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The Spodek Law Group understands how delicate high-profile cases can be, and has a strong track record of getting positive outcomes. Our lawyers service a clientele that is nationwide. With offices in both LA and NYC, and cases all across the country - Spodek Law Group is a top tier law firm.

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NYC Legal Separation Lawyers

By Spodek Law Group | November 12, 2017
(Last Updated On: May 27, 2023)

Last Updated on: 27th May 2023, 12:17 pm

Sometimes couples don’t immediately file for divorce but instead file for a legal separation. This gives both spouses time on their own to sort things out and get intervention and mediation for their differences. The greatest difference between a legal separation and a divorce is what is going to happen after you file it with the court. In a legal separation, you are still married but living apart, while in a divorce, once it’s processed you’re going to be divorced, not just living apart. A legal separation is filed for a number of reasons, all of them due to something that has occurred within the marriage that makes living together at the moment hard.
The differences between divorce and legal separation are many and need to be explored fully before filing for the separation.

Separation is the precursor to divorce. It’s a temporary condition and agreement between two married people who are experiencing so much difficulty in their marriage that they need to live apart. The couples will need to work out the same details: Alimony, child support, child custody, and living arrangements, but during the separation, a divorce isn’t moving forward. Instead, both parties are trying to work out their differences and decide whether or not to go forward with a divorce.
Marriage counseling and other forms of mediation will help couples do what’s best for them at the end of the separation. Legal separation is typically filed for when couples are leaning toward divorce, as opposed to very brief periods of separation that are decided upon informally and between couples and not the courts as well.

What Must Be Decided During Separation

For the court to grant a legal separation, both parties must work out their differences and decide who will live where, who will have custody of the children, if there will be any spousal support, and if there will be any child support. Other things might be discussed, such as whether or not both people are allowed to date during the separation, although the legal system typically frowns on this practice. Many spouses can use this action during a divorce proceeding to affect the outcome later on, so whenever possible it’s best not to date during a legal separation.
The court will grant legal separations once everything is worked out in detail. Other arrangements might include court-ordered couples therapy that will shed more light on the problems within a marriage and help decide couples whether to divorce or reconcile.

How Our Attorneys Can Help You

A legal separation can be just as stressful as a divorce. You’re accustomed to seeing your spouse each day and sharing life together. During your time apart, you won’t have that daily interaction and this can lead to serious anxiety and depression during the separation. Couples who get counseling will also have to discuss the problems within the marriage and often face difficult changes if things are going to work out.
At the end of a divorce, you are no longer married. At the end of the separation, you either reconcile with a spouse or you have to then go through with a divorce. It’s a long road ahead, and this road gets longer if you don’t hire a good attorney for the separation. When you have our team with you from the beginning of your difficult journey, you’re going to have all the advantages of 24/7 legal advice and a brilliant team of lawyers that know separation and divorce law inside and out. Call us today.

For people living in NYC, the law allows certain individuals options for their marital status to change. These options don’t necessarily mean divorcing, however. Legal separation occurs when two spouses decide to stop cohabitating. This is different from a common divorce in a few ways.
The biggest difference is the marital status. When a couple legally separates, they are considered to no longer be engaged in a relationship, but they’re still legally married. When spouses agree to enter a separation agreement, they must sign a contract that outlines their responsibilities regarding property rights, child custody, visitation rights, and spousal support. These terms are legally binding, and failure to complete designated responsibilities could result in legal repercussions. If one spouse fails to uphold their obligations, potential future divorce proceedings might be complicated.

Because the contract deals with so many sensitive parts of family law, it’s important to have an experienced legal separation lawyer to draft the contract. Attorneys for both spouses will work together to negotiate terms and compromises. The end goal is to create a contract that satisfies every involved party.

Satisfying the involved parties might include minor agreements, like the wither spouse’s living arrangements, the specific times for child visitations, and the distribution of assets that both spouses could claim. When all aspects of the separation agreement have been approved by both parties, it must be filed with the county clerk for the couple’s New York county.
After one year being legally separated, the separation case will undergo review. At this point, the spouses will decide whether they want to reconcile or file a petition for a divorce.

Before any legal documents can be drafted or any negotiations can begin, both parties must be certain they want to legally separate. Legal separation cannot be negotiated if one party wants to stay together, or one party wants to divorce rather than separate. The separation agreement must receive an official notarization and the signatures of both parties. After the notarization is complete, the couple must decide what their legal marital status will be in the future.

Legal separation is often negotiated amicably between the parties, and spouses often reach the decision by themselves. However, this isn’t always the case. If a spouse meets certain separation qualifications, they can seek to be legally separated. Some circumstances for separation include:

  • One spouse has abandoned the other
  • There has been cruel treatment in the marriage
  • One spouse has been the victim of adultery or neglect
  • A wife is not receiving support from their spouse

When heated disputes or domestic violence cases occur, spouses have the right to file formal criminal complaints against their partners. This might result in the other being issued a summons. It doesn’t matter whether the incident is an isolated circumstance or part of a pattern of behavior. When this circumstance occurs, the New York Supreme Court must use a Judgment of Separation to determine which of the parties is at fault. They will also decide whether the marital status meets the requirements for a divorce.

