Separation law, just like divorce law falls under family law. It dictates the rules, procedures, and requirements that partners in a marriage must adhere to if they do not wish to live together but still don’t want to bring their marriage to an end. These laws vary broadly and from state to state, and not all states recognize them. However, those that accept legal separation such as Staten Island provide that partners in the marriage must enter a legal agreement that gives a way forward if their separation leads to divorce. Such agreement should touch on the division of property, which delves into the assignment of property, finances and debts, and spousal support that highlights child custody and support. Such agreements are not only recognized by courts in Staten Island but are also enforced by the law.
Advantages of Legal Separation
Though it may have some few disadvantages, the advantages of this kind of agreement way outweigh the cons. To start with, once you have it, both of you must understand that you no longer want to live together. This way, one of the partners cannot later allege that they were abandoned. Secondly, legal separation is a sign that you have agreed to consider your relationship to have ended, giving the actual date it came down. This gives both parties clarity and confidence. The agreement is also flexible since you are liberty to include anything you want.
Legal agreement also has several financial benefits such as the tax benefit when one is paying spousal support. It is possible to claim those payments as deduction during tax time. This is possible only if such fees are a part of the legal separation agreement. Therefore, it means that being separated without a legal contract does not qualify one to claim spousal support payments during tax time.
It enables a partner to retain several marital benefits such as medical health cover – if you are covered under your partner’s medical health insurance. It also allows one to continue filing income taxes as a married couple rather than as a single. Legal separation enables the separating couple to keep being married for ten years even though they had only married for a period less than that. This way one can take advantage of their partner’s social security.
This form of agreement protects one from being personally liable for any debts that your partner may acquire during the time you are separated, as long as you both live in an equitable distribution state. However, this privilege is not acknowledged by the law if you are living in a community property state.
Another financial advantage of legal separation in Staten State is that it outlines issues touching on joint accounts. Majority of couple own joint accounts, and with a legal separation agreement, it can be determined if any of the partners still have access to the joint accounts. If you wish, at the time of drafting the contract, you can decide to have your joint bank accounts dissolved and everyone to open their own using their names.
Why you need a Lawyer
Drafting a legal agreement is not everyone’s cup of tea, as there are many nuts and bolts that law-novice couples may not be aware of. A lawyer will clarify every procedural point in clear and comprehensible language. In the end, you will both be sure that your case will hold waters during divorce filling.