An Overview of Family Law Motions in New York

An Overview of Family Law Motions in New York

A “motion” in family law is a request to ask the court to do something, such as make a decision on a contested issue like child support. Motions can also be used in emergency situations, especially if you need the judge to settle an urgent matter before you are due back in court.

In the state of New York, you may file a motion via a “Motion on Notice” or an “Order to Show Cause.” Below is a rundown of each:

Motion on notice

You must provide proper notice to the other party in your divorce regarding your motion. In New York, you must serve the other party and the court a copy of the motion forms eight days before the judge will take it up (or 13 days if you are serving the papers by mail). Your motion papers will include the following:

  •  A notice of motion stating the place and time the motion will be heard
  •  A collection of documents and evidence to support your motion
  •  What you are asking the court to do (called a request for relief)
  •  An explanation of why the court should grant you your request
  •  An affirmation, submitted by your attorney, that states the facts of the case under oath

Order to show cause

You may be allowed to file a motion without notice. The way to do this in New York is with an “Order to Show Cause.” This motion can be heard at any time — sometimes as little as a few hours later if it is an emergency situation. This order contains the same elements as a Motion on Notice, but the main difference is that it can be presented without both parties present.

If you wish to file an Order to Show Cause, you must follow these steps:

  •  Prepare the motion papers as described above and go to the clerk’s office
  •  Wait for the clerk to inform the judge of your issue
  •  Meet with the judge, who determines the time and place your order will be heard
  •  Serve the other side with the signed order to show cause and a copy of the motion papers you delivered to the judge

For more information on filing a motion as part of your divorce case, contact a skilled Long Island divorce lawyer with Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.

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