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Can a Judge presiding over a divorce case order an ACS investigation (“COI”)?

Q: My case started as a custody battle with my husband but then we filed a Summons and Complaint for divorce. Since the judge in FamilY Court also sits in a Supreme Court part – she took over the divorce case. She then issued an ACS investigation but, when I was looking on google, the ACS investigation comes under the Family Court Act — does this mean that the judge wasn’t legally able to issue an ACS investigation since it is now a Supreme Court divorce case and no longer under the Family Court Act?

A: David’s Answer: There is certainly specific statutory authority for a Family Court Judge to issue such an order, while specific statutory authority appears lacking for a Supreme Court Judge to do so. That said, a Supreme Court just has the authority to issue orders in a custody case the same as a Family Court Judge would (otherwise, how could they issue an order directing a drug test, or a forensic psychological evaluation – orders which are routinely done in Supreme Court). You’re best advised to schedule a consult with a Westchester Family Law attorney for a full assessment.

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