What Happens When Either Party Violates A Family Court Order In A New York State Contested Divorce Case?
First, it’s important to understand that family court matters and contested divorce cases are conducted in different courts in New York. Generally, New York Family Court Judges handle family court orders, while contested divorces in New York are handled by the Supreme Court.
As a result, any existing family court order that you may have in place will be “rolled into” your contested divorce whenever that takes place. On the other hand, if you have “family court orders” that arose out of a contested divorce then they will be lumped within the contested divorce decree – meaning the prior order will be “incorporated” into your divorce judgment.
In any case, you can choose whether to enforce these matters in family court, or in the New York Supreme Court. So which court is the best option for you?
If the violation is purely monetary, you’re likely better off filing an enforcement application in Family Court. Likewise, if the violation is only an issue of custody or visitation, and no other problem exists, you should file your enforcement application in Family Court.
However, if there are intertwined issues – such as child support and visitation violations, you’re better off filing your enforcement application in the Supreme Court. This is because the Supreme Court allows you to have one Judge determine all the problems coming up in your case. If you go to Family Court, on the other hand, one Judge will decide the enforcement of child support and another will determine the issue of visitation.
What’s more, in family court you’ll have to hire an attorney to represent you on two cases held at two separate times and in front of two Judges. By filing the enforcement application in the Supreme Court, you can handle the multiple issues all at once.
My Divorce Case Is Contested & Court-Ordered Enforcement Measures Have Not Worked. Is There Anything Else That I Can Do?
Suppose you’re having a custody issue where your child’s other parent is withholding them when you are supposed to have parenting time. If your attempt at enforcement was, “I called the police, and that didn’t work,” or “I went over and tried to retrieve my child, but that didn’t work” – then your next step is to go into court on an Order to Show Cause and present the issues to a divorce Judge or a family court Judge.
If child support needs to be paid, you can attempt to have the order paid through the support collection unit. But suppose that the support collection unit has tried to garnish your ex-spouse’s wages, seize money out of bank accounts, and freeze their license, without success.
Suppose you also send a “default notice letter” to your ex-spouse telling them they missed their support payment and demanding they catch up. If they still don’t pay, your only other option is to file an enforcement application.
As mentioned in the section above, if you have family law orders that are lumped into a divorce decree, you can choose whether to file your enforcement application with the NY Family Court or the New York Supreme Court. When making this decision, it’s always best to consult with an attorney so you can be sure to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.
With the guidance of a skilled attorney for Family Law In New York, you can know that the Law Offices of David Bliven will make it look easy.
For more information on the Violation of a Family Court Order in A Contested Case, an initial consultation is your next step. Get the information and legal answers you seek by calling our office today at (347) 797-1188 | (914) 362-3080.