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Fordham University Law Library

New York Family Law   Tags: custody, divorce, domestic relations, family law  

This guide provides an introduction to New York's Domestic Relations Law and relevant additional resources
Last Updated: Dec 4, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Why isn't my divorce in Family Court?

In New York, the Supreme Court is the court that can grant a divorce.  Family Court can ajudicate matters of custody and support, but the divorce itself must come from the Supreme Court of the county with jurisdiction over the divorce.




Family law (also referred to as “domestic relations”) is the body of law that deals with family relationships.  It can encompass a broad range of issues, including marriage, divorce, child custody and support, child abuse and neglect, adoption, domestic partnerships, same-sex marriage, and parentage.  Family law can also implicate other important areas of the law too, such as tax, bankruptcy, estate-planning, criminal, and more.  


While there are some federal laws pertaining to family law, family law is predominantly ruled by state law.  As such, the scope of this research guide is generally limited to resources available on New York domestic relations/family law issues specifically.  However, more general reference materials on family law are also noted as well. This guide is not, nor is it intended to be, an exhaustive source for family law materials.


As you conduct your research, be aware that it is possible to find other books on your particular subject by shelf-browsing, using the call numbers listed for the selected treatises you may identify.   Also, if you are using either Westlaw or LexisNexis, it is advisable to use both services because each one often has certain materials that are not readily available on the other. 


As with all areas of law, there are two categories of legal materials you will want to consult:


1.      Primary sources (in this instance, statutes and cases), and

2.      Secondary sources (i.e. all other materials that will help you locate primary sources).




Ann H. Lee originally compiled this research guide.  Larry Abraham is currently responsible for updating it.


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