August 1, 2011 update: For a report on the status of the use of this form, I pass on a communication received from Bruce J. Wagner, Esq., Chair, NYSBA Family Law Section: Please click www.nysba.org/OCAMemoReUCS111A2 to view the memo dated July 28, 2011 from Susan W. Kaufman, Esq., Counsel to OCA’s Matrimonial Practice Advisory Committee, with an important update on UCS Form 111A, pertaining to Erie, Kings, New York and Onondaga Counties.
In order to obtain a Judgment of Divorce in New York (Manhattan) and some other counties, effective April 1, 2011 (see Notice [pdf]), a new form is required to be submitted along with the proposed Judgment, Findings, and other papers.
That form, UCS-111A (pdf), replaces the UCS-111 (pdf) in some counties. The form, itself, lists its applicability in Albany, Bronx, Erie, Jefferson, Kings, Nassau, New York, Onondaga, and Westchester Counties for each final order granted pursuant to Article 4 (support) or 5 (paternity) of the Family Court Act and in matrimonial actions under D.R.L. §§236B (property, support and special relief), 240 (custody and child support) and 246 (inability to comply with financial orders). The older UCS-111 continues to be used in other counties.
The Unified Court System is required by law to collect various data concerning divorce proceedings. The form, itself, notes its basis under Judiciary Law §216 which provides at subd. 4:
The chief administrator of the courts shall collect data in relation to the number of cases in which the basic child support obligation, as defined in section two hundred forty of the domestic relations law and section four hundred thirteen of the family court act, was ordered; the number of cases in which the order deviated from such basic child support obligation and the reasons therefor; the incomes of the parties; the number of children, and the amount of child support awarded pursuant to the child support standards act; and amounts of alimony or maintenance, or allocations of property included in orders or judgments that include a provision for child support pursuant to the child support standards act . . .
It is noted that section 216(4) is scheduled to expires and be repealed pursuant to its own terms on September 1, 2011 (Laws of 1985, chapter 505, §5).
The confidential form does gather information which the parties to any divorce action should know before entering a settlement stipulation. Thus, for example, the form asks for the occupation, annual income and health status of both spouses, the value of property divided and not divided, the amount of financial obligations outside of the divorce awards, the financial details and disposition of the marital home, and information concerning the division of professional degrees and licenses. Awards of maintenance and child support are also detailed.
The form is reminiscent of public school standardized tests, with instructions to completely fill in the provided circles. In New York County, the forms are available in the Matrimonial Support Office, Room 311 at 60 Centre Street.
Only original forms UCS-111A may be used. Each form has an individual serial number.
Reciting the requested information in the settlement would show that its terms were more knowingly entered. The recitation should also facilitate post-judgment modification and enforcement litigation.
Indeed, the form should be completed, signed or otherwise acknowledged by the parties and appended to or referenced by settlement stipulation. It certainly should not be left to counsel for one party to complete the form without using an agreed-upon statement of facts.