No one in Staten Island is legally permitted to file for divorce without first expression specific grounds. The State of New York offers several options in terms of legal grounds for divorce, and you have options for filling. The law does not require any couple or individual seeking divorce retain the assistance of a legal separation attorney prior to their divorce, but it’s recommended when legal separation is the first step in the divorce process.
What is legal separation and does it mean we’re getting divorced?
Legal separation is not divorce. It’s not even required by law, but it is often a stepping stone to divorce in some households. Many couples facing marital issues decide separation might help them decide whether their marriage is worth saving or if divorce is the next obvious step. It’s perfectly legal to separate without hiring an attorney to create a legal separation document, but it’s not recommended.
When you decide to go through with a legal separation, you protect yourself and make a future divorce simpler. If you’re legally separated for six months or longer, you can file for divorce on those grounds without any issue. If you are legally separated, your spouse is required to follow through on any financial, parental, and other promises made when he or she leaves the home.
It’s a good idea for everyone to legally separate so the personal details of the separation are legally enforceable. For example, if a stay-at-home mom of three has a husband who works to provide for the family, she might like to have a legal separation contract drawn up to ensure her husband will continue to pay the mortgage and offer financial support to her and their kids as he did when they lived together. He might promise to do just that without any legal implications, but it’s only enforceable in court when there is a legal document presented.
Agreement is Required
If you intend to go through with a legal separation, there must be complete agreement between both parties on the agreement of the separation. It doesn’t matter if you’re only separating so you can start over in your relationship or so you can try living apart to see if it’s the way you want to go in the future. You must both agree to the terms, and there cannot be any discrepancy in the agreement.
This agreement is best discussed personally with you and your spouse and presented to an attorney or two. If your spouse feels he or she would like his or her own attorney during this process, that is a good idea. It’s always wise to have legal counsel who works only for you rather than with both of you as you come to an agreement. Mediation is available to help you come to an agreement with your legal separation issues as well.
Contact an Attorney
You can create your own separation agreement if you decide to separate, but it’s not considered legal. You can sign it, get a notary, and agree up on it but if one of you decides not to follow through with the terms of the agreement, it’s much harder to enforce the order in court without it being a legal document. It can be argued, but you’re far better off with the legal assistance of an attorney who is willing to make this official. Call an attorney to begin the process of legal separation. Doing it by the books is always easier when and if things go wrong.