Over 30 years of experience in divorce & family law


Gavel with a sign that says "family court"H. Michael Stern, Esq., a New York matrimonial and family law attorney and mediator with over 30 years of experience suggests that one must be careful to file specific written Objections with proof of service to New York Family Court Orders, made by Support Magistrates, well before the statutory deadline approaches.

The law permits either party to file written specific Objections (with proof of service) to an Order made by a Support Magistrate. The Family Court Act provides that a party filing Objections must serve those Objections upon the opposing party, and that proof of service must be filed with the court at the time that the party’s objections are filed. If the opposing party is represented by an attorney, then the opposing attorney should also be served along with the opposing party, within the statutory deadline as well. The proof of service filed with the Court should reflect service on the opposing party and his or her attorney, if the opposing party was represented. By statute, the time frame to file the specific written Objections with the Clerk of the Family Court, in the County in which the Order was made, must be within 30 days of personal service of the Order or, if the party did not receive the Order in Court or by personal service, within 35 days after the Order was mailed. While the Court does not have to strictly adhere to this deadline, it does so in virtually all cases.

The Court will typically dismiss the Objections as untimely filed if the deadline is missed. The Courts, only in the rarest of cases, find that extraordinary circumstances permit late consideration of untimely filed Objections (or untimely filed proof of service where the Objections had been filed timely).

In a recent case a litigant had to get an upstate Appellate Court to over rule a Family Court Judge’s decision to dismiss the objections. Even though the litigant arrived at Court during posted hours of operation on the very last permissible day to file her objections, she found the Court was closed. The New York State Courts website showed hours of operation until 5:00 PM for the Court and the litigant arrived at 4:45 PM.

The wisdom to be drawn from this case and the others that preceded it is NEVER to wait until the last permissible day to serve and file a complete set of Objections together with a validly prepared proof of service on the opposing party and counsel.

I never tempt fate and always timely file the proper paperwork with the Family Court Clerk several days in advance of the statutory deadline. I file all of the paper work with the Court days before the deadline, even if the minutes of the case are not yet available due to delays in transcription of the recorded record of proceedings.

Focusing on the needs of the client, the complexity of the case and the results sought have always been a hallmark of my Long Island practice over the past 30 years.

Feel free to contact me, H. MICHAEL STERN, ESQ., a divorce lawyer in Nassau County, if you are interested in discussing your matrimonial, divorce or Family Court matter at hmsternesq@gmail.com or by phone at 516-747-2290. The initial consultation is free.

My office is conveniently located adjacent to the Roosevelt Field Mall ring road at 666 Old Country Road in Garden City, Nassau County, NY.

Written by: H. Michael Stern, Attorney At Law, Divorce Lawyer in Nassau County

The above offers general information for educational purposes. It does not provide comprehensive or complete legal analysis. Any information that I provide should not be relied upon as legal advice or legal opinion on any particular facts or circumstances. Outcomes and results described do not mean or suggest that similar results or outcomes can or could be obtained in any other situation. Each legal matter should be considered to be factually unique and subject to varying results. The invitation to contact the author is not a solicitation to provide professional services, nor is it a statement of availability to perform legal services in any jurisdiction other than the State of New York. This is attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee future outcomes.