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Is it possible, in New York State, to keep post-divorce matters in Supreme Court -- to the exclusion of Family Court?

Brooklyn, NY |

My divorce is in New York State Supreme Court. One issue is making further judgments in connection with provisions of the (to be issued) divorce judgment. Issues can be about child custody, parenting time and child support. I want to avoid going to Family Court for any modifications necessary in the future. Is there any legal basis to ask that Supreme Court retain jurisdiction, to the exclusion of Family Court, over any matters arise in connection with provisions of my divorce judgment?

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Attorney answers 7

Best Answer

Either court may entertain a post-divorce action pertaining to the child(ren) or spousal support. Only Supreme Court may consider post-divorce issues pertaining to equitable distribution. Otherwise, generally speaking the party who initiates the post-divorce action has the choice of court.

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Supreme Court will retain jurisdiction but family court cannot be excluded. Good luck.

This answer is only for informational purposes and is not meant as legal advice.


The Supreme Court and Family Court have concurrent jurisdiction over post-judgment support and custody matters. You can file your modification motions in Supreme Court. If your ex wants to make a modification at some other time, he can bring it in either Supreme Court or in Family Court if he chooses.


If the divorce judgment includes a retention of exclusive jurisdiction, but one would need to have some very special facts to get such a retention.

Good luck.


No, you cannot exclude the Family Court and, if you do agree with your spouse, in writing, to do exclude F/C in the event of future litigation arising out of this present matter, such agreement may be deemed invalid.

The aforementioned answer should not be construed to replace the advice of a legal professional, given after a thorough inquiry into the facts and allegation in this case. The aforementioned answer is for informational purposes only.


I generally agree with my colleagues and underscore their pointing out that both courts have continuing and concurrent jurisdiction on the issues you list. Howevever, if you are the party seeking a modfication, you can choose your forum but one thing to keep in mind, generally, post judgment proceedings in Supreme Court tend to be more expensive and take longer than in Family Court. That is just a general statement based upon my experience.

By responding to questions on Avvo, no attorney-client relationship shall be deemed to arise. No specific legal advice is intended by the above response.


Sorry, you cannot exclude the Family Court since it has concurrent jurisdiction with the Supreme Court - unless there is such a statement within the final Decree issued by the Supreme Court or is found within the Stipulation you likely entered into with your former spouse. In those instances, then you can move for any Family Court matter to be referred to the Supreme Court. You may also enter into a new agreement with your former spouse to keep future matters in the Supreme Court, but that is not a likely scenario, since that is who likely wants to go to Family Court to save money on counsel fees and they likely want to stay out of Supreme Court.

Good luck.

You may call our office at 516-248-6600 or send an email to us at This answer does not form an attorney/client relationship with anyone and any answers do not constitute direct legal advice and should not be followed unless and until you have spoken with an attorney of your choice.

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