The results of the judgment vary widely depending on the findings. Some judgments don’t grant separation. When this occurs, one spouse can petition that the court hasten separation proceedings. This causes cases to move faster than average, which can lessen the waiting period between divorce and separation. Rather than waiting one year after the separation agreement, a couple might wait only a few months before divorce.

No matter what decision the court makes, the couple is required to file for divorce themselves. In some states, one year of legal separation ends in an automatic divorce. However, in New York, divorces always occur after the parties file such a motion in court.

If the spouses are completing a legal separation agreement in New York, they must have both resided in and been married in the state for at least one year. This requirement must be met if couples wish to be applicable for divorce in the year following their separation. If only one spouse lives in the state, they cannot divorce for two years, as opposed to one year.

Understanding Legal Separation: A Vital Step in the Divorce Process

Sometimes, couples facing the tumultuous process of divorce choose to take a step back and opt for a legal separation instead. This smart move allows both spouses precious time to sort out their differences and receive vital intervention and mediation. The most significant distinction between legal separation and divorce lies in the final outcome. In a legal separation, you remain married yet live apart, while divorce results in complete dissolution of the marriage. Many reasons lead couples to file for legal separation, usually arising from complications within the marriage that make living together temporarily unbearable.

Key Differences: Divorce vs. Legal Separation

The differences between divorce and legal separation are manifold and must be thoroughly explored before taking the plunge.

Legalities of Legal Separation

Legal separation, often considered the precursor to divorce, is a temporary arrangement, providing much-needed respite for married individuals experiencing tremendous difficulties in their marriage. Such couples must work out essential details, including alimony, child support, child custody, and living arrangements. Importantly, legal separation is a pause in the divorce process while both parties attempt to resolve their differences and determine the best path forward, be it reconciliation or divorce.

Marriage counseling and other forms of mediation will greatly assist couples in making this crucial decision. Typically, legal separation is filed when couples feel that divorce is imminent rather than during brief periods of separation, which tends to be more informal and doesn’t require court intervention.

Crucial Decisions during Separation

For the court to grant a legal separation, both parties must iron out their differences and make vital decisions about living arrangements, child custody, spousal and child support, and more. Other matters may need to be addressed, including dating during separation – although legally frowned upon, it may still impact any future divorce proceedings.

Once all details are finalized, the court will grant the legal separation. Other arrangements may include court-ordered couples therapy to help shed light on the problems within the marriage and assist couples in deciding whether a divorce or reconciliation is the right path forward.

Exemplary Legal Support: Our Attorneys are here for You

Turn to Our Expertise for a Smoother Legal Separation Process

Legal separation can be just as stressful as divorce. Couples face a dramatic change in lifestyle, losing that daily interaction with their spouse and potentially dealing with anxiety and depression during their separation. Counseling can help, but couples may need to face challenging changes if they want their relationship to work.

With our experienced team of attorneys by your side, you can navigate this daunting journey with the support of 24/7 legal advice and an impressive knowledge of both separation and divorce law. Embrace our expertise and take the first step towards peace. Contact us today.

New York’s Approach to Legal Separation

In New York, the law allows for various options to change marital status aside from divorce. Legal separation occurs when two spouses decide to stop cohabitating, a decision that differs significantly from divorce. While legally separated spouses are considered no longer in a relationship, they remain married.

A vital aspect of legal separation is the separation agreement – a contract outlining property rights, child custody, visitation, and spousal support. It is imperative to engage an experienced legal separation lawyer to draft this contract, with attorneys for both spouses working together to negotiate terms and compromises, ensuring a satisfactory outcome for all parties involved.

Judgment of Separation: The Path Towards Divorce or Reconciliation

After one year of being legally separated, the case undergoes review, with the spouses deciding whether to reconcile or petition for a divorce. However, being granted separation doesn’t guarantee that you will be granted a divorce. When necessary, a spouse can petition the court to hasten separation proceedings, resulting in a shorter waiting period between the separation agreement, and the subsequent divorce.

It is essential to note that in New York, divorces only happen when the parties file a motion in court. If both spouses reside in New York and have been married in the state for at least one year, they can apply for divorce after one year of legal separation. However, if only one spouse lives in the state, they must wait two years before divorcing.

In conclusion, legal separation offers a valuable pathway for couples to resolve their differences and determine the best course of action for their marriage. Whether you choose reconciliation or divorce, having knowledgeable and supportive attorneys by your side is crucial in this complex and emotional journey.

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