Family Court Law
New York Law
New York State Consolidated Laws
Part 3 - Article 5B - Family Court
CIVIL PROVISIONS OF GENERAL APPLICATION
||Proceedings under article.
||Proceeding by a minor parent.
||Application of law of state.
||Duties of initiating tribunal.
||Duties and powers of responding tribunal.
||Duties of support enforcement agency.
||Duty of certain state officials.
||Duties of state information agency.
||Pleadings and accompanying documents.
||Nondisclosure of information in exceptional circumstances.
||Costs and fees.
||Limited immunity of petitioner.
||Nonparentage as defense.
||Special rules of evidence and procedure.
||Communications between tribunals.
||Assistance with discovery.
||Receipt and disbursement of payments.
S 580-301. Proceedings under article. (a) Except as otherwise provided
in this article, this part applies to all proceedings under this
(b) An individual petitioner or a support enforcement agency may
initiate a proceeding authorized under this article by filing a petition
in an initiating tribunal for forwarding to a responding tribunal or by
filing a petition or a comparable pleading directly in a tribunal of
another state or a foreign country which has or can obtain personal
jurisdiction over the respondent.
S 580-302. Proceeding by a minor parent. A minor parent, or a guardian
or other legal representative of a minor parent, may maintain a
proceeding on behalf of or for the benefit of the minor's child.
S 580-303. Application of law of state. Except as otherwise provided
in this article, a responding tribunal of this state shall:
1. apply the procedural and substantive law generally applicable to
similar proceedings originating in this state and may exercise all
powers and provide all remedies available in those proceedings; and
2. determine the duty of support and the amount payable in accordance
with the law and support guidelines of this state.
S 580-304. Duties of initiating tribunal. (a) Upon the filing of a
petition authorized by this article, an initiating tribunal of this
state shall forward the petition and its accompanying documents:
(1) to the responding tribunal or appropriate support enforcement
agency in the responding state; or
(2) if the identity of the responding tribunal is unknown, to the
state information agency of the responding state with a request that
they be forwarded to the appropriate tribunal and that receipt be
(b) If requested by the responding tribunal, a tribunal of this state
shall issue a certificate or other document and make findings required
by the law of the responding state. If the responding tribunal is in a
foreign country, upon request the tribunal of this state shall specify
the amount of support sought, convert that amount into the equivalent
amount in the foreign currency under applicable official or market
exchange rate as publicly reported, and provide any other documents
necessary to satisfy the requirements of the responding foreign
S 580-305. Duties and powers of responding tribunal. (a) When a
responding tribunal of this state receives a petition or comparable
pleading from an initiating tribunal or directly pursuant to subdivision
(b) of section 580-301 of this part, it shall cause the petition or
pleading to be filed and notify the petitioner where and when it was
(b) A responding tribunal of this state, to the extent not prohibited
by other law, may do one or more of the following:
(1) establish or enforce a support order, modify a child support
order, determine the controlling child support order or determine
parentage of a child;
(2) order an obligor to comply with a support order, specifying the
amount and the manner of compliance;
(3) order income withholding;
(4) determine the amount of any arrearages, and specify a method of
(5) enforce orders by civil or criminal contempt, or both;
(6) set aside property for satisfaction of the support order;
(7) place liens and order execution on the obligor's property;
(8) order an obligor to keep the tribunal informed of the obligor's
current residential address, electronic-mail address, telephone number,
employer, address of employment and telephone number at the place of
(9) issue a warrant for an obligor who has failed after proper notice
to appear at a hearing ordered by the tribunal and enter the warrant in
any local and state computer systems for criminal warrants;
(10) order the obligor to seek appropriate employment by specified
(11) award reasonable attorney's fees and other fees and costs; and
(12) grant any other available remedy.
(c) A responding tribunal of this state shall include in a support
order issued under this article, or in the documents accompanying the
order, the calculations on which the support order is based.
(d) A responding tribunal of this state may not condition the payment
of a support order issued under this article upon compliance by a party
with provisions for visitation.
(e) If a responding tribunal of this state issues an order under this
article, the tribunal shall send a copy of the order to the petitioner
and the respondent and to the initiating tribunal, if any.
(f) If requested to enforce a support order, arrears, or judgment or
modify a support order stated in a foreign currency, a responding
tribunal of this state shall convert the amount stated in the foreign
currency to the equivalent amount in dollars under the applicable
official or market exchange rate as publicly reported.
S 580-306. Inappropriate tribunal. If a petition or comparable
pleading is received by an inappropriate tribunal of this state, the
tribunal shall forward the pleading and accompanying documents to an
appropriate tribunal of this state or another state and notify the
petitioner where and when the pleading was sent.
S 580-307. Duties of support enforcement agency. (a) A support
enforcement agency of this state, upon request, shall provide services
to a petitioner in a proceeding under this article.
