Queens Separation Agreement Attorney
How Legal Separation Differs from Divorce
Unlike a divorce, a legal separation agreement does not dissolve your marriage. Instead, you and your spouse file for an arrangement that allows you to stay legally married but live separately. The issues brought up in your arrangement are similar to what you would discuss during a divorce, including child custody and visitation, spousal support, and division of property and assets. As these matters can get complicated, we strongly advise seeking the help of an experienced lawyer.
How Long Do Legal Separations Last in New York?
You and your spouse/partner can decide how long you would like your separation agreement to be. Either of you can file for divorce thereafter.
Separation is often also a requirement before filing for divorce — many courts will mandate a couple separate for a period of time before filing for divorce. If a couple no longer wants to be together, divorce is one of the most common ways to dissolve a marriage. During a divorce, your assets will be divided, child custody agreements will be drawn, and spousal support will be decided on. And once the divorce is finalized, you will no longer be married.
Why Would you File for a Legal Separation?
There are various reasons why couples decide to legally separate. Here are some of the most common ones:
- You and your spouse cannot afford to get divorced
- You are not certain if you want to get divorced
- You do not want to lose benefits that come with being married, including health insurance
- You do not want to violate your religious beliefs
Obtaining a Legal Separation
To obtain a legal separation in the state of New York you can either:
- Resolve your differences with a settlement agreement or
- File an Action for Separation with the court
Are There Residency Requirements for Separation?
There are no residency requirements for separation at the time of filing if both you and your spouse are residents of New York and the grounds for your separation took place in the state.
If that is not the case, you must meet one of these residency requirements:
- One of you must have been living in New York state continuously for at least 2 years before filing for separation and
- You were married in New York state or
- You lived in New York state while you were married or
- The grounds for your separation happened in New York state
What Does a Separation Agreement Cover?
A typical separation may cover the following:
- Where you will live(including who the child(ren) will live with and for how long)
- How property and assets will be divided
- How bills will be divided
- Spousal support
- Child custody
- Visitation schedules
- Child support
- What happens to the marital home
- Pensions and retirement funds
Can You Still Get Divorced if You Are Legally Separated?
If you want to use the same terms for your divorce as the ones you established in your separation agreement, then you can file for what is called a conversion divorce after you have been legally separated for at least one year. Whether or not your spouse is willing to agree to the divorce may affect the manner in which it should be filed. It is always best to consult with a lawyer before getting a conversion divorce to understand how the process works and what you can expect.
In New York, a legal separation is an alternative to divorce when spouses no longer wish to live together. And while this court order tackles most of the same issues as a divorce, the main difference is that you still remain legally married, meaning neither party can get remarried.
Consult with Our Experienced Lawyer
If you would like to obtain a legal separation in New York, our experienced lawyer is here to guide you through the process to help protect your interests. We support clients across Queens, the Bronx, Manhattan, Nassau, and Suffolk counties and are happy to equip you with what you need to confidently address your legal matter.
Contact us onlinetoday or call us directly at (718) 569-8618 to book an initial consultation.