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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 246
Persons financially unable to comply with orders or judgments directing the payment of alimony
Domestic Relations (DOM) CHAPTER 14, ARTICLE 13
§ 246. Persons financially unable to comply with orders or judgments
directing the payment of alimony. 1. Any person who, by an order or
judgment made or entered in an action for divorce, separation, annulment
or declaration of the nullity of a void marriage or an action for the
enforcement in this state of a judgment for divorce, separation or
annulment or declaring the nullity of a void marriage rendered in
another state, is directed to make payment of any sum or sums of money
and against whom an order to punish for a contempt of court has been
made pursuant to the provisions of section two hundred forty-five of
this chapter or the judiciary law may, if financially unable to comply
with the order or judgment to make such payment, upon such notice to
such parties as the court may direct, make application to the court for
an order relieving him from such payment and such contempt order. The
court, upon the hearing of such application, if satisfied from the
proofs and evidence offered and submitted that the applicant is
financially unable to make such payment may, upon a showing of good
cause, until further order of the court, modify the order or judgment to
make such payment and relieve him from such contempt order. No such
modification shall reduce or annul unpaid sums or installments accrued
prior to the making of such application unless the defaulting party
shows good cause for failure to make application for relief from the
judgement or order directing such payment prior to the accrual of such
arrears. Such modification may increase such support nunc pro tunc
based on newly discovered evidence.

2. Whenever, upon application to the court by an interested party, it
appears to the satisfaction of the court that any person, who has been
relieved totally or partially from making any such payment pursuant to
the provisions of this section, is no longer financially unable to
comply with the order or judgment to make such payment, then the court
may, upon a showing of good cause, modify or revoke its order relieving
him totally or partially from making such payment.

3. Any person may assert his financial inability to comply with the
directions contained in an order or judgment made or entered in an
action for divorce, separation, annulment or declaration of the nullity
of a void marriage or an action for the enforcement in this state of a
judgment for divorce, separation or annulment or declaring the nullity
of a void marriage rendered in another state, as a defense in a
proceeding instituted against him under section two hundred forty-five
or under the judiciary law to punish him for his failure to comply with
such directions and, if the court, upon the hearing of such contempt
proceeding, is satisfied from the proofs and evidence offered and
submitted that the defendant is financially unable to comply with such
order or judgment, it may, in its discretion, until further order of the
court, make an order modifying such order or judgment and denying the
application to punish the defendant for contempt. No such modification
shall reduce or annul arrears accrued prior to the making of such
application unless the defaulting party shows good cause for failure to
make application for relief from the judgment or order directing such
payment prior to the accrual of such arrears. Such modification may
increase such support nunc pro tunc as of the date of the application
based on newly discovered evidence. Any retroactive amount of support
due shall be paid in one sum or periodic sums, as the court shall
direct, taking into account any amount of temporary support which has
been paid.