Published On: Thu, Dec 14th, 2017

Laws Regarding Separation and Divorce in New York

Every married couple is entitled to an option of legal separation in New York. This option enables married individuals to remain married legally but at the same time considered lawfully separated under the eyes of the state law. In simple terms, the spouses agree to specific terms that deal with their unique situation. This may include spousal or child support. The spouses can use the help of a qualified attorney to satisfy and protect their interests. Attorneys help specify and clear out such arrangements as child visitation or custody, living arrangements, and distribution of assets or property.

It is therefore critical to have an attorney who looks out for your interests. Having an attorney is also very paramount from a courts point of view when the specific separation agreements’ validity is taken into consideration. A spouse may seek a legal separation or even divorce on various grounds. This may be in the event of neglect, abandonment, adultery or even harsh treatment by the other partner. Moreover, a wife can ask for legal separation if their partner has not been supporting them fully.

Court. Gavel and books on the table

Unlike other states, New York cannot grant a divorce automatically after a legal separation of only one year. All the parties involved must agree to the obligations and terms before signing, filing or notarizing the agreement. At times, the agreement of separation can survive the divorce judgment depending on the spouses and their explanations of the terms of divorce. This would mean that the agreement will stay valid and a court can enforce it.
A “no-fault divorce” is also an option that is available in New York. This type of divorce means that it has been six months since the marriage broke and it is impossible to reconcile. Divorce is often granted after 12 months of legal separation. The 12 months of legal separation will include living separately and making use of the separation agreement. Some judges in the state have been known to require or permit the agreement to be included specifically in the divorce judgment. Some specific legal language must also be written in the judgment as well. However, some judges may differ from this stand point.

Almost all marriages, divorce or potential separations are completely different and unique in their own respect. It is therefore important to have an attorney who will represent your beliefs and needs to get your future life in order. However, it becomes very difficult to change any of the terms and obligations agreed upon once both parties have signed the legal document. The court cannot change the portions of the legal document specifying such aspects as child support. The court will decide to uphold the provisions previously agreed upon by the parties to keep the process simple. There are two different routes that a couple may take in case of reconciliation. The agreement of separation can be considered invalid or provide a provision in the agreement that allows for reconciliation but maintains the validity of the whole document.

Both spouses, in the case of legal separation, may be able to get back together any moment they see fit. The separation agreement can be declared null and void by a second agreement. When declaring that the first agreement is void using the second one, a notary public must sign the new form and must be physically present. Each spouse will need an attorney when challenging the separation agreement. The attorney will look out for the best interests of the parties involved.

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