Marriage isn’t easy. Things can get difficult for extended periods of time no matter how much the couple may love each other. When a relationship reaches the point where one or both spouses no longer want to be together, divorce is often the next step. But in New York, there is an alternative for couples who may want to take a break without ending their marriage altogether: legal separation.
Legal separation in New York is an option for couples, who for whatever emotional or practical reasons, do not want to divorce. Perhaps the couple needs to maintain one of the parties’ health insurance or they want to leave the door open to reconciliation. (a divorce can’t be revoked, but a separation certainly can).
Regardless, couples who wish to separate and live apart should enter into a separation agreement that sets forth the parties’ respective rights and obligations.
A separation agreement is a legal and binding contract between spouses that addresses all of the issues handled during a divorce, including:
The agreement is an enforceable contract and may be incorporated in the judgment of divorce if the couple later decides to pursue that option.
While legal separation is not as “formal” as a divorce, it should be treated with the same degree of thoughtfulness, consideration, and thoroughness. It is absolutely essential that the parties work towards a comprehensive agreement that can help avoid further conflict and smooth the transition to separate lives. This is especially true for couples with children. From the perspective of a first-grader, there is little difference between mom and dad being divorced and mom and dad not living together anymore.
At Clement Law, we work closely with clients to prepare separation agreements that protect their rights and minimize further acrimony. We take a holistic approach to separation and divorce, and combine human compassion with legal experience.
If you are considering legal separation in New York, please give attorney Daniel Clement a call at (212) 683-9551 or fill out our online form to arrange for a consultation. We look forward to assisting you.