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New York Matrimonial Trial Handbook

The New York Matrimonial Trial Handbook by Joel R. Brandes is available online in the print edition at the Bookbaby Bookstore and other bookstores. It is now available in Kindle ebook editions and epub ebook editions in our website bookstore. It is also available at Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble and Goodreads.

The New York Matrimonial Trial Handbook was reviewed in the New York Law Journal. Click here to read the review.

The New York Matrimonial Trial Handbook was written for both the attorney who has never tried a matrimonial action and for the experienced litigator. It is a “how to” book for lawyers. This 836 page handbook focuses on the procedural and substantive law, as well as the law of evidence, that an attorney must have at his or her fingertips when trying a matrimonial action. It is intended to be an aid for preparing for a trial and as a reference for the procedure in offering and objecting to evidence during a trial. The handbook deals extensively with the testimonial and documentary evidence necessary to meet the burden of proof. There are thousands of suggested questions for the examination of witnesses at trial to establish each cause of action and requests for ancillary relief, as well as for the cross-examination of difficult witnesses. Table of Contents

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Divorce - Grounds - Domestic Relations Law § 170 (7) - Two Appellate Divisions Hold that Statement under Oath That the Marriage Was Irretrievably Broken for a Period of Six Months Was Sufficient to Establish Cause of Action for Divorce.



In Hoffer-Adou v. Adou, --- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 5471501 (N.Y.A.D. 1 Dept.) the Appellate Division affirmed an order which sustained the validity of the parties separation agreement. It also held that contrary to the husband's contention, the wife was entitled to a judgment of divorce under the no-fault provision of DRL § 170(7), since her statement under oath that the marriage was irretrievably broken for a period of six months was sufficient to establish her cause of action for divorce as a matter of law (citing Townes v. Coker, 35 Misc.3d 543, 547 [Sup Ct, Nassau County 2012] ). Supreme Court's granting of the divorce did not contradict DRL § 170(7)'s requirement that "[n]o judgment of divorce shall be granted under this subdivision unless and until the economic issues of equitable distribution of marital property, the payment or waiver of spousal support, the payment of child support, the payment of counsel and experts' fees and expenses as well as the custody and visitation with the infant children of the marriage have been resolved by the parties, or determined by the court and incorporated into the judgment of divorce." The parties' separation agreement resolved the issues of child custody and support. Their subsequent commencement in the Family Court of proceedings concerning these issues did not render the court without authority to grant the divorce, since non-compliance with/or enforcement of, the separation agreement is not an element of Domestic Relations Law §170(7).

In Trbovich v Trbovich,--- N.Y.S.2d ----, 2014 WL 6497983 (N.Y.A.D. 4 Dept.) the Appellate Division affirmed an order which denied the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment seeking a divorce pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 170(7). It agreed with plaintiff that the relationship has broken down irretrievably for a period of at least six months opposing spouse in a no-fault divorce action pursuant to Domestic Relations Law § 170(7) is not entitled to litigate the other spouse's sworn statement (citing Palermo v. Palermo, 35 Misc.3d 1211[A], 2011 N.Y. Slip Op 52506[U], affd for reasons stated 100 AD3d 1453; see e.g. Rinzler v. Rinzler, 97 AD3d 215, 218; A.C. v. D.R., 32 Misc.3d 293, 306), and indicated that to the extent that its decision in Tuper v. Tuper (98 AD3d 55, 59 n) suggested otherwise, it declined to follow it. Nevertheless, plaintiff was not entitled to summary judgment under Domestic Relations Law § 170(7) at this juncture of the litigation because the ancillary issues had not been resolved by the parties or determined by the court. [One judge dissented]

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