Manhattan Separation Agreements Attorneys
Marriages are beautiful things when they are working. When you disagree, it is normal. However, the battle may not be worth fighting anymore. When that time comes, a separation can help. The separation period gives you time to shake off each other. You can either reconcile or divorce after the separation. In Manhattan, divorce is not automatic after a period of separation.
There are two types of separation.
- Legal separation
- Voluntary separation
In a legal separation, the court can order mandatory separation before granting a divorce. In a voluntary separation, parties can get into an agreement to separate briefly.
Separation and divorce proceedings are emotional endeavors. Being objective is impossible. It is rare to see a couple that amicably decides to separate without qualms. More often than not, separation is like a tussle for custody, finances, and what not. Even when parties want to do it amicably, the implications of the separation can be overwhelming.
The overall cost of staying separate can be more than one party can handle especially if the breadwinner has to pay alimony and child support while still trying to manage a decent living. In the wake of all that, parties will try to contest everything on the table. An attorney, therefore, becomes an integral part of the separation agreement.
They help you with the following.
Keep you focused on the objectives of the separation
Parties usually dwell on the cause of the divorce. They want to punish each other for misdeeds or missed deeds. It is never about what is at stake. What is at stake is the separation. When you have a lawyer around, they will minimize these shenanigans that waste your time. If they go unchecked, such problems can strain your relationship further.
Prepare the necessary paperwork
Drafting a valid separation agreement is not a walk in the park. It can be daunting even for inexperienced lawyers. As usual in law, the devil is always in the details. A good agreement will get approval. It will also be easy for the parties to follow the terms of the contract without fail. You can prepare the agreement on your own though, but you will need to drill yourself properly for it to be standard.
Help you understand the law
The grounds for separation are the same as those for divorce, the standard of scrutiny is the only thing that that differs. You cannot bring simple disagreements as grounds for separation. You have to prove abandonment, adultery, cruelty, imprisonment or neglect. A lawyer will help you understand your situation in legal terms. He or she will also guide you on the ramifications of a separation. Some people mistake separation with divorce. Most spousal privileges remain intact in a separation.
What to ensure before you start the separation process
That you have your things in order
Separation entails debt reorganization, property division, and such things. It is good you have all the stuff on the table. Failure to disclose all items, including a book you have been writing, can make an agreement null and void. You must take the time to tick every box in your lives. Understand that your finite resources will wear thin. Adjust accordingly to the new dispensation before the separation process completes.
Discuss custody in depth
It is common for couples to brush off this unwanted topic. It is a potential deal breaker. It is quite emotional when the reality of children hopping from one house to the other sets in. Custody, support, visitation rights and such things don’t bode well with most parents. You may want to see a family counselor before you begin this process.
On the overall, ensure that your separation agreement follows the following benchmarks
- Even if you have something on the other person, be fair and equitable.
- Make it a voluntary process where no party should feel threatened or coerced to sign.
- Have separate representation.
If you can agree to separate amicably, please do so. A legal separation can be sought if you feel that the marriage is not meeting the standards set by the family court. An attorney will always help you with the process.