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What is the difference in family law between what a judge "orders" and "directs" a party t do?

New York, NY |
Filed under: Family law

What is the difference , in terms of its legal definition and practical consequences, for when a judge (family court magistrate) "orders" vs "directs" a party to do something?

Is it akin to the difference between a command ("Clean your room now, or else you're grounded!") and a request ("Please clean up your room"), between consequences and none?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. No, they are both orders and the failure to do what was directed or ordered could be contempt of court


  2. There is no difference. The person against whom the directive/order is addressed must fulfill the requirements of either.


  3. It really depends on the context in which the "direction" is made. Generally a party is only required to do something if that something is reduced to a court order. As such, if a Support Magistrate directs you to, say, set aside money for college, but same isn't in a court order, then it's just a suggestion, but you haven't been ordered to do so (subject to contempt proceedings if you fail to do so). I'd suggest to bring in your specific context to a NYC Child Support lawyer for a full assessment.

    * If you found my answer to be "HELPFUL," or the "BEST ANSWER," please feel free to mark it accordingly.


  4. Irrespective of whether a judge directed my client to do X or ordered that X be done by my client, my guidance to client would be the same - you are required to do X.

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