New York’s matrimonial and family courts could be on the brink of their most significant structural reform in decades as a proposal embraced by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye would create new units where specially trained judges would be assigned to handle chronically contentious and complicated domestic disputes.

Under a proposal advanced last week by the chief judge’s Matrimonial Commission, a cadre of matrimonial part Supreme Court justices and Family Court judges would largely take responsibility for divorce and related cases. The new units would function similarly to the specialized commercial courts and integrated domestic violence courts, both of which have transformed the manner in which the judiciary deals with certain types of cases.

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