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When it comes to matters of love, things are often complicated. Unfortunately this is still true when it comes to the legal process of marriage and divorce. There is a step between being married and being divorced that is part of the legal process in some states. This step is known as a legal separation. It important to understand what a legal separation entails and what all is required in order to get that separation in place.
Do All States Require Separation?
The idea of a legal separation is meant as a safeguard to keep people from simply up and deciding that they want to have a divorce when there are ways to avoid it. This is why the whole concept of legal separation made sense for a long time. However, there are now at least some states which no longer require legal separation before a divorce occurs. The state of New York for example are what is known as a “no fault” divorce state. In other words it does not require some of the same explanations that are required in other jurisdiction.
Do You Need A Signature For The Legal Process?
Most want to know if they require a signature from the other party involved in a marriage in order to get a legal separation in states that still require them. This is an understandable situation for those who are involved in a possible separation. They want to know what is required in order to make it all legal.
Worrying about the idea of having to get a signature from the other person is a common and understandable concern. It is likely that there is tension between the two people and having to try to get the signature of someone in that situation is difficult. Luckily, this is not a required step in the process.
For the most part being able to serve the other person papers for a legal separation then it is not necessary to worry about getting the signature. The other person may actually volunteer their signature, but it is not necessary in most cases.
Get An Attorney
The bottom line is that obtaining an attorney is necessary for those who are looking for a legal separation. It is always the safest option for those who are involved in such an emotional process. The fact is that those who are in the middle of separation are going to have high emotions and may not know exactly what it is that they are supposed to do.
An attorney can guide one through the process of a legal separation. They are rational and level headed and most importantly not involved in the middle of the emotional process. They can ensure that you do not have to go back and change anything that has already taken place.
There are plenty of attorneys available in almost every city in the country. There are some who specialize in this particular area of the law. It means that they are immersed in it and can make the process that much easier.
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.
Many people don;t understand what separation means. There are four different types of separation. Each type of separation can have impact your property and spousal rights differently. Below is a general overview of the types of separations.
Trial Separation – This is when a couple lives apart for a test period to figure out whether to separate permanently. If the spouses don’t get back together, the assets and debt they accumulated are considered marital property. This type of separation isn’t legally recognized. It can be grounds for a divorce, if the separation lasts long enough.
Living apart – Spouses who aren’t residing in the same dwelling are living apart. Living apart without intending to reunite changes a spouses property rights. For example, some states consider the property + debt accumulated while living apart to be separate property. In other states, property is joint – unless and until divorce is filed. In some states, couples must live apart for a period of time before they can file a no-fault divorce.
Permanent Separation – If a couple decides to permanently split up, it’s called a permanent separation. It can follow a trial separation, or begin immediately when a couples starts living apart. In most states, all property + assets generated after permanent separation is considered separate property/responsibility.
A couples decision to permanently separate may not be considered fully legal, unless one or more parties files for legal separation. Legal separation is when the parties separate and the court rules on a division agreement pertaining to property, alimony, child support, custody, and other such things – but doesn’t grant a divorce. This isn’t very common, but it happens enough.
Either way, separation is mandatory in some states in order to file a divorce. In many states, it can be used as the foundation for filing a divorce. To learn more, speak to one of our divorce lawyers in nyc.
There may come a time when a married couple realizes their relationship is not working. Both of them might agree it would be best if they legally separated. During a legal separation, life will continue for both marriage partners. They will probably not think about the items obtained during the separation. Either spouse may consider these items not part of the marriage. It’s important a couple understand their rights concerning property and assets they acquire during a separation. This could avoid a difficult situation from developing in the future.
This occurs when a court issues its judgment on how a couple should manage their property and assets during a separation. It enables a couple to maintain a separate residence and still have the legal status of being married.
Community Or Separate
Determining if assets or property obtained during a couple’s legal separation are community or separate will depend on a number of factors. It will ultimately be determined by the laws in the state where the couple resides, and the type of separation. As a general rule, the property and assets obtained during a legal separation are considered not to be subject to a marital estate. This means the assets and property are considered to be jointly owned. Should the couple reconcile, the status of the items obtained during the couple’s legal separation would remain separate. The legal reasoning is that the assets and property were obtained during a time when the marriage was considered to be suspended.
