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New York State Laws Governing Actions Between Family Members



In New York State, divorce actions are governed by the New York Domestic Relations Law. This law covers various aspects of marriage and divorce, including grounds for divorce, property division, spousal support, child custody, and visitation rights. Additionally, New York has specific court rules and procedures that apply to divorce cases, which are outlined in the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules (CPLR).


For other types of actions between familymembers or people engaged in a (defined) intimate relationship. These matters are heard by the family court, and such matters are primarily governed by the FamilyCourt Act (FCA). The FamilyCourt Act addresses a wide range of family-related legal issues, including:

• Child custody and visitation

• Child support

• Paternity

• Domestic violence

• Guardianship

• Adoption

• Juvenile delinquency

• PINS (Persons in Need of Supervision)

• Family offense proceedings (Orders of Protection)


Additionally, the Uniform Rules for the Family Court (Title 22 of the New York Codes, Rules, and Regulations [NYCRR]), establish procedural rules and guidelines for Family Court proceedings.


In addition to the above, cases concerning domestic violence and other criminal acts, regardless of the familial status, are governed by the New York State Penal Law, which includes various provisions related to domestic violence, such as assault, stalking, strangulation, and harassment

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