Enjoy SmartLeges Premium!

Subscribe to SmartLeges Premium and enjoy the following advantages:

  • Consult as many laws as you need with no additional charge
  • Consult almost any law in several countries with the new advanced search engine. All legislation within reach!
  • Enjoy all SmartLeges functions without restrictions
See the plans

An essential and free application for professionals and students in the legal sector

Read more
 

Sign up for free!

Would you like to consult this and other laws complete?

Sign up for free to consult all the laws of SmartLeges in your mobile phone or tablet, as well as underline text, add notes...

Sign up for free!

Email Facebook Twitter Google Linkedin Tumblr

NEW YORK DOMESTIC RELATIONS
DOM

Last update: 2011-11-10


  • Article 1. Short Title; Definitions 1 - 2
  • Article 2. Marriages 5 - 8
  • Article 3. Solemnization, Proof and Effect of Marriage 10 - 25
  • Article 4. Certain Rights and Liabilities of Husband and Wife 50 - 61
  • Article 5. The Custody and Wages of Children 70 - 74
  • Article 5-A. Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act
    • Title 1. General Provisions 75 - 75-L
    • Title 2. Jurisdiction 76 - 76-I
    • Title 3. Enforcement 77 - 77-P
    • Title 4. Miscellaneous Provisions 78 - 78-A
  • Article 6. Guardians 80 - 85
  • Article 7. Adoption
    • Title 1. Adoptions Generally 109 - 111-C
    • Title 2. Adoption From an Authorized Agency 112 - 114
    • Title 3. Private-placement Adoption 115 - 116
    • Title 4. Effect of Adoption From an Authorized Agency, of Private-placement Adoption, and Abrogations Thereof 117
  • Article 8. Surrogate Parenting Contracts 121 - 124
  • Article 9. Action to Annul a Marriage or Declare It Void 140 - 146
  • Article 10. Action for Divorce 170 - 175
  • Article 11. Action for Separation 200 - 203
  • Article 11-A. Special Provisions Relating to Divorce and Separation 210 - 211
  • Article 12. Dissolution of Marriage on Ground of Absence 220 - 221
  • Article 13. Provisions Applicable to More than One Type of Matrimonial Action 230 - 255
  • Article 15. Laws Repealed; When to Take Effect 270 - 272

Article 1
Short Title; Definitions

Section 1. Short title.

This chapter shall be known as the "Domestic Relations Law."

Section 2. Definitions.

A "minor" or "infant", as used in this chapter, is a person under the age of eighteen years.

Article 2
Marriages

Section 5. Incestuous and void marriages.

A marriage is incestuous and void whether the relatives are legitimate or illegitimate between either:

1. An ancestor and a descendant;

2. A brother and sister of either the whole or the half blood;

3. An uncle and niece or an aunt and nephew.

If a marriage prohibited by the foregoing provisions of this section be solemnized it shall be void, and the parties thereto shall each be fined not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars and may, in the discretion of the court in addition to said fine, be imprisoned for a term not exceeding six months. Any person who shall knowingly and wilfully solemnize such marriage, or procure or aid in the solemnization of the same, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined or imprisoned in like manner.

Section 6. Void marriages.

A marriage is absolutely void if contracted by a person whose husband or wife by a former marriage is living, unless either:

1. Such former marriage has been annulled or has been dissolved for a cause other than the adultery of such person; provided, that if such former marriage has been dissolved for the cause of the adultery of such person, he or she may marry again in the cases provided for in section eight of this chapter and such subsequent marriage shall be valid;

3. Such former marriage has been dissolved pursuant to section seven-a of this chapter.

Section 7. Voidable marriages.

A marriage is void from the time its nullity is declared by a court of competent jurisdiction if either party thereto:

1. Is under the age of legal consent, which is eighteen years, provided that such nonage shall not of itself constitute an absolute right to the annulment of such marriage, but such annulment shall be in the discretion of the court which shall take into consideration all the facts and circumstances surrounding such marriage;

2. Is incapable of consenting to a marriage for want of understanding;

3. Is incapable of entering into the married state from physical cause;

4. Consent to such marriage by reason of force, duress or fraud;

5. Has been incurably mentally ill for a period of five years or more.

Section 8. Marriage after divorce.

Whenever, and whether prior or subsequent to September first, nineteen hundred sixty-seven, a marriage has been dissolved by divorce, either party may marry again.

Article 3
Solemnization, Proof and Effect of Marriage

Section 10. Marriage a civil contract.

