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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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SECTION 253
Removal of barriers to remarriage
Domestic Relations (DOM) CHAPTER 14, ARTICLE 13
§ 253. Removal of barriers to remarriage. 1. This section applies only
to a marriage solemnized in this state or in any other jurisdiction by a
person specified in subdivision one of section eleven of this chapter.

2. Any party to a marriage defined in subdivision one of this section
who commences a proceeding to annul the marriage or for a divorce must
allege, in his or her verified complaint: (i) that, to the best of his
or her knowledge, that he or she has taken or that he or she will take,
prior to the entry of final judgment, all steps solely within his or her
power to remove any barrier to the defendant's remarriage following the
annulment or divorce; or (ii) that the defendant has waived in writing
the requirements of this subdivision.

3. No final judgment of annulment or divorce shall thereafter be
entered unless the plaintiff shall have filed and served a sworn
statement: (i) that, to the best of his or her knowledge, he or she has,
prior to the entry of such final judgment, taken all steps solely within
his or her power to remove all barriers to the defendant's remarriage
following the annulment or divorce; or (ii) that the defendant has
waived in writing the requirements of this subdivision.

4. In any action for divorce based on subdivisions five and six of
section one hundred seventy of this chapter in which the defendant
enters a general appearance and does not contest the requested relief,
no final judgment of annulment or divorce shall be entered unless both
parties shall have filed and served sworn statements: (i) that he or she
has, to the best of his or her knowledge, taken all steps solely within
his or her power to remove all barriers to the other party's remarriage
following the annulment or divorce; or (ii) that the other party has
waived in writing the requirements of this subdivision.

5. The writing attesting to any waiver of the requirements of
subdivision two, three or four of this section shall be filed with the
court prior to the entry of a final judgment of annulment or divorce.

6. As used in the sworn statements prescribed by this section "barrier
to remarriage" includes, without limitation, any religious or
conscientious restraint or inhibition, of which the party required to
make the verified statement is aware, that is imposed on a party to a
marriage, under the principles held by the clergyman or minister who has
solemnized the marriage, by reason of the other party's commission or
withholding of any voluntary act. Nothing in this section shall be
construed to require any party to consult with any clergyman or minister
to determine whether there exists any such religious or conscientious
restraint or inhibition. It shall not be deemed a "barrier to
remarriage" within the meaning of this section if the restraint or
inhibition cannot be removed by the party's voluntary act. Nor shall it
be deemed a "barrier to remarriage" if the party must incur expenses in
connection with removal of the restraint or inhibition and the other
party refuses to provide reasonable reimbursement for such expenses.
"All steps solely within his or her power" shall not be construed to
include application to a marriage tribunal or other similar organization
or agency of a religious denomination which has authority to annul or
dissolve a marriage under the rules of such denomination.

7. No final judgment of annulment or divorce shall be entered,
notwithstanding the filing of the plaintiff's sworn statement prescribed
by this section, if the clergyman or minister who has solemnized the
marriage certifies, in a sworn statement, that he or she has solemnized
the marriage and that, to his or her knowledge, the plaintiff has failed
to take all steps solely within his or her power to remove all barriers
to the defendant's remarriage following the annulment or divorce,
provided that the said clergyman or minister is alive and available and
competent to testify at the time when final judgment would be entered.

8. Any person who knowingly submits a false sworn statement under this
section shall be guilty of making an apparently sworn false statement in
the first degree and shall be punished in accordance with section 210.40
of the penal law.

9. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any court
to inquire into or determine any ecclesiastical or religious issue. The
truth of any statement submitted pursuant to this section shall not be
the subject of any judicial inquiry, except as provided in subdivision
eight of this section.