Assemblymember Wallace’s Bill to Provide Temporary Financial Support to Domestic Violence Survivors Signed into Law

Today, Assemblymember Monica P. Wallace (D-Lancaster) announced that legislation she introduced to allow courts to order temporary financial support for domestic violence survivors has been signed into law (Ch.335-2019).

“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 relationships. New York recognizes that financial abuse is a serious form of domestic violence, and with this law, courts now have 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, courts lacked the authority to grant temporary financial support unless there were dependent children in the relationship. This law provides 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 law gives the courts the tools they need to help domestic violence survivors safely escape an abusive relationship. I’m proud to have passed legislation into law to expand protections for domestic violence survivors,” concluded Wallace.