Legal Separation in New York

Legal Separation in New York - An Alternative to Divorce

Divorce Lawyer in Westchester County

Sometimes divorce is not the right option for married couples. However, those same couples find it difficult, if not impossible, to continue to live under the safe roof. In those instances, a married couple can live separately and still maintain their married status. In New York, individuals in this type of situation can file for legal separation and create a separation agreement.

A separation agreement is essentially a legal contract between spouses which settles the kinds of issues a divorce would cover, including:

  • Separate Living Arrangements
  • The Division of Assets and Debts
  • Alimony
  • Child Custody
  • Child support

The major difference between a divorce and the separation agreement is that the separation agreement avoids the lengthy court process and a court judgment. Importantly, the separation agreement does not end the marriage. After a separation agreement is executed by the parties signing the agreement, the spouses remain married and cannot legally remarry. There are also consequences worth considering before filing taxes as “married but separate.”

Reasons to Consider Legal Separation as an Alternative

The reasons spouses consider legal separation as an alternative to divorce include:

  • Provides spouses with time apart, to consider their options, including divorce.
  • Allows spouses to remain covered under family health plans.
  • Provides a remedy to married couples whose religious beliefs reject divorce.
  • Allows military spouses to remain married in order to qualify for benefits under the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act.
  • Allows spouses to remain married to qualify for certain Social Security benefits.
  • Allows either spouse to file for a no-fault divorce after a year of separation.

The Legal Separation and No-Fault Divorce

Under New York law, it is not necessary for you to have a separation agreement to obtain a no-fault or uncontested divorce. However, one year after filing the separation agreement, either spouse may rely upon and use that document to request a no-fault divorce.

Legal Separation Lawyers in Westchester, NY

When filing for and seeking a legal separation, you can be assured that the experienced and professional legal separation and divorce attorneys at Riebling & Payton, PLLC will be there to assist you and guide you through the process, while at the same time fighting for your rights and interests.

Contact us today to find out more about divorce or legal separation, and discuss your options and case in detail by calling (914) 712-6878 .

  • Marcia  Payton Photo
    Marcia Payton
    Marcia began her legal career by working as an Assistant District Attorney in New York City, prosecuting criminal cases in the country's finest and most highly regarded District Attorney's Office - New York County. It was here that Marcia worked with police officers and detectives and learned how a criminal investigation is handled from arrest to trial. Marcia successfully prosecuted thousands of criminal cases while working in the Office of Special Narcotics in New York City, presenting ...
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    Stephen J. Riebling
    “The Court has to say, I have been impressed by Mr. Riebling’s knowledge … and his grasp of the records in this case. It is beyond any that I have seen in any kind of a case similar to this. I am just saying, it’s part of my thinking that someone with your knowledge would be able to understand these things certainly better than I am and perhaps most laymen or even attorneys…” - Westchester Supreme Court Judge Robert Neary Judge Neary was the presiding judge in the murder trial of Lacey Spears. ...
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