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Manhattan Separation Agreements Lawyers

If you and your spouse and facing a separation within your marriage, chances are good you’re prone to disagreement. A separation is a helpful tool in many marriages and divorces. It allows couples unsure they want to be married to one another any longer a chance to test the waters of single living. One of you moves out of your home, and you both begin living separate lives. Some couples do this to bring a bit of absence into their marriage to see if it helps them overcome their marital issues. Others make the decision to separate to help ease the pain of divorce.

Legal separation is not a requirement in Manhattan, but legal separation is suggested by any divorce attorney. Hiring a separation attorney can help you protect yourself during your separation, and it also helps with the divorce process if that’s where your marriage goes during this time.

Why do I need to go through a legal separation?
Protection is key. You might trust that your spouse will follow through with his or her promises to you throughout the process of your divorce, but this is not always the case when you are going through a painful time. Your spouse might promise to continue helping you pay the expenses, care for the kids, and maintain your current lifestyle while you go through a separation, but what happens if he or she is upset or decides to move on and stop helping?

With a legal separation, the court can enforce any and all promises made in terms of child support and financial assistance. Legal separation requires you and your spouse create an acceptable agreement that outlines most of the issues you face when living apart, and it can even serve as a starting point if you ultimately decide you want a divorce.
– Division of marital property
– Financial support
– Child custody
– Child support
– Temporary maintenance

Once this agreement is created by your attorney, you will sign it and it will be notarized. Your attorney will process and file the paperwork with the court. If you or your spouse tries to get out of anything outlined in this agreement, a court of law can enforce the agreement. It serves as much-needed protection for you.

How does it help my divorce or reconciliation?
A legal separation agreement plays a significant role in your divorce. If you decide you no longer want to remain married, your separation agreement serves as a basis for the terms of your divorce. You and your spouse can sit down together or with your attorneys and discuss the terms and how they might remain in effect or how you’d like to change the terms to better meet your current situation. New York law states one of the legal grounds for divorce is a six-month separation. If you have this on the books legally, it assists in making the divorce process a little faster.

If your legal separation leads to a reconciliation, your separation agreement becomes null and void. This is positive and beneficial for both of you, and it helps you stay positive and in agreement during the course of your separation. When there is a legal document stating the agreements you have with one another, there is less room for disagreement.

Call an attorney to help. A legal separation is only made legal when you retain proper counsel. A separation agreement attorney can help you figure out what works for you, outline details you might not consider yourself, and he or she helps protect you financially when separation occurs. An attorney can help, and an attorney can help alleviate some of the stress commonly associated with legal separation.

Marriages are beautiful things when they are working. When you disagree, it is normal. However, the battle may not be worth fighting anymore. When that time comes, a separation can help. The separation period gives you time to shake off each other. You can either reconcile or divorce after the separation. In Manhattan, divorce is not automatic after a period of separation.

There are two types of separation.

  • Legal separation
  • Voluntary separation

In a legal separation, the court can order mandatory separation before granting a divorce. In a voluntary separation, parties can get into an agreement to separate briefly.

Separation and divorce proceedings are emotional endeavors. Being objective is impossible. It is rare to see a couple that amicably decides to separate without qualms. More often than not, separation is like a tussle for custody, finances, and what not. Even when parties want to do it amicably, the implications of the separation can be overwhelming.

The overall cost of staying separate can be more than one party can handle especially if the breadwinner has to pay alimony and child support while still trying to manage a decent living. In the wake of all that, parties will try to contest everything on the table. An attorney, therefore, becomes an integral part of the separation agreement.

They help you with the following.

Keep you focused on the objectives of the separation

Parties usually dwell on the cause of the divorce. They want to punish each other for misdeeds or missed deeds. It is never about what is at stake. What is at stake is the separation. When you have a lawyer around, they will minimize these shenanigans that waste your time. If they go unchecked, such problems can strain your relationship further.

Prepare the necessary paperwork

Drafting a valid separation agreement is not a walk in the park. It can be daunting even for inexperienced lawyers. As usual in law, the devil is always in the details. A good agreement will get approval. It will also be easy for the parties to follow the terms of the contract without fail. You can prepare the agreement on your own though, but you will need to drill yourself properly for it to be standard.

Help you understand the law

The grounds for separation are the same as those for divorce, the standard of scrutiny is the only thing that that differs. You cannot bring simple disagreements as grounds for separation. You have to prove abandonment, adultery, cruelty, imprisonment or neglect. A lawyer will help you understand your situation in legal terms. He or she will also guide you on the ramifications of a separation. Some people mistake separation with divorce. Most spousal privileges remain intact in a separation.

What to ensure before you start the separation process

That you have your things in order

Separation entails debt reorganization, property division, and such things. It is good you have all the stuff on the table. Failure to disclose all items, including a book you have been writing, can make an agreement null and void. You must take the time to tick every box in your lives. Understand that your finite resources will wear thin. Adjust accordingly to the new dispensation before the separation process completes.

Discuss custody in depth

It is common for couples to brush off this unwanted topic. It is a potential deal breaker. It is quite emotional when the reality of children hopping from one house to the other sets in. Custody, support, visitation rights and such things don’t bode well with most parents. You may want to see a family counselor before you begin this process.

On the overall, ensure that your separation agreement follows the following benchmarks

  • Even if you have something on the other person, be fair and equitable.
  • Make it a voluntary process where no party should feel threatened or coerced to sign.
  • Have separate representation.


If you can agree to separate amicably, please do so. A legal separation can be sought if you feel that the marriage is not meeting the standards set by the family court. An attorney will always help you with the process.

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