Separation Agreements

Getting A Divorce As Separated Spouses

Before the New York State Assembly passed our new no-fault divorce law, many people avoided the need to prove grounds for divorce through the expedient of legal separation, with or without an agreement. Under the former law, living apart for one year or longer — known as constructive abandonment in the statutory language — was one of the recognized grounds for divorce in our state. Many people found that a period of separation prior to divorce eliminated any possibility that the divorce itself would be contested, and that a written separation agreement could stand as the basis of the divorce settlement.

Under the new statute legal separation retains even greater viability as a way to avoid some of the complications of divorce. Separated spouses today can get a divorce after just three months as opposed to the year’s separation that was previously required.

Call Our New York Matrimonial Lawyers at