Divorce and Separation In New York
The decision to end a marriage is often a difficult one. The changes that occur with a divorce may leave one or both spouses uncertain if they are actually ready to finalize their relationship. Therefore, some couples opt for a legal separation. This allows the couple to experience life apart for a period of time or as an actual alternative to a divorce.
A legal separation can be accomplished either through a written and notarized agreement or by requesting a judgment of separation from the court. The agreement will cover such issues as, maintenance (alimony), child support, parenting time and the equitable distribution of marital assets. A legal separation does not dissolve the marriage and although you would be living apart you would still be legally married.
Besides the emotional stress of divorce, a couple may choose for a legal separation because while legally separated, health care coverage can continue. Once divorced the health care coverage ceases. Some other possible reasons for not getting a divorce right away may be the requirement that a couple be married for at least 10 years before a spouse can collect for certain Social Security benefits and the Uniformed Services Former Spouse Protection Act also, requires at least 10 years of marriage before receiving certain benefits.
There are many issues to consider when deciding whether you want to have a written legal separation agreement or whether you want to divorce right away. Either way, our office is dedicated in helping each spouse move forward with their individual lives.