Not all married couples are ready to pull out the plug on their marriage
and move forward with a divorce. In such cases, a
separation agreement might be the better fit, allowing you and your spouse to live separate
and apart while potentially trying to repair the marriage. This agreement
is something that both you and your spouse would sign without involving
the court. Much like a divorce, however, you and your spouse will have
to hash out a number of important issues, including child support, child
custody and visitation, spousal maintenance, and other key issues.
For some, a separation agreement is simply a stepping stone toward divorce.
If you and your spouse can establish that you lived separate and apart
under a written separation agreement and that you have complied with the
provisions set forth in the agreement for more than a year, you could
obtain a judgment for divorce based on this alone. The separation agreement
can also be submitted as part of a
divorce decree should you or your spouse decide to seek a no-fault divorce.
Generally, separation agreements are considered valid, though you or your
spouse might be able to challenge it for certain reasons, such as:
You did not have separate attorneys: No matter how well you and your spouse might get along, it is critical
that you always have separate attorneys, especially if you are entering
into any kind of agreement. Without separate representation, a court will
view your separation agreement with suspect and will examine it closely
for unfairness. Ultimately, it might not be enforceable.
Fraud: If either you or your spouse fail to disclose all assets, or if either
of you hides assets, the court might not enforce your separation agreement.
Coercion or duress: If it is believed that either you or your spouse exerted pressure to get
the other to sign the separation agreement, or not enough time was given
for a spouse to make a sound decision, the court might not enforce the
Unfair or inequitable: If it appears that the separation agreement favors one spouse overwhelmingly,
leaving the other with nothing, the court might not enforce it on the
grounds that it is unconscionable and unenforceable.
Why Choose a Legal Separation Over a Divorce?
Some married couples are not ready to dissolve their marriage yet and have
hopes of a future reconciliation. As such, they choose not to end their
marriage, but opt for a separation agreement instead. This allows a spouse
to remain covered under the other’s health insurance policy since
they are still technically married. If you believe that there is a chance
your marriage could still work, this could be the best option for you,
though it is always wisest to consult with a family law attorney first
to review all of your goals, your options, their implications, and what
would suit you most.
Separation Agreement Attorney in Long Island
If you and your spouse are interested in continuing to work on your relationship,
but wish to live apart, a separation agreement might be what you need
at this time. Review your situation with a skilled
family law attorney at Friedman & Friedman, Attorneys at Law. We are dedicated
to representing clients and families in the Long Island area and New York
City areas. Call today!
For the representation you deserve, contact our firm at
(516) 688-0088 to schedule an initial consultation with a knowledgeable member of our