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Recent Developments


Notice of Automatic Orders in Divorce Proceedings

March 17, 2020

In Spencer v. Spencer, 2018 NYLJ LEXIS 718 (2d Dep’t Mar. 9, 2018), after an 18 day trial in which a judgment of divorce was entered, a wife discovered that the husband had sold their marital residence in light of the mandatory Notice of Automatic Orders precluding him from doing so.

The Appellate Division for the Second Department held that with respect to a wife’s post-divorce judgment motion to hold the husband in civil contempt for violating certain orders that were issued during the pendency of their divorce action, the trial court properly determined that orders based on Domestic Relations Law § 236(B)(2)(b) and 22 NYCRR 202.16-a constituted unequivocal mandates of the court for purposes of holding a spouse in contempt. However, the trial court erred in finding the husband in civil contempt based on his violation of those orders, as it was not an available remedy under Judiciary Law § 753 because the wife had sought civil contempt after entry of the divorce judgment and it was only a remedy that was available during the pendency of the action.

To read the decision in its entirety, click here:

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Future Custody Determinations: a Judge's Perspective during COVID-19

March 27, 2020

In this informative op-ed, Judge Sunshine (Kings County Supreme Court) discusses his approach toward custody and visitation battles presently on hold due to the coronavirus.