170-a. Special action. a. A spouse against whom a decree of divorce has been obtained under the provisions of subdivision five or six of section one hundred seventy of this chapter, where the decree, judgment or agreement of separation was obtained or entered into prior to January twenty-first, nineteen hundred seventy, may institute an action in which there shall be recoverable, in addition to any rights under this or any other provisions of law, an amount equivalent to the value of any economic and property rights of which the spouse was deprived by virtue of such decree, except where the grounds for the separation judgment would have excluded recovery of economic and property rights.
b. In determining the value of the economic and property rights described in subdivision a hereof, the plaintiff's interest shall be calculated as though the defendant died intestate and as if the death of the defendant had immediately antedated the divorce.
c. If the defendant shall establish that intervening circumstances have rendered an award described in subdivision a hereof inequitable, the court may award to the plaintiff such portion of such economic and property rights as justice may require.
d. If the defendant shall establish that the plaintiff has expressly or impliedly waived all or some portion of the aforesaid economic or property rights, the court shall deny recovery of all such rights, or deny recovery of the portion of such rights as justice may require.
e. Actions under this subdivision may be brought:
(i) Within two years of the enactment of this section, or
(ii) Within two years of the obtainment of the subject divorce, whichever is later.
Last modified: February 3, 2019