It is possible for property and assets obtained during a legal separation to become part of the marital estate. This often occurs when the property and assets are mixed with the martial property. An example would be if one spouse puts money into a joint bank account. The funds are then used by the other spouse to obtain property during a time of separation. This could also happen if one spouse uses their separate income to enhance property or assets for the other spouse. One spouse pays off a mortgage loan held in the name of the other spouse could cause confusion. It’s also possible to have separate property appreciate because of marital efforts. One spouse purchases an asset for the other spouse that appreciates. The could result because one spouse has a business dedicated to managing such assets.
It’s also possible for separate property and assets to become part of the marital estate with a process known as commingling. This happens when separate property is combined or used to obtain marital property. When it becomes too difficult to determine true ownership of property or assets, they could be determined to have been commingled.
Martial Property Becoming Separate Property
This can happen if both spouses agree to change the status of property or an asset. Should a couple have property or assets as part of the marital estate, and one spouse agrees to remove their name from ownership of the property or asset, it can then become separate. This is determined based on if a couple resides in a community property state or a common law state.
It’s common for a spouse to worry about finances when they consider divorce. Perhaps you want to get divorced, but you’re worried about how you’ll support yourself and your children. Maybe the other spouse has threatened you that you’ll be left destitute if you file for divorce. You may wonder what New York law has to say about support to help you survive while your divorce case is pending in the courts.
A divorce can take time
A divorce doesn’t happen overnight. In New York, the parties have time to build their case and file discovery requests. It takes the court time to schedule hearings and trials in your case. Even when you’re able to reach a non-trial resolution in your case, it still takes some time to draft a final judgment of divorce and finalize the paperwork. That might mean that one of the spouses has a very real need for support while the divorce is pending.
Yes, you can get temporary support
The short answer is yes, you can get temporary support while the divorce pends in the court. You can get support for yourself. You can also get support for minor children. Temporary support during a separation is called temporary maintenance.
To calculate support, you can use a worksheet. It asks for information about the parties including your income. It’s important to read carefully, because the court looks at income from all sources including investment income and annuity payments. There are deductions for self-employment as well as for child support paid to children who are not part of the current divorce case. Even though the court uses a formula to determine a temporary maintenance award, the court still has the discretion to override the formula amount. If there’s a reason that the calculated amount may not be appropriate in your case, you’ll need to build the evidence, present it to the court and ask them to make a different decision.
How long does it last?
A temporary maintenance order is temporary. It ends when the final judgment of divorce goes into place. The court may not order post-divorce support even if they order temporary maintenance. They are two separate questions.
In addition, child support is different than spousal maintenance. If you have children, they have a right to support until they reach the age of majority. That is automatic, and it’s determined by formula. The court can’t say no. An order for child support doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll also get or pay spousal maintenance. They are two different questions.
What if the other side doesn’t respond?
The higher-earning spouse might try to avoid paying a temporary support award by refusing to respond to questions about their income. Refusing to participate in the process won’t stop the court from entering an order. If the paying spouse doesn’t provide income information, the court can base the spousal maintenance award on the lifestyle that the parties enjoyed during the marriage. The court can also determine the award based on the needs of the recipient. The court can change an award of temporary maintenance if the court later gets more information or determines that a party presented incomplete information about their income.
How to get temporary maintenance?
To get temporary maintenance, you need to begin a case. It isn’t enough to be separated until you file court paperwork. That makes it critical to work with a lawyer as soon as possible in order to file your paperwork and make your request for maintenance. Once your case is filed, the court orders both parties to prepare a statement of their net worth. This is a detailed statement that asks all of the relevant questions about income and expenses so that the court can determine the appropriate temporary maintenance amounts. If you’re considering a divorce, it’s important to work with an attorney to understand the possible outcomes for temporary and post-divorce maintenance.
Spodek Law Group have offered me excellent support and advice thru a very difficult time. I feel I've dealt with someone who truly cares and wants the best outcome for you and yours. I'm extremely grateful for all the help Spodek Law Group has offered me. I can't recommend them enough.
Spodek Law Group was incredibly professional and has given me the best advice I could wish for. They had been helpful and empathetic to my stressful situation. Would highly recommend Spodek Law Group to anyone I meet.
Best service I ever had. Todd is absolutely class personified. You are in the safest hands with spodek. They have their clients interest in mind.
Our divorce lawyers provide superior service, and results, with a white glove touch that few others can deliver.
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