If a couple wants to remain married but live in separate places, the couple may file for a legal separation. A legal separation is ideal for any couples who are not yet sure if they are ready to divorce.
Legal Separation: The Basics
In New York, the law allows married couples to remain married but live apart under a separation agreement. A separation agreement is a written agreement that enables both parties to reside in separate places and states who will have primary custody of the children or pay spousal support maintenance. When a couple enters into a legal separation, they are not allowed to remarry because they are still legally married even though they are living separately.
Legal Separation: The Benefits
There are many advantages to legal separation such as the ability to deduct spousal maintenance. New York law states spousal maintenance can be deducted if the individuals are legally separated. In order for spousal maintenance to be granted, a spouse must have valid court documents. Legal separation also offers insurance benefits because insurance companies only cover those who are legally married. When a divorce is finalized, insurance companies are allowed to drop the spouse on the insurance coverage policy. If spouses live apart without a legal separation agreement, they are putting themselves at risk. Without a legal separation agreement, spouses will still be responsible the other spouse’s debt and other legal issues that may arise. With an official legal separation document, each spouse is protected from actions the other spouse makes while they are legally separated.
Spouses who wish to file a separation agreement in Manhattan should first discuss with each other the terms and conditions of the separation. After an agreement has been reached, a written separation agreement can be filed with the court to receive an Order of Separation. The Order of Separation is in place to ensure both spouses adhere to the conditions of the agreement. In addition, to obtain a legal separation, one or both spouses must be a New York resident. The couple must also have lived in the state for at least a year as a married couple.
Although it can be difficult, spouses should avoid getting angry and fighting during a legal separation, which can delay the process and cause added tension. When children are involved, spouses should also be sure to avoid talking badly about the other parent in front of the children.
Legal separation can be a complex and tedious process. When both spouses are trying to make plans to live alone, it can be easy to forget to include important factors that are needed in a legal separation agreement. A family law attorney who has experience handling legal separations can provide spouses with guidance throughout the process, which will help the process move faster and easier.
When a family law attorney helps spouses draft a legal separation document, it will ensure the interest of both spouses are addressed. In addition, a family law attorney can also ensure the conditions of the agreement are clear and concise. An attorney can also review the agreement and make corrections to an mistakes and ensure the conditions of the agreement do not violate any rules or regulations that govern legal separation.
When a married couple decides to no longer live their lives together, it can be difficult to adjust. Aside from starting a new life, it can also be difficult making decisions about the terms of the separation. There are times when a legal separation is the best option, and a skilled family attorney can provide guidance and expertise to make the process easier and less stressful.