Legal separation can be an effective way for couples to protect their rights while living apart, while also laying the groundwork for a no-fault divorce. At the Spodek Law Group, we can help guide you through the legal separation process, negotiating a fair settlement that protects you in the future. Our team of New York legal separation lawyers know state legislation inside and out, and we will fight for your best interests every step of the way.
What Is Legal Separation?
In New York, legal separation refers to an agreement signed by both parties of a marriage that has failed, but, for whatever reason, neither wants to officially end. Legal separation can include provisions for spousal support, child support, custody and visitation rights and division of property. When negotiating a legal separation, it’s important to retain the services of a family law expert, both to get the best settlement and to ensure your interests are protected in the long-term.
Filing for Legal Separation in New York
In most cases, both parties and their lawyers will agree to the terms of a legal separation agreement before filing it with the county clerk. Once an agreement has been drawn up and signed, filing it prevents changes from being made to the agreement and ensures it won’t be lost or damaged. To file a legal separation agreement, you (or your lawyer) must purchase an index number from the county clerk and obtain a certified copy for your records.
Court Order of Legal Separation
A second, though rarely used, form of legal separation in New York is by court order. One spouse can sue another for legal separation, much in the way they would for a contested divorce.
Divorce From Legal Separation
After one year of being legally separated, either party can file for a no-fault divorce. Both parties have the option of renegotiating the terms of the separation agreement if they desire. Otherwise the separation papers will be used as the basis for the divorce agreement.
Spodek Law Group Can Help With Your Legal Separation
Since 1976, Spodek Law Group has been representing New Yorkers in legal separation cases and other family law matters. Contact us today for your free consultation. Page updated on 11/16/13.