between the powers of the Family Court of the State of New York verse the Supreme Court of the State of New York you need to read the family court act set forth below.
Family Court only deals with issue of child custody, child support and spousal support. The Family Court can NOT entertain an action for Divorce nor can it distribute marital property.
There are some instances where it might be better to file first in Family Court where it is important to immediately address custody of the children, support or domestic violence. In the opinion of this writer, a pro se litigant can navigate through family Court a lot easier and expeditiously than in Supreme Court and Family Court is there to help you if you or your children are being physically abused or are at risk.
The New York Family Court Act applicable hereto is set forth below.
N.Y. FCT. LAW § 115 : NY Code - Section 115: Jurisdiction of family court
(a) The family court has exclusive original jurisdiction over (i) abuse and neglect proceedings, as set forth in article ten; (ii) support proceedings, as set forth in article four; (iii) proceedings to determine paternity and for the support of children born out-of-wedlock, as set forth in article five; (iv) proceedings to permanently terminate parental rights to guardianship and custody of a child: (A) by reason of permanent neglect, as set forth in part one of article six of this act and paragraph (d) of subdivision four of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, (B) by reason of mental illness, mental retardation and severe or repeated child abuse, as set forth in paragraphs (c) and (e) of subdivision four of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law, and (C) by reason of the death of one or both parents, where no guardian of the person of the child has been lawfully appointed, or by reason of abandonment of the child for a period of six months immediately prior to the filing of the petition, where a child is under the jurisdiction of the family court as a result of a placement in foster care by the family court pursuant to article ten or ten-A of this act or section three hundred fifty-eight-a of the social services law, unless the court declines jurisdiction pursuant to section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law; (v) proceedings concerning whether a person is in need of supervision, as set forth in article seven; and (vi) proceedings concerning juvenile delinquency as set forth in article three. (b) The family court has such other jurisdiction as is set forth in this act, including jurisdiction over habeas corpus proceedings and over applications for support, maintenance, a distribution of marital property and custody in matrimonial actions when referred to the family court by the supreme court, conciliation proceedings, and proceedings concerning physically handicapped and mentally defective or retarded children. (c) The family court has such other jurisdiction as is provided by law, including but not limited to: proceedings concerning adoption and custody of children, as set forth in parts two and three of article six of this act; proceedings concerning the uniform interstate family support act, as set forth in article five-B of this act; proceedings concerning children in foster care and care and custody of children, as set forth in sections three hundred fifty-eight-a and three hundred eighty-four-a of the social services law and article ten-A of this act; proceedings concerning guardianship and custody of children by reason of the death of, or abandonment or surrender by, the parent or parents, as set forth in sections three hundred eighty-three-c, three hundred eighty-four and paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision four of section three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law; proceedings concerning standby guardianship and guardianship of the person as set forth in part four of article six of this act and article seventeen of the surrogate's court procedure act; and proceedings concerning the interstate compact on juveniles as set forth in chapter one hundred fifty-five of the laws of nineteen hundred fifty-five, as amended, the interstate compact on the placement of children, as set forth in section three hundred seventy-four-a of the social services law, and the uniform child custody jurisdiction and enforcement act, as set forth in article five-A of the domestic relations law. (d) Notwithstanding subdivisions (a) through (c) of this section, jurisdiction of the family court and tribal courts of Indian tribes designated by the Secretary of the Interior over those child custody proceedings provided for in articles three, seven, ten and ten-A of this act and sections three hundred fifty-eight-a and three hundred eighty-four-b of the social services law involving Indian children as defined in subdivision thirty-six of section two of the social services law shall be subject to the terms and conditions set forth in applicable sections of title twenty-five of the United States code; provided that tribal courts of Indian tribes designated as such by the state of New York shall have jurisdiction over such child custody proceedings involving Indian children to the same extent as federally designated Indian tribes upon the approval of the state office of children and family services pursuant to section thirty-nine of the social services law. (e) The family court has concurrent jurisdiction with the criminal court over all family offenses as defined in article eight of this act. (f) The family court has jurisdiction to direct the commencement of proceedings to suspend the driving privileges, recreational licenses and permits, and license, permit, registration or authority to practice of persons who are delinquent in their child or combined child and spousal support obligations or persons who have failed, after receiving appropriate notice, to comply with summonses, subpoenas or warrants relating to paternity and child support proceedings as set forth in sections four hundred fifty-eight-a, four hundred fifty-eight-b, four hundred fifty-eight-c, five hundred forty-eight-a, five hundred forty-eight-b, and five forty-eight-c of this act. Such jurisdiction shall include jurisdiction over all boards, departments, authorities or offices of the state for the purposes of implementing such section...
Lisa Beth Older, a New York Divorce Lawyer and a New York child custody lawyer serves the following locations: New York City, Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, New York, and Westchester County.
Warning: The information contained herein is not intended to substitute for legal advice from your own retained lawyer in new york state. This article is merely informational in nature, and is based upon one attorney’s knowledge of the practice of family law, matrimonial law, domestic violence, child custody, child support and orders of protection.