Marriage, so far as its validity in law is concerned, continues to be a civil contract, to which the consent of parties capable in law of making a contract is essential.

Section 10-A. Parties to a marriage.

1. A marriage that is otherwise valid shall be valid regardless of whether the parties to the marriage are of the same or different sex.

2. No government treatment or legal status, effect, right, benefit, privilege, protection or responsibility relating to marriage, whether deriving from statute, administrative or court rule, public policy, common law or any other source of law, shall differ based on the parties to the marriage being or having been of the same sex rather than a different sex. When necessary to implement the rights and responsibilities of spouses under the law, all gender-specific language or terms shall be construed in a gender-neutral manner in all such sources of law.

Section 10-B. Religious exception.

1. Notwithstanding any state, local or municipal law, rule, regulation, ordinance, or other provision of law to the contrary, a religious entity as defined under the education law or section two of the religious corporations law, or a corporation incorporated under the benevolent orders law or described in the benevolent orders law but formed under any other law of this state, or a not-for-profit corporation operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious corporation, or any employee thereof, being managed, directed, or supervised by or in conjunction with a religious corporation, benevolent order, or a not-for-profit corporation as described in this subdivision, shall not be required to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges for the solemnization or celebration of a marriage. Any such refusal to provide services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges shall not create any civil claim or cause of action or result in any state or local government action to penalize, withhold benefits, or discriminate against such religious corporation, benevolent order, a not-for-profit corporation operated, supervised, or controlled by a religious corporation, or any employee thereof being managed, directed, or supervised by or in conjunction with a religious corporation, benevolent order, or a not-for-profit corporation.

2. Notwithstanding any state, local or municipal law or rule, regulation, ordinance, or other provision of law to the contrary, nothing in this article shall limit or diminish the right, pursuant to subdivision eleven of section two hundred ninety-six of the executive law, of any religious or denominational institution or organization, or any organization operated for charitable or educational purposes, which is operated, supervised or controlled by or in connection with a religious organization, to limit employment or sales or rental of housing accommodations or admission to or give preference to persons of the same religion or denomination or from taking such action as is calculated by such organization to promote the religious principles for which it is established or maintained.

3. Nothing in this section shall be deemed or construed to limit the protections and exemptions otherwise provided to religious organizations under section three of article one of the constitution of the state of New York.

Section 11. By whom a marriage must be solemnized.

No marriage shall be valid unless solemnized by either:

1. A clergyman or minister of any religion, or by the senior leader, or any of the other leaders, of The Society for Ethical Culture in the city of New York, having its principal office in the borough of Manhattan, or by the leader of The Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, having its principal office in the borough of Brooklyn of the city of New York, or of the Westchester Ethical Society, having its principal office in Westchester county, or of the Ethical Culture Society of Long Island, having its principal office in Nassau county, or of the Riverdale-Yonkers Ethical Society having its principal office in Bronx county, or by the leader of any other Ethical Culture Society affiliated with the American Ethical Union; provided that no clergyman or minister as defined in section two of the religious corporations law, or Society for Ethical Culture leader shall be required to solemnize any marriage when acting in his or her capacity under this subdivision.

1-a. A refusal by a clergyman or minister as defined in section two of the religious corporations law, or Society for Ethical Culture leader to solemnize any marriage under this subdivision shall not create a civil claim or cause of action or result in any state or local government action to penalize, withhold benefits or discriminate against such clergyman or minister.

2. A mayor of a village, a county executive of a county, or a mayor, recorder, city magistrate, police justice or police magistrate of a city, a former mayor or the city clerk of a city of the first class of over one million inhabitants or any of his or her deputies or not more than four regular clerks, designated by him or her for such purpose as provided in section eleven-a of this chapter, except that in cities which contain more than one hundred thousand and less than one million inhabitants, a marriage shall be solemnized by the mayor, or police justice, and by no other officer of such city, except as provided in subdivisions one and three of this section.

3. A judge of the federal circuit court of appeals for the second circuit, a judge of a federal district court for the northern, southern, eastern or western district of New York, a judge of the United States court of international trade, a federal administrative law judge presiding in this state, a justice or judge of a court of the unified court system, a housing judge of the civil court of the city of New York, a retired justice or judge of the unified court system or a retired housing judge of the civil court of the city of New York certified pursuant to paragraph (k) of subdivision two of section two hundred twelve of the judiciary law, the clerk of the appellate division of the supreme court in each judicial department, a retired city clerk who served for more than ten years in such capacity in a city having a population of one million or more or a county clerk of a county wholly within cities having a population of one million or more; or,

4. A written contract of marriage signed by both parties and at least two witnesses, all of whom shall subscribe the same within this state, stating the place of residence of each of the parties and witnesses and the date and place of marriage, and acknowledged before a judge of a court of record of this state by the parties and witnesses in the manner required for the acknowledgment of a conveyance of real estate to entitle the same to be recorded.

5. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, where either or both of the parties is under the age of eighteen years a marriage shall be solemnized only by those authorized in subdivision one of this section or by (1) the mayor of a city or village, or county executive of a county, or by (2) a judge of the federal circuit court of appeals for the second circuit, a judge of a federal district court for the northern, southern, eastern or western district of New York, a judge of the United States court of international trade, or a justice or a judge of a court of the unified court system, or by (3) a housing judge of the civil court of the city of New York, or by (4) a former mayor or the clerk of a city of the first class of over one million inhabitants or any of his or her deputies designated by him or her for such purposes as provided in section eleven-a of this chapter.

6. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this article to the contrary no marriage shall be solemnized by a public officer specified in this section, other than a judge of a federal district court for the northern, southern, eastern or western district of New York, a judge of the United States court of international trade, a federal administrative law judge presiding in this state, a judge or justice of the unified court system of this State, a housing judge of the civil court of the city of New York, or a retired judge or justice of the unified court system or a retired housing judge of the civil court certified pursuant to paragraph (k) of subdivision two of section two hundred twelve of the judiciary law, outside the territorial jurisdiction in which he or she was elected or appointed. Such a public officer, however, elected or appointed within the city of New York may solemnize a marriage anywhere within such city.

7. The term "clergyman" or "minister" when used in this article, shall include those defined in section two of the religious corporations law. The word "magistrate, " when so used, includes any person referred to in the second or third subdivision.

Section 11-A. Duty of city clerk in certain cities of the first class; facsimile signature of said clerk authorized.

1. a. The city clerk of a city of the first class of over one million inhabitants may designate in writing any of his deputies or not more than four from among the permanent members of his staff to perform marriage ceremonies, which designation shall be in writing and be filed in the office of such city clerk. The day of such filing shall be endorsed on the designation. Any such designation shall be and remain in effect for six months from the filing thereof.

b. Whenever persons to whom the city clerk of any such city of the first class shall have issued a marriage license shall request him to solemnize the rites of matrimony between them and present to him such license it shall be the duty of such clerk, either in person or by one of his deputies or the permanent members of his staff so designated by him to solemnize such marriage; provided, however, that nothing contained either in this section or in subdivision two of section eleven of this chapter shall be construed as empowering or requiring either the said city clerk or any of his designated deputies or the permanent members of his staff so designated to solemnize marriages at any place other than at the office of such city clerk.

c. Notwithstanding any other provision of this article upon presentation to said city clerk in person or to any of his deputies of such license by one or both of such persons under the age of eighteen years with a request to solemnize the rites of matrimony between them, it shall be the duty of such city clerk either in person or by one of his deputies to solemnize such marriage provided there is submitted to said city clerk, in addition, the written request therefor by the parents of any such persons under the age of eighteen years and provided further that said parents shall be personally present at such requested solemnization.

d. In all cases in which the city clerk of such city or one of his deputies or the permanent members of his staff so designated shall perform a marriage ceremony such official shall demand and be entitled to collect therefor a fee to be fixed by the council of the city of New York not exceeding twenty-five dollars, which sum shall be paid by the contracting parties before or immediately upon the solemnization of the marriage; and all such fees so received shall be paid over to the commissioner of finance of the city.

2. The signature and seal of said clerk of cities of the first class of over one million inhabitants upon the marriage license, certificate of marriage, registration, and marriage search provided by this article may be a facsimile imprinted, stamped, or engraved thereon.

3. The said clerk of cities of the first class of one million inhabitants or more may designate among the permanent members of his staff one or more individuals who shall be permitted to sign his name and affix his official seal upon the marriage license, certificate of marriage registration, and marriage search provided by this article requiring the signature and seal of the city clerk.

Section 11-B. Registration of persons performing marriage ceremonies in the city of New York.

Every person authorized by law to perform the marriage ceremony, before performing any such ceremonies in the city of New York, shall register his or her name and address in the office of the city clerk of the city of New York. Every such person, before performing any marriage ceremonies subsequent to a change in his or her address, shall likewise register such change of address. Such city clerk is hereby empowered to cancel the registration of any person so registered upon satisfactory proof that the registration was fraudulent, or upon satisfactory proof that such person is no longer entitled to perform such ceremony.