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Legal separation is not a requirement in Nassau County, but it’s the safest way to begin separation from your spouse. Separation is a simple concept in a not-so-simple situation. Your marriage is falling apart and you have no idea how you can handle it, fix it, or make it work. You’re confused and lost, and you’re unsure how to proceed. Perhaps you’re struggling with the idea of being single and putting an official end to your marriage, and you want to be sure this is the natural next step in your life.
Separation is typically the first course of action when couples face these problems. You agree to live separately for a time. You might hope living separately and gain a fresh new start on your relationship through the courting process might help you revive your troubled married. You might want to separate simply to see if you’re happier apart. No two separations are alike, and that’s why you want to consult with a legal separation attorney when you make this your next step.
What is legal separation?
Legal separation is merely the addition of a legal document to your separation. Rather than making it official without the help of an attorney and the courts, you’re making it official with the court. This has two benefits. The first is grounds for divorce. New York offers several options for couples looking to end their marriages, and one of them is legal separation for more than six months.
The other massive benefit is your legal protection. There are situations when one partner leaves the household and decides he or she is done with you, the family, the house, and your joint assets and liabilities. They might begin living their own life outside of your marriage without helping with the expenses you still share, and that’s a financial burden for many.
When you hire an attorney to draft legal separation paperwork, you’re protecting yourself from financial issues down the road. You and your spouse must come up with a mutual agreement outlining the finances, the household, your assets, liabilities, and your children during the separation. Once you agree upon something, your attorney drafts a legal separation agreement and files it with the court once it’s been signed and made official.
If your spouse tries to back out of his or her obligations during the separation, the court will enforce the agreement in whatever manner is most efficient. When you separate without making it legal, you’re not doing anything wrong. However, it’s much more difficult to protect yourself without a legal separation agreement if your spouse decides to forgo his or her obligations to you and your household.
Call an Attorney
If you’re facing separation and want to see if it makes a difference in your marriage, contact an attorney. It’s wise for both you and your spouse to contact your own attorneys to represent you and your best interests so you can both be sure you’re being treated fairly in the separation agreement. In this agreement, there is typically a clause that outlines it becomes null and void if both parties decide to reconcile and once again live in the same home.
Protection of your rights, your finances, and your children is important when separation occurs. Do what’s right and what’s safe and make it legal. Not only can this help expedite the divorce process if that’s where this separation is headed, it also helps you protect yourself and your finances should something happen.
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