Last Updated on
A legal separation is a less stressful solution to marital problems than divorce. Divorce is a permanent dissolution of a marriage, but whether you legally separate or divorce, you and your spouse have decisions to make. You must decide how you two will provide for your children separately and when you’ll be together. You must figure out how to divide your assets and debts acquired during your marriage. You and your spouse can’t possibly know all the complex issues which need to be resolved in order to achieve a legal separation. Our AV distinguished legal separation advocate has more than 40 years of experience helping clients through the process of legal separation or divorce.
queens Legal Separation
The New York City Bar Association explains that a legal separation is not just living apart. A legal separation gives you and your spouse an opportunity to solve your marital problems, divide your responsibilities, and decide what is in the best interest of your children. A separation agreement is a legally binding signed contract with clearly delineated responsibilities for each spouse. Your legal separation agreement can be notarized separately by each party and filed in your county clerk’s office for a fixed-rate filing fee. Our Queens legal separation attorneys offer the following services:
- Dispute resolution
- Civil litigation
Child custody is either agreed upon by both parents who are parties to the separation, awarded through the juvenile court, or decided by the judge. If you choose sole custody, one parent makes all the decisions regarding your children’s home, school, medical care, and general well-being. The non-custodial parent is granted specific visitation hours with the children apart from the custodial parent. Joint custody is a time sharing and decision-making arrangement. Your legal separation agreement details how and when your children will spend time with each parent. When custody is joint, both of you make decisions for your children and you will raise your children together.
- Monetary support
- Health insurance
- Medical bills
Financial child support is paid to the custodial parent and the amount is clearly set forth in the sole custody separation agreement. Financial child support is based on the number of children in your family, the number of days the children spend with you and the number of days the children spend with your spouse, and the relative income of each parent. Child support may be determined by agreement of both parents or set by the court. Child support may be temporary or final.
Alimony may be temporary or permanent at the discretion of the judge or by agreement of the parties to help the lower socioeconomic status spouse obtain an education, possibly get a college degree, or train for and maintain necessary employment. Temporary alimony may be given when the children are young to contribute to the economic security of your children. Permanent alimony is only for women who served their families for many years as homemakers, providing child care, and serving the spouse who earned the marital income.
Equitable distribution means fair distribution of the marital property not precisely equal. Distribution of marital assets can be mediated by our Queens legal separation attorney. Working with your spouse and agreeing on the division of your marital assets and debts will save you money, reduce appearances in court, and cost less in legal fees and court costs. You may be able to sell marital property to pay off debt. Separation and divorce attorneys can stop creditor’s litigation, save your business, and your family home. Your wife is not interested in your business equipment, but she wants to keep the family home for the children. Maybe you can get out of debt, advance your business, and continue to maintain your house as part of your child support. Our experienced legal separation attorneys can help you agree on simple or complex:
Spodek Legal Separation Attorneys
Call our multilingual Spodek legal separation lawyer in our Queens, New York, office where our family law attorneys can mediate, negotiate, or litigate domestic violence issues, child custody, child support, and the division of marital property, assets, and debts while you are in the process of legally separating. One year after filing the notarized separation agreement, either you or your spouse can petition the county court for divorce. We in our Queens family law firm work hard for our clients. Your initial consultation is free.
Separation in law is a situation where couples live apart according to publication by Dartmouth College. The act of separation may have serious consequences to one’s legal rights. Couples may agree to go their separate ways without involving third parties. Problems usually come up when one of them fail to meet his or her obligations. There would be no legal mechanism to enforce such an agreement in such circumstances. That is why it is important to consult a qualified Queens’ family attorney before initiating a separation. The process of starting a legal separation involves filing a separation agreement in court. Nothing will be legally binding until the court approves the legal separation at this stage.
This form of family division is a viable option for couples who are still looking for ways of reconciliation or contemplating a permanent split. A qualified Queens county divorce lawyer will come in handy in advising on the possible legal options that one can take to ensure his or her rights are protected. A family attorney will clarify on various legal matters that include children support, child custody, alimony, property division, and other financial benefits of legal separations such as tax incentives. A legal separation ensures that everyone approves his or her obligations in court.
Why you need to Work with a Legal Separation Lawyer
A special legal separation attorney will specifically help in the process of drafting a legally binding agreement. This is according to New York State Unified Court System. This is useful when you are in a complicated case where it involves debts or minor children. A separation agreement is a written contract stipulating the terms of living separate ways. The contract has several technical terms that must be covered before it can be legally binding. A poorly worded agreement can lead you into a big mess. The separation agreement will only become legally binding when both parties append their signatures to the document. This means that it is enforceable if either party violates any of the terms.
Couples should note that they cannot backdate the agreement if they had separated before signing it. The separation will be active from the time both parties signed and notarized the agreement. It is best to work with legal separation lawyers from the onset of the separation process to ensure that all legal loopholes or misinterpretations may be cleared before they stall the process.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a viable solution if the parties to the dispute cannot agree on specific terms in the agreement. The best dispute resolution center in Queens is the New York Collaborative Family Law Center. It was opened in 2009, and it is one of the best dispute resolutions centers in the US. It provides a platform for both couples to iron out their differences. The whole process may also involve bringing other conflict resolutions experts on board.
Reconciling after Separation
The separation agreement will become void if you and your partner decide to live together again with the intent to reconcile after separating. You may decide to include a provision that the contract will not be void if you live together again. New York City Bar recommends that the agreement be voided through a second agreement stating that the initial separation agreement has become invalid.
Divorcing after Separation
Partners can also decide to divorce after separation. You should have lived separately for at least one year after the separation agreement came to force. You will initiate the process through your legal separation lawyer by filing a conversion. The initial filing fee for separation agreement will be transferred to your divorce file if it is in the same county. You may ask the judge to incorporate all the terms of the separation agreement into your divorce case under special circumstances. This will remove the obstacle in the enforcement of such terms in the event of disagreement later on. It is not guaranteed that all judges will accept such adjustments. Some judges may prefer that the agreement has unique wording.
The way your separation agreement is worded will largely influence how your divorce situation will turn out. Separation agreement ceases to exist as an independent document if you go for a divorce in case your agreement has a provision of becoming part of the divorce case (merger). Your separation agreement is worded in such a way that it will remain a separate and enforceable document even after the divorce (survival). The courts may not modify the provisions of the separation agreement related to child support if this is the situation. Another alternative that some qualified separation lawyers can opt for is a hybrid model. Looking for a lawyer is the best way of handling a divorce in a careful manner.