Bronx Separation Agreements Lawyers

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When a couple is contemplating divorce, but they are not ready to make that final move, they have another option. A separation agreement, sometimes called a limited divorce, allows them to part ways voluntarily. Before you head to the courthouse, make sure you meet New York’s residency requirements. These documents allow you to spell out exactly how you want to manage children, assets, and or how long of a period this separation will last. Though they are not as popular as a divorce, it is an option for those who are not ready to end things indefinitely.

The Purpose of A Separation Agreement

Think of a separation as a precursor to a divorce. First, a separation agreement does not terminate the marriage. Additionally, it does not give the parties the legal right to remarry either. This agreement serves two purposes. First, it legally documents the date that the couple became separated legally. If a divorce is filed in the future, this date will be important. It, also, serves as proof of the separation. The second matter of significance is that it settles the various considerations necessary for the parting. There are many factors to consider when a couple parts ways. They must consider child custody and support, bills, and alimony.

Many people use this separation time as a period to either reconcile or come to terms with a divorce. The courts are in favor of arrangements like this because they would rather a couple settle their issues and work together without the court’s intervention. Many seek legal counsel and mediation to help through these times.

Once acceptable terms have been reached, the courts give the final approval on the document. The terms of the agreement are court-enforceable. If one or both parties does not comply with the terms, then they can be found in contempt. The court can provide assistance if a couple cannot come to terms on their own. During the hearing, the judge will listen to both sides, examine the facts of the case, and ensure that the agreement is fair and reasonable.

What Is Included in A Separation Agreement?

There are several matters that are included in a separation agreement. Though the court has the authority to modify the document, the couple can include anything they wish. This agreement has temporary provisions for things like:

  • Child and Spousal Support
  • Child Custody and Visitation
  • Debts and Responsibilities
  • Savings and Checking Accounts
  • Interest in A Business
  • Assets like Cars, Homes, and Other Property
  • Pets
  • Healthcare, Life and Disability Insurance
  • 401 (k) and other Retirement Accounts

 

These agreements may include long-term or temporary provisions. Immediate matters that cannot wait are addressed with temporary agreements. These issues would be custody and support. A judge can amend or alter the terms of the temporary matters during the final proceedings. A long-term separation agreement is defined with terms that the couple will keep after the divorce. These documents are typically settled when the separation becomes final.

Legal Separation: Pros and Cons

There are pros and cons to legal separation, and it may not be right for every couple. Here are some of the most important things to consider:

Pros

  • Legal separation affords people the space and time they need to figure out if divorce is really what they want.
  • You can still be on your spouse’s health insurance.
  • It can be a good opportunity for marriage counseling.
  • Years spent legally separated still count as years married, so you will be eligible to receive your spouse’s social security retirement benefits. (You must have been married for a minimum of 10 years to get your spouse’s social security benefits.)
  • Legal separation helps you to avoid violating your religious beliefs.
  • A separation agreement can be handy if you do end up divorcing your spouse, because the court might allow you to use your legal separation agreement as a basis for divorce.

Cons

  • Legal separation does not legally end your marriage. You still have financial, legal and logistical ties to your spouse.
  • Spouses who quarrel a lot or do not communicate well could have a hard time creating a separation agreement.
  • You are not legally allowed to marry someone else when you are legally separated.
  • If abuse took place in your marriage, legal separation is not the best option.
  • You need to wait a year to use a separation agreement as the basis for a divorce.

These are just a few points to be considered. For legal advice, contact a bronx separation agreement attorney who is well informed about legal separation.

I’m Legally Separated, and I Now Want To Divorce.

If you wish to have the terms of your divorce remain the same as the terms in your separation agreement, you can file for a conversion divorce.

A conversion divorce is a divorce that is based on an existing separation agreement.  

How is a conversion divorce different from a regular divorce?

In a conversion divorce, you request that the judge include all the terms of the separation agreement in your divorce decree. The judge will review all of the terms of your agreement and decide whether to include them all in your divorce.

Keep in mind that you and your spouse must have lived apart for at least one year.  Also, you both must have adhered to the terms of your separation agreement.  These are the prerequisites for filing a conversion divorce.

Your separation agreement must be on file at the county clerk’s office to be converted to a divorce.  If you never filed your separation agreement with the county clerk, you would have to file the separation agreement at the same time you file your divorce papers.

Do You Need An Attorney For A Separation Agreement?

