Assemblymember Wallace’s Bill to Provide Temporary Financial Support for Domestic Violence Survivors Passes Assembly and Senate

Today, Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster) announced that legislation she introduced to provide temporary financial support for domestic violence survivors has passed the New York State Assembly and Senate (A.7529).

“Domestic violence survivors should not be forced to remain in abusive settings because they can’t afford to flee,” said Wallace. “Too often, individuals remain with their abuser because they lack the financial resources to leave, including older adults in long-term marriages. New York recognizes that financial abuse is a serious form of domestic violence, and this legislation gives the courts the tools they need to provide petitioners with financial stability during court proceedings.”

The Family Protection and Domestic Violence Intervention Act of 1994 (L. 1994, c. 222) authorized Family Courts, when issuing orders of protection in family offense cases, to issue temporary orders of child support. These orders are vital to petitioners in family offense cases at a particularly vulnerable point in their lives, that is, when they are taking steps to escape alleged domestic violence. This provision has proven invaluable in getting the process started quickly with a temporary order in place.

However, unless there are dependent children, courts currently lack the authority to grant temporary financial support. This legislation would provide courts with the authority to grant temporary spousal support in connection with an order of protection, even if there are no dependent children involved. This relief is especially important for older survivors of domestic violence, who may lack the means of their own to cover immediate expenses, including expenses related to relocation.

“This bill gives the courts the tools they need to help domestic violence survivors safely escape an abusive relationship. Currently, courts have the ability to give temporary support only in situations in which dependent children are involved. However, when there are no dependent children, courts lack the tools needed to help survivors get to safety. My bill solves this issue, and I’m proud to have passed it in the Assembly,” concluded Wallace.