DOMESTIC RELATIONSHIP LAW
Many people come to a time in their life where they breakup or divorce a significant other. If the parties were married, they must go to the Supreme Court to end the marriage. That cannot be done in Family Court outside of very specific circumstances wherein the parties are in the New York State Integrated Domestic Violence Part (IDV) of the Supreme Court which is located in the Family Court Part with a Family Court Judge who is elevated to an acting Supreme Court Judge just for the purpose of presiding in the IDV Part. I am very familiar with the IDV Part and can effectively represent any litigants interest in this part but it is pretty specific so I won’t talk about it here. There is another tab/page which you can go to if you want to see more about IDV.
Only Supreme Court can grant divorces and divide marital property and debt between the 2 parties. Supreme Court and the Family Court have concurrent jurisdiction on custody and support though. Many married people break up and decide to sue for custody and/or support in Family Court instead of resolving all issues and divorcing immediately upon their relationship ending.
New York had used the Domestic Relationship laws known as the DRL’s to govern Domestic Relationships but later drafted and passed the Family Court Act which created Family Court. Either court can use either set of rules except for the actual divorce which falls under DRL (Section) § 170 (1) – DRL § 170 (7) (Irreconcilable Differences) and the division of the marital estate which falls under DRL § 236(B).
When married parties divorce without first determining custody and support and do not agree on custody, the divorce will be the first impression on the court of the custody battle to ensue. This is important because the party that initially wins custody has an advantage that can be difficult to overcome by the other party even upon a change of circumstances,
The first determination of custody by a court sets the tone for all future proceedings regarding custody. It is very important for an attorney to know what the court wants to see in a party seeking custody so that a good attorney can steer his or her client towards acting in a way conducive for the court to grant custody to that litigant. Once a Judge decides custody, one must show the Judge that he or she made a mistake in their decision