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Divorce can be a fairly sudden decision. Both parties can simply decide they would like to move on. They can choose to file a court case and then wait a few months until it is completed. This is often a good choice for those who have been married a short time and have come to realize this was not a good choice for them. However, in other instances, a marriage that isn’t quite working out can be far more complicated. Sometimes, people decide that it makes sense for them to seek out a temporary separation. A separation has several things in common with a divorce. Like the divorce, the separation agreement is one that allows both parties to move to another place. It also covers many matters related to a divorce such as who gets custody of the children and what kinds of financial payments are required by both parties. However, a separation is not a divorce. Each person involved in the process cannot get married again unless they have a divorce. In New York City, a separation agreement is one of the first steps towards the divorce. This is why it should be thought about carefully and done legally from the very start.

Creating a Legal Enforceable Document

Before doing anything else, the parties involved should consult with a lawyer. New York City separation lawyers can help by having both parties sit down together in a mutually agreeable setting. Once both parties are present, the lawyer can begin to work out a separation agreement that covers all necessary specifics related to the separation agreement. A lawyer will often begin by taking a close look at the finances of the couple. This can affect many things. For example, one member of the couple might want to continue staying in midtown while another may want to move to a more suburban setting in New Jersey or Westchester county. The agreement can be crafted in a way that will make it possible for each party to function going forward. A lawyer will also help determine what kind of temporary child custody arrangements may be necessary right now in order to help any children of the marriage stay in familiar and comforting surroundings. A separation can resemble a divorce in that it will frequently address what each party must contribute financially once the agreement is signed. It may also deal with issues such as the completion of a degree by one party and payment of private school tuition and medical bills by the other spouse.

Legal Implications

All parties should keep in mind that a separation is a very serious matter. While not a divorce, it contains provisions that can be enforced legally. It also means that both parties are taking steps that can lead to a legal divorce in New York state after a year. This is why the agreement should be carefully thought about before deciding to go forward. A judge will often see the separation agreement as the blueprint for any sought after divorce. This is why it is crucial for both parties involved to consider having their own personal legal counsel. The legal counsel can offer much needed advice about how to craft the agreement. They can also offer advice about what is required by all concerned once the agreement is filed with the county clerk’s office. Each party should keep in mind that the courts consider this a legally enforceable document under New York state laws. If one party does not live up to the terms of agreement, the other party can go to court and have the court enforce the agreement.

Moving Forward

A separation can be in place for many years. New York City courts recognize that a divorce may not be the right course of action for all residents. In that case, the parties can agree to the terms of separation and keep them in place for many years if that is what they would like to do. At the same time, the court system realizes that many people might wish to move on to a new situation and think about getting married again legally. In that case, this agreement can serve as the basis for a divorce application. In New York, if both parties have lived apart for at least a year, they can head to the court and ask for a legal divorce. The separation agreement can serve as the foundation for the required legal divorce process.

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