Special Relief in Divorce Actions


What is Constitutes Special Relief?

“Special Relief” is a policy for life insurance or insurance for healthcare or hospitalization coverage which names the spouse and/or the child or children as beneficiary of that insurance.

What New York State Court has the authority to grant Special Relief?

The New York Supreme Court has the power to award relief for a wife or husband

In a New York Divorce case: what is a Special Relief Petition?

In the case of a divorce, the courts have the authority or grant extraordinary or special relief. This is relief that goes beyond that which typically the law provides in the case of a divorce. In New York State, the court can order relief of one spouse at the expense of the other by demanding that one spouse provide or maintain insurance for the other spouse and /or the child or children of the marriage. This insurance can be health insurance, including general health-care and hospitalization care as well as related health services. It can also be life insurance. In both cases the beneficiary or beneficiaries would be the spouse and/or the child or children.

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What can the New York Court direct a spouse to do?

The Court can order a spouse to:

  • Purchase, assign, or maintain an insurance policy or hospital care and healthcare and other health-related services for either child or children or spouse.
  • Purchase, assign, or maintain a life insurance policy of either party and designate either children or a child of the union or the spouse as permanent beneficiary

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Are there any limitations or restrictions on the court's capacity to order demand Special Relief in New York?

The health insurance policy and services related to the health insurance or either child/children or spouse cannot exceed the time period that the spouse ordered to pay child support, maintenance, or a distributive award.

On the other hand, the Court can fix a duration for the time period of life insurance. However, the interest of the beneficiary has to end when the spouse’s obligation to pay child support, maintenance or a distributive award terminates or at the time when and if the beneficiary dies before the insured or remarries.

Seek the help of a qualified divorce lawyer to help you on these issues

Ingrid Gherman, a matrimonial attorney with over three decades of experience in these matters, will help you understand and obtain the forms of relief you my be entitled to from either the New York Supreme Court or Family Court. As explained, the Supreme Court may demand a spouse to secure health insurance/hospital care and/or life insurance for the spouse or child or children resulting from the marriage. Ingrid, can also assist you in understanding any right you might have to your spouse’s COBRA policy. If you feel you are entitled to any of these forms of “special relief” call Ingrid’s office at (212) 941-0767 or send in the on-line form.

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