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NYC Separation Agreements Lawyers

November 14, 2017

A separation agreement is markedly different from a postnuptial or a prenup agreement. Prior to the enactment of the no-fault divorce law in New York, couples wishing to end their marital relationships while at the same time protecting each other from the economic and emotional stress of divorce court proceedings would negotiate the terms of their separation and detail it in a legally binding agreement commonly referred to as property settlement agreement or separation agreement.

What is contained in the separation agreement?

The duly signed separation agreement may include but not limited to:

• Child support
• Division and distribution of marital assets
• Custody and visitation of children
• Spousal support, alimony or maintenance

When does the agreement take effect?

Once the separation agreement has been signed and filed, it comes into effect allowing the couple to live separate and apart, as long as they each abide by the terms and provisions set in their agreement. After a year of living apart, any of the spouses can commence actions meant to dissolve the marriage. The divorce decree incorporates the details of the separation agreement in giving orders for the divorce.

Reduced impact of separation agreements

Separation agreements are not as powerful and impactful the way they were when they were first enacted. The advent of the “no-fault grounds for divorce” in New York has seen the agreement lose most of its impact except for those who for religious, moral or other reasons are opposed to divorce but cannot continue staying or living together. These parties may decide to remain legally married and define their ongoing relationship, rights, and expectations in a separation agreement. They can then go ahead and live separate and apart from each other.

How to file for separation in the State of New York

It is critical that you remember that the laws on separation agreements may vary from one state to another. That is why you need to acquaint yourself with what the laws in New York say about this type of agreement.

Thinking of filing a separation agreement in court? This is what you need to do:

i. Understand what a separation agreement is

If both you and your spouse are agreeable to the various terms and conditions of your separation, you can opt to draft and sign a separation agreement which you can then file in court. Once the filing has been made, the court will issue an order for separation whose terms will be enforceable against each of the two parties.

ii. Check if you meet the legal requirements for filing for separation in New York

Prior to starting the process, you should make sure that you and your partner fulfill the following conditions:

• You were married in the state, either of you resides in New York at the time of filing for separation and has been residing in NY for at least one full year before filing.
• Either of the parties has been a resident of the State of New York for at least two years before the separation action was filed.

iii. Choose the right court

You should file the separation agreement in a court where both of you live. If you reside in different counties, you and your partner can agree on the court where you will file the agreement.

iv. Hire a separation lawyer

You then need to get the services of an experienced lawyer to take over the remaining steps and secure you the orders you seek from the court.

How an attorney can help

Our experienced separation lawyer will help you draft a balanced separation agreement that is in your best interest. Speak to us today and let us help you get the order for separation that you seek.

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