Separation Agreements in New York
One of the ways to obtain a divorce in New York is to live apart pursuant to a separation agreement. Sometimes this option makes the most sense to a couple. The parties work out the terms of the separation and include them in a formal agreement. Other times the parties may choose not to divorce but to legally separate. The parties remain married but live apart pursuant to the terms of their separation agreement for the rest of their lives.
Legal separation has a number of benefits such as the following:
- A separation may be the best path because of religious reasons that may not allow for a divorce.
- Separation may make sense for tax purposes since the couple can still file jointly for their tax returns.
- Both parties can maintain medical insurance benefits if they separate instead of divorce.
- Remaining married for 10 years can allow Social Security benefits to be awarded to a spouse.
- A separation agreement can be used for a divorce in the future.
- Formal legal separation may give the couple time to reconsider whether divorce is the answer.
A separation agreement includes the same terms as a divorce decree. Child custody, support, distribution of assets and debts, mothers' rights, fathers' rights, obligations of both parties, and any other matters of importance are incorporated into a formal written document. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you decide if a legal separation is the right path for you.