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When you and your spouse decide to separate after being in a marriage, there are two options you can explore. You can either choose to have a legal separation agreement or get a judgement of separation granted to you by the Supreme Court of New York. A legal separation agreement allows you to live separately while remaining legally married. It is mostly used by couples who are unsure whether they need to divorce or not.
What Prompts Couples to File for a Legal Separation Agreement?
There are many factors that can result into a legal separation. The most common one is money. The stress that comes from not being able to honor marriage obligations can make spouses to quarrel and snap at each other. Spouses who spend money without notifying their partners are also likely to experience problems. Apart from financial problems, many spouses separate due to infidelity from one of them. Studies show that infidelity occurs in 80 percent of the marriages in the country. The disappointment and anger that often come after a spouse cheats on another can break their union. Other common factors that result to separations include poor communication, drug addiction from one of the partners, domestic violence, sexual dissatisfaction, weight gain and unrealistic expectations.
Legal separation allows the married couples to live apart while still legally married. This is completely different from divorce, where the married couple completely ends their union. In this case, people who are in a legal separation agreement may be considered responsible for breaking the bigamy laws if they marry again. Both divorce and legal separation require the couples to agree on certain issues, such as child custody and visitation. In both cases, the court defines the right and obligations of each partner. Unlike a divorce where partners need to exchange marriage vows again, legal separation allows the couples to reunite without necessarily having to remarry. They simply notify the court about their intention to live together again. Conversely, if they decide to permanently end their marriage, the divorce process will be much quicker.
Benefits of Legal Separation
There are so many benefits associated with legal separation. It allows the couples to take some time away from each other and think about their marriage and whether they need to divorce. The separation can be a moment for each of them to cool down if there have been constant disagreements and conflicts. Legal separation allows partners to maintain medical benefits and other benefits. Such benefits are often scrapped off during divorce. In case you have beliefs that conflict with certain concepts of divorce, then a legal separation agreement will enable you to separate from your partner without any guilt or regrets. A legal separation also enables you to draw in the social security benefits of your partners if you have been married for more than 10 years.
Filling for Legal Separation in Manhattan
If you want to file for a legal separation in Manhattan, there are certain steps you have to take. First and foremost, you need to understand what a separation agreement is and whether it is better for you than divorce. After that, you have to determine if you are liable to separate. According to New York laws, the separating parties must be married in New York. Either of the parties must have resided in New York for at least two years before the date of filing.
The next step is to choose the right court. Choose a court with the jurisdiction to hear and determine cases related to legal separation. Before you approach the court, you need to prepare the separation agreement. You must do this together with your partner so that everybody comes to a consensus. The separation should be clear and concise to avoid misinterpretation by the court and partner. Make sure you review the separation agreement and sign it with your spouse and deliver the document to the court clerk. You will be required to pay $5 for filing. The court will look at the agreement and provide you with an Order of Separation. This is a document indicating that you are now legally separated in New York.
Since there are so many procedures involved in a legal separation agreement, it is wise to contact a qualified legal separation attorney in Manhattan. Our legal experts are always on the standby to listen to your case and help you draft a clear and concise legal separation document. Feel free to contact us today for affordable and faster services.