Upon commencement of a matrimonial action in New York State, the plaintiff must serve upon the defendant a copy of certain Automatic Orders. The Automatic Orders are binding on the plaintiff upon filing the Summons and upon the defendant when he or she is served with a copy of the Automatic Orders. The complete text of the Automatic Orders appears in this website under the heading Resources.
The Automatic Orders prohibit either party from dissipating assets during the action, from incurring unreasonable debts during the action and from removal of family members as beneficiaries on insurance policies during the action.
Failure to comply with the Automatic Orders may be deemed a contempt of court.
Spouses who are parties to a matrimonial action may modify or dissolve the Automatic Orders if they obtain court approval to do so, or enter into a written modification agreement signed by both parties before a notary public.