Long Island Separation Agreements Lawyers
Sometimes instead of filing for divorce, one spouse will instead file for a legal separation. The primary purpose for a separation is to work out terms of agreement for a time period where both spouses will live in different legal residences. So instead of the marriage ending at the end of the separation agreement, there is instead the choice to reconcile or file for something more permanent: A divorce. The advantage of filing for legal separation over just plain filing for divorce is that it gives both spouses a middle road and hope for reconciliation that doesn’t typically exist if someone files for divorce.
The issues of a separation agreement will be discussed by the lawyers of both parties and then presented before a judge so that he or she can make final decisions on the issues at hand. The issues surrounding every legal separation will be different.
A legal separation is just what is sounds like. Both spouses will be living apart, or separated, for an agreed upon amount of time. The court can issue orders on spousal support, child custody, child support, and mediation procedures during the separation. For example, one spouse may want marriage counseling ordered by the court during the separation. If the judge orders marriage counseling, then both parties must agree to attend.
Counseling is an especially fruitful part of any separation. It gives both spouses time to air their grievances in front of a neutral party who can suggest steps they can take to save their marriage. At the heart of every separation agreement should be the hope that the end of the separation can end in reconciliation rather than divorce.
The separation agreement may also be written into a final divorce decree or referred to, given that many couples choose to separate before they divorce and in some instances the judge may want a legal separation first.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
When you’ve shared your life with a spouse for so long, there can be many unpleasant emotional matters that accompany a separation. It means you won’t see your spouse every morning or have access to their lives whenever you choose to. In effect, it means that you’re testing out what life would be like after divorce, but you have the advantage of staying legally married during this separation. A lot of couples want to try a separation first so that they don’t rush into a divorce that later turns out to be a mistake. Some parties even marry again after a divorce, and this is a waste of state’s resources and a waste of the couple’s time.
Whenever possible, a legal separation should be first sought before filing for divorce. We are experienced in the many laws of legal separation and have helped many couples work out a separation agreement that leaves both parties feeling understood and content with the terms of the separation. We always advise clients against dating during a legal separation as well unless it’s written into the separation agreement that both parties agree to dating other people during the separation.
What you do during your legal separation is going to have the potential to impact any later filing for divorce. It’s important to follow the separation agreement down to the last letter. We’re here to help guide you through the process and help you determine all of the decisions you’ll need to make in order for your separation agreement to work well for you in your life. Give us a call today for a free consultation that will get you started off on the right foot.