(b) A support enforcement agency of this state that is providing
services to the petitioner shall:
(1) take all steps necessary to enable an appropriate tribunal of this
state, another state or a foreign country to obtain jurisdiction over
(2) request an appropriate tribunal to set a date, time and place for
(3) make a reasonable effort to obtain all relevant information,
including information as to income and property of the parties;
(4) within ten days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal
holidays, after receipt of notice in a record from an initiating,
responding or registering tribunal, send a copy of the notice to the
(5) within ten days, exclusive of Saturdays, Sundays and legal
holidays, after receipt of communication in a record from the respondent
or the respondent's attorney, send a copy of the communication to the
(6) notify the petitioner if jurisdiction over the respondent cannot
(c) A support enforcement agency of this state that requests
registration of a child support order in this state for enforcement or
for modification shall make reasonable efforts:
(1) to ensure that the order to be registered is the controlling
(2) if two or more child support orders exist and the identity of the
controlling order has not been determined, to ensure that a request for
such a determination is made in a tribunal having jurisdiction to do so.
(d) A support enforcement agency of this state that requests
registration and enforcement of a support order, arrears or judgment
stated in a foreign currency shall convert the amounts stated in the
foreign currency into the equivalent amounts in dollars under the
applicable official or market exchange rate as publicly reported.
(e) A support enforcement agency of this state shall issue or request
a tribunal of this state to issue a child support order and an income
withholding order that redirect payment of current support, arrears, and
interest if requested to do so by a support enforcement agency of
another state pursuant to section 580-319 of this part.
(f) This article does not create or negate a relationship of attorney
and client or other fiduciary relationship between a support enforcement
agency or the attorney for the agency and the individual being assisted
by the agency.
S 580-308. Duty of certain state officials. (a) If the attorney
general determines that the support enforcement agency is neglecting or
refusing to provide services to an individual, the attorney general may
order the agency to perform its duties under this article or may provide
those services directly to the individual.
(b) The commissioner of temporary and disability assistance may
determine that a foreign country has established a reciprocal
arrangement for child support with this state and take appropriate
action for notification of the determination.
S 580-309. Private counsel. An individual may employ private counsel
to represent the individual in proceedings authorized by this article.
S 580-310. Duties of state information agency. (a) The office of
temporary and disability assistance is the state information agency
under this article.
(b) The state information agency shall:
(1) compile and maintain a current list, including addresses, of the
tribunals in this state which have jurisdiction under this article and
any support enforcement agencies in this state and transmit a copy to
the state information agency of every other state;
(2) maintain a register of names and addresses of tribunals and
support enforcement agencies received from other states;
(3) forward to the appropriate tribunal in the county in this state in
which the obligee who is an individual or the obligor resides, or in
which the obligor's property is believed to be located, all documents
concerning a proceeding under this article received from another state
or a foreign country; and
(4) obtain information concerning the location of the obligor and the
obligor's property within this state not exempt from execution, by such
means as postal verification and federal or state locator services,
examination of telephone directories, requests for the obligor's address
from employers and examination of governmental records, including, to
the extent not prohibited by other law, those relating to real property,
vital statistics, law enforcement, taxation, motor vehicles, driver's
licenses and social security.
S 580-311. Pleadings and accompanying documents. (a) In a proceeding
under this article, a petitioner seeking to establish a support order,
to determine parentage of a child or to register and modify a support
order of a tribunal of another state or a foreign country must file a
petition. Unless otherwise ordered under section 580-312 of this part,
the petition or accompanying documents must provide, so far as known,
the name, residential address and social security numbers of the obligor
and the obligee or the parent and alleged parent, and the name, sex,
residential address, social security number and date of birth of each
child for whose benefit support is sought or whose parentage is to be
determined. Unless filed at the time of registration, the petition must
be accompanied by a copy of any support order known to have been issued
by another tribunal. The petition may include any other information that
may assist in locating or identifying the respondent.
(b) The petition must specify the relief sought. The petition and
accompanying documents must conform substantially with the requirements
imposed by the forms mandated by federal law for use in cases filed by a
support enforcement agency.
S 580-312. Nondisclosure of information in exceptional circumstances.
If a party alleges in an affidavit or a pleading under oath that the
health, safety or liberty of a party or child would be jeopardized by
disclosure of specific identifying information, that information must be
sealed and may not be disclosed to the other party or the public. After
a hearing in which a tribunal takes into consideration the health,
safety or liberty of the party or child, the tribunal may order
disclosure of information that the tribunal determines to be in the
interest of justice.
S 580-313. Costs and fees. (a) The petitioner may not be required to
pay a filing fee or other costs.