Yes, you need an attorney to handle your bronx separation agreement. These documents use legal terminology and specific formats that can be difficult for the average person to handle. Every detail must be spelled out and specific so that there is no confusion or arguments on these matters later. You can, legally, create these documents on your own. However, it can be quite difficult for a person who does not have a legal background. Thankfully, Spodek Law Group can help.

There are forms and procedures that you must follow in order for your agreement to be validated. Any errors or omissions can cause major headaches and take you back to court time and again. What about issues like child support? How do you know how much is fair? What about alimony? Is it appropriate in your situation? If so, for how long and how much money?

An attorney can assist you with all your negotiations, document drafting, and the entire process. You will have peace of mind knowing that things are being handled correctly. Additionally, the terms will be in your best interest. Does your spouse have an attorney? You certainly do not want to show up to court with no support when your spouse has an attorney working hard to protect their interests. If a draft of the separation agreement has already been submitted to the court, it is important that you have an attorney look over these documents. You want to make sure there are no loopholes and that it is done fairly. Many times, negotiations turn sour, and a divorce can become contentious. Having an attorney on board from the beginning is wise. We can help you with your next steps and to seek resolution.

For a legal consultation with a skilled attorney, call Spodek Law Group at 888-981-9185. We offer free consultations to our valued clients. Let us handle your legal matters.

Divorce is a big decision that shouldn’t be made flippantly. Couples in the bronx that are having marital issues but don’t want to jump into divorce proceedings just yet often opt for legal separation instead. Becoming legally separated in the State of New York requires that the couple file a binding contract with the court that has been signed by both parties called a Separation Agreement. This agreement covers a lot of ground and needs to be very specific in order for it to be lawful. Therefore, most couples hire Bronx Separation Agreement attorneys to help them navigate the specifics of filing this legal document.

The Benefits of Legal Separation

A Separation Agreement deals with many of the same issues that come up in divorce proceedings. You and your partner make agreements on assets, property, child custody, and other issues pertaining to the marriage. Unlike divorce, a Separation Agreement is not permanent and can be nullified at any time. While a Separation Agreement can cover a lot of different topics, the only action that’s required upon filing this agreement is that one of the partners leave the home. If that partner returns to the home with the intent to repair the marriage, the Separation Agreement is usually voided, though you and your spouse can stipulate otherwise in the agreement. Other than preparing for an eventual divorce, many Bronx residents that seek a legal separation do so to avoid their partner’s future debts. Consult with a Bronx Separation Agreement attorney if you need help determining whether a legal separation is appropriate in your circumstances.

Requirements for Legal Separation

While a Separation Agreement is not granted by a New York Court, clear and concise language must be used when drafting this document for it to be considered legally binding. But before writing your Separation Agreement, you’ll need to determine whether or not you and your partner are eligible for a legal separation in New York. In order to file a Separation Agreement in New York, you and your partner must have been married in New York and either you or your partner must have lived in the state for at least a year before the filing. You will also need to file your Separation Agreement in the county in which you or your spouse resides.

While a court presumes that a properly filed legal separation document is valid until proven otherwise, it is essential that you follow certain guidelines in order for the Separation Agreement to be valid. You and your partner must use different attorneys when writing your separation agreement in order to avoid suspicion from the courts. Neither of you may commit any fraud in disclosing your assets and neither spouse can coerce or threaten the other into signing. Also, if a judge finds that your agreement is significantly unfair to either party, they may void the agreement. Working with the right bronx Separation Agreement attorney ensures that you and your partner will come up with a valid agreement that will stand up in court if necessary.

The Results of a Separation Agreement

In the State of New York, you and your partner must deliver copies of your Separation Agreement separately to the Clerk of the Court in the relevant county. You and your spouse will both retain a certified copy. If you end up wanting to pursue a divorce, this can be done after one year of being legally separated. You can begin divorce proceedings before this point, but your Separation Agreement will not be considered by the court. If you and your partner decide to reconcile, then the Separation Agreement is usually voided automatically, but if you are unable to reconcile, the legal separation can be provided as grounds for divorce with no further grounds needed.

Just because your Separation Agreement can be used in your divorce proceedings, that doesn’t mean that a judge will accept the terms of the agreement. The judge may ask that the terms be revised before the divorce proceedings continue, so it is vital that you have a skilled Bronx legal separation attorney at your side for this process.

Whatever reason you may be choosing to file a Separation Agreement and whatever results you expect, being equipped with qualified legal counsel from the very beginning is vital. bronx Separation Agreement attorneys are well versed in all of the details of filing this document and can guide you through the process whether or not you and your partner get back together in the end.