Committee Reports

Report in support of legislation providing additional enforcement mechanisms for the collection of spousal or child support


The Matrimonial Law Committee (Jenifer Foley, Chair) issued a report supporting legislation that would make it easier to hold a party who has defied a Supreme Court order in contempt. If enacted, the bill will help enforce orders in matrimonial cases, including collecting support due to spouses, ex-spouses and children. Under current law, the Supreme Court can hold a party in contempt for failure to pay only if the court finds that other enforcement measures either have been tried and failed or would be ineffective. That requirement puts a significant hurdle in the path of lower-income parties, who cannot afford to have their lawyers try every other tactic before asking to hold their non-paying spouses in contempt. Removing the requirement would make the standard for contempt in the Supreme Court the same standard that already applies in Family Court, which Committee members have found to be fair to all sides. Moreover, the Committee noted that numerous procedural protections and judicial practice will make incarceration an unlikely disposition, only used for the most intractable offenders.


A.7253 (AM Weinstein) / S.5189 (Sen. Bonacic) – relates to providing additional enforcement mechanisms for collection of spousal or child (NYS 2015-16)


Signed by the Governor, Chp. 365 – September 29, 2016