(b) If an obligee prevails, a responding tribunal of this state may
assess against an obligor filing fees, reasonable attorney's fees, other
costs, and necessary travel and other reasonable expenses incurred by
the obligee and the obligee's witnesses. The tribunal may not assess
fees, costs or expenses against the obligee or the support enforcement
agency of either the initiating or responding state or foreign country,
except as provided by other law. Attorney's fees may be taxed as costs,
and may be ordered paid directly to the attorney, who may enforce the
order in the attorney's own name. Payment of support owed to the obligee
has priority over fees, costs, and expenses.
(c) The tribunal shall order the payment of costs and reasonable
attorney's fees if it determines that a hearing was requested primarily
for delay. In a proceeding under part six of this article, a hearing is
presumed to have been requested primarily for delay if a registered
support order is confirmed or enforced without change.
S 580-314. Limited immunity of petitioner. (a) Participation by a
petitioner in a proceeding under this article before a responding
tribunal, whether in person, by private attorney or through services
provided by the support enforcement agency, does not confer personal
jurisdiction over the petitioner in another proceeding.
(b) A petitioner is not amenable to service of civil process while
physically present in this state to participate in a proceeding under
(c) The immunity granted by this section does not extend to civil
litigation based on acts unrelated to a proceeding under this article
committed by a party while physically present in this state to
participate in the proceeding.
S 580-315. Nonparentage as defense. A party whose parentage of a child
has been previously determined by or pursuant to law may not plead
nonparentage as a defense to a proceeding under this article.
S 580-316. Special rules of evidence and procedure. (a) The physical
presence of a nonresident party who is an individual in a tribunal of
this state is not required for the establishment, enforcement or
modification of a support order, or the rendition of a judgment
determining parentage of a child.
(b) An affidavit, a document substantially complying with federally
mandated forms or a document incorporated by reference in any of them,
which would not be excluded under the hearsay rule if given in person,
is admissible in evidence if given under penalty of perjury by a party
or witness residing outside this state.
(c) A copy of the record of child support payments certified as a true
copy of the original by the custodian of the record may be forwarded to
a responding tribunal. The copy is evidence of facts asserted in it, and
is admissible to show whether payments were made.
(d) Copies of bills for testing for parentage of a child, and for
prenatal and postnatal health care of the mother and child, furnished to
the adverse party at least ten days before trial, are admissible in
evidence to prove the amount of the charges billed and that the charges
were reasonable, necessary and customary.
(e) Documentary evidence transmitted from outside this state to a
tribunal of this state by telephone, telecopier or other electronic
means that do not provide an original record may not be excluded from
evidence on an objection based on the means of transmission.
(f) In a proceeding under this article, a tribunal of this state shall
permit a party or witness residing outside this state to be deposed or
to testify under penalty of perjury by telephone, audiovisual means or
other electronic means at a designated tribunal or other location. A
tribunal of this state shall cooperate with other tribunals in
designating an appropriate location for the deposition or testimony.
(g) If a party called to testify at a civil hearing refuses to answer
on the ground that the testimony may be self-incriminating, the trier of
fact may draw an adverse inference from the refusal.
(h) A privilege against disclosure of communications between spouses
does not apply in a proceeding under this article.
(i) The defense of immunity based on the relationship of husband and
wife or parent and child does not apply in a proceeding under this
(j) A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity, certified as a true copy,
is admissible to establish parentage of the child.
S 580-317. Communications between tribunals. A tribunal of this state
may communicate with a tribunal outside this state in a record or by
telephone, electronic mail or other means, to obtain information
concerning the laws, the legal effect of a judgment, decree or order of
that tribunal, and the status of a proceeding. A tribunal of this state
may furnish similar information by similar means to a tribunal outside
S 580-318. Assistance with discovery. A tribunal of this state may:
1. request a tribunal outside this state to assist in obtaining
2. upon request, compel a person over which it has jurisdiction to
respond to a discovery order issued by a tribunal outside this state.
S 580-319. Receipt and disbursement of payments. (a) A support
enforcement agency or tribunal of this state shall disburse promptly any
amounts received pursuant to a support order, as directed by the order.
The agency or tribunal shall furnish to a requesting party or tribunal
of another state or a foreign country a certified statement by the
custodian of the record of the amounts and dates of all payments
(b) If neither the obligor, nor the obligee who is an individual, nor
the child resides in this state, upon request from a support enforcement
agency of this state or another state, a support enforcement agency or a
tribunal of this state shall:
(1) direct that the support payment be made to the support enforcement
agency in the state in which the obligee is receiving services; and
(2) issue and send to the obligor's employer a conforming income
withholding order or an administrative notice of change of payee,
reflecting the redirected payments.
(c) A support enforcement agency of this state receiving redirected
payments from another state pursuant to a law similar to subdivision (b)
of this section shall furnish to a requesting party or tribunal of the
other state a certified statement by the custodian of the record of the
amount and dates of all payments received.
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