A Manhattan judge has ruled that the assets of the parties are frozen when
a divorce action is filed. This came about when a New York man attempted
to sue his mother-in-law in an out-of-state action over certain property.
The judge cited New York's Domestic Relations Law 236(B)(2)(b) as preventing
this other action from going forward. The husband had sought to seek partition
of property that he co-owned with his wife and mother-in-law.
This matter was apparently already complicated by what the judge had called
the husband's "poor relationship" with the parents of his
wife. The judge had quashed subpoenas that the husband hoped to serve
upon his wife's parents. The judge also mentioned in that ruling that
it was unlikely the husband would be granted ownership of the property
Though the husband only sought partition of the out-of-state property between
the couple and his wife's mother (rather than partition it between
himself and his wife), a temporary restraining order requested by the
wife was granted in the Manhattan court because of New York law. This
law presented the disposing or transferring of the property without the
other party's permission (in this case the wife). The purpose of the
law was to prevent actions being taken to gain possession of property
right after a divorce has been filed.
As attorneys we see all manner of disputes when it comes to
divorce and family law actions. Many actions revolve around specific applications of New York law. It's
therefore essential that one consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney
licensed in New York when it comes to these types of matters.
Source: New York Law Journal, "Judge Halts Division of Pa. Property in NY Divorce," Brendan Pierson, Feb. 25, 2014