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Long Island Legal Separation Lawyers

November 14, 2017

Married couples are permitted to file for legal separation in New York. A legal separation allows couples to stay legally married but live in different dwellings. A legal separation will cover the same issues that are covered during a divorce. However, unlike a divorce, couples remaine legally married, so they are not able to get remarried.

separation agreement is a legal contract between two spouses that covers a wide range of issues such as child custody, child support, visitation rights, and spousal maintenance. In addition, a separation agreement can also divide property that the couple bought during the marriage. The agreement, which is also known as a separation memorandum, is taken to the County Clerk in the county where couple resides. When spouses have been in a separation agreement for one year, either individual may file for a no-fault divorce.

Legally, separation means a husband and wife will no longer coexist. The separation agreement is what states all the conditions and terms of the separation. For a separation agreement to be valid, spouses must both sign the written agreement before a public notary. The date the legal document is signed and notarized is the day the separation agreement goes into effect.

Complaint for Legal Separation
When an individual files a complaint for a legal separation, it will include a court summons. In addition, the complaint document will include the spouses and children’s ages and full names. When a spouse files a complaint for legal separation, the complaint will be served to the other spouse by a process server. The date of the marriage and separation will also be included in a complaint, and a statement will also need to be included that states the grounds for separation.

The law in New York has grounds for a legal separation, which are:

  • Imprisonment for more than three years
  • Adultery
  • Abandonment
  • Inhumane treatment
  • Failure to provide sufficient support

An individual can also file for a judgement of separation, which is done through the New York Supreme Court. A judgement of separation is based on the same fault grounds as a divorce, but failure to provide support is ground for a legal separation but not a divorce. It is important to remember that the process of divorce will not automatically start after the one year legal separation period. If an individual wants to file for divorce after one year, he or she will have to do so in court.

Residency Requirements
In New York, if one spouse is a resident when the legal separation occurs, there is a residency requirement of two years. When the spouses were married in New York and one is a resident, the time is reduced to one year. Furthermore, when both spouses are residents of New York when the legal separation was filed, there will not be a time limit.

Legal separation is a difficult decision, but sometimes it is the best decision for two individuals who don’t want to live together anymore. If a couple goes through a divorce, one spouse may lose access to health insurance coverage because insurance companies are not required by law to keep an ex-spouse on a health coverage plan. In addition, because there is so much at stake when couples decide to separate, a legal separation agreement will protect both individuals. It is also notable that a legal separation agreement can also protect spouses from one another’s actions during a legal separation. If one spouse makes bad financial decisions during a legal separation, the other spouse will not share any responsibility if there was a legal separation agreement.

A Long Island divorce attorney can provide more information about legal separation agreements. Because the process can be tedious, it is advised to seek guidance from a skilled attorney who has experience with legal separation agreements.

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