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
•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.
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.