16 Jul 16

Can a legal separation be modified?

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Many married couples separate, when contemplating a divorce, or for a short period of time while they reconcile their differences. Legal separation, however, changes the legally enforceable rights of the marriage – without permanently ending. As such, legal separation differs from a more, informal, separation, because a court approves and orders the legal separation. It also differs from divorce, because the marriage continues to exist after a legal separation.



Legal separation is great for couples who don’t want to divorce, due to religious reasons etc, but want to live separately and want to handle matters like child support, property division, clarified in legal terms. It applies to couples who foresee permanent separation, rather than temporary separation. Common reasons may be, that couples want to remain legally married for financial reasons, or religious beliefs.

Legal separation offers benefits similar to divorce. Property is divided up, and things like child custody, child support, and spousal support, are determined. The court then approves the agreement, in order to make it legally binding. As a result, the legal separation agreement can be modified at a later time, if desired. It has to be done, though, with the help of a divorce lawyer in NY who can initiate the court proceedings and the negotiations with the other party.

Grounds for legal separation are typically the same as those for divorce. Reasons can be incompatibility, abandonment, adultery, etc. As like divorce, if the legal separation includes child custody, and other issues, then those obligations can be discussed in the agreement. They can be modified, only with court approval.

If you have already filed for legal separation, and need your existing agreement modified – we encourage you to contact our divorce lawyers today. We have over 50 years of combined experience, helping individuals with the legal system. Get a risk free, complimentary, consultation today at one of our many convenient locations.


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