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Domestic Abuse

Is a verbal order by a referee legally binding?

Q: My husband filed for divorce. We have made our first appearance before a referee in the NY Supreme Court. I requested that his paramour not be permitted around our children as he has done so despite my objections. The referee told him to keep the paramour away from the kids but would not put it in writing. My husband says it’s not legally binding and I cannot dictate whether his live-in girlfriend can be around our children. Is he correct? He wants to see him and the covid-19 virus limits where he can take them. 

A: No, oral directives by either a Referee or a Judge are no binding – any written court orders are. Indeed, under current rules, Referees in Westchester Divorce cases do not have the authority to enter any orders anyway. Schedule a consult with a White Plains Divorce attorney for a full assessment. 

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