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
- 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 .
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