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It’s finally started, either you or your spouse has pulled the trigger and commenced a Divorce action on Long Island, New York. When a divorce is commenced in New York State, Automatic Court Orders are put in place. The Automatic Orders are Court Orders, which prohibit certain activities immediately upon commencement of the action and each party is directed to follow them.

The Automatic Orders essentially state that both parties must maintain the “status quo” except in the case of mutual written agreement between the parties or further Court Order. Some of the Automatic Orders are that neither party can sell or dispose of marital assets; neither party can withdraw, transfer, or dispose of any money from their bank accounts, stocks, mutual funds or cash accounts that is not within the ordinary course of business or for customary household expenses; neither party can withdraw money or take loans from their retirement accounts; neither party can cancel the health insurance, the dental insurance, the optical insurance, or the automobile insurance or change beneficiaries on their life insurances and retirement accounts. So you can’t sell your spouses car out from under them, but you can pay your kids tuition.

The Automatic Orders go into effect for the Plaintiff the day that the Summons and Complaint commencing your divorce action is filed. However, the Automatic Orders do not go into effect for the Defendant until they are personally served with the Summons and Complaint and become aware of the orders contained in the documents they were served.

If either party violates any of the Automatic Orders, there are certain legal steps that can be taken to rectify the issue. In Suffolk County, an Order to Show Cause for Contempt of Court can be filed in order to hold one party in contempt for violating the Automatic Orders.

If you have further questions pertaining to the Automatic Orders, how they will affect you or if your spouse has already violated same after an action has been commenced please contact Suffolk County Divorce Lawyer Christopher Palermo directly at his office 631-265-1051 in order to schedule your free consultation.

Unfortunately, we are all being affected by the outbreak of Coronavirus-COVID-19 virus. There is new information every day and our daily routines are ever changing. At Palermo Law, we want to let you know that our office is up and running and that we have planned for contingencies if need be.

Office Hours

Our office hours are remaining the same for the time being. We are open from 9-5 Monday through Friday. We are also available after hours and on weekends in case of emergencies. However, in an attempt to adhere to social distancing we are making some changes to our normal practices. First, most appointments can be scheduled and held via telephone and/or Facetime.  However, there are instances where it is necessary to meet in person. We ask that you call to schedule an in person appointment rather then walking in as some of our staff will be working remotely over the next few weeks.  As you may be aware, the Governor issued an order prohibiting more then 25% of a business’s employees to be present at the same time. We are adhering to that order and have our staff rotating from in office to remote work schedules.

Further, should Federal, State or local authorities require us to close our offices, we do have a contingency plan. Our staff has the capabilities to work remotely. Therefore, you can rest assured that we will continue to work on your case and will be available by phone for any questions during regular business hours. We will also remain available after hours and on weekends in case of emergencies.

Court Dates and Trials

Second, all State Supreme Court Matters have been administratively adjourned until at least April. This includes all divorce matters.  Should you have an upcoming trial or court date you can expect that to be adjourned accordingly. We will of course send you a notification of the exact date that your matter has been adjourned to.

Mediations and Arbitrations

As of now, all mediations are scheduled to proceed. This is of course subject to change. Also, most mediation facilities have the capacity to hold video mediations. Therefore, it is possible that your mediation could be done remotely as well. Please call us twenty four hours prior to your appointment to confirm.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to ask everyone to remember to practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly, stay home if you are sick a please be mindful of the sick and elderly.

The cases of 14 couples and two widowers that challenged same-sex marriage bans in a variety of states came before the U.S. Supreme Court for its final decision this June. The Supreme Court addressed the issues of whether states should be compelled to perform same-sex marriages as a Fourteenth Amendment right based on due process and protection under this amendment. In addition, if not compelled to do so, the justices had to decide whether states have to honor same-sex marriages performed in other states.

In a 5-4 decision, the highest court in the United States ruled that states had to recognize same-sex marriages. CNN reported that the lead plaintiff in the case, Jim Obergefell, had married his spouse, John Astor, months before John died. They lived in Ohio, and to get married in Maryland, they flew aboard a medical jet. After John passed away, Obergefell was left fighting legal battles so he could be recognized as John’s spouse on the death certificate.

Two Detroit-area nurses who are a Michigan same-sex couple were also part of the 14 couples appealing their case to the Supreme Court. They took care of four special needs newborns, either abandoned or surrendered at birth. Because Michigan law required couples to be married to adopt, the same-sex couple was prevented from adopting the children, despite the fact they were providing them with foster care.

These are just a few examples of the combined cases that went before the Supreme Court in this decision. Although a close ruling, the Supreme Court’s finding concurred with public opinion as seen in recent polls. Polls showed that 61 percent of the U.S. population in the survey believed that same-sex couples should have the right to marry.

If you face legal issues as a same-sex couple, Chris Palermo is a compassionate and experienced Long Island divorce lawyer. He can protect your rights and is committed to obtaining a favorable case outcome on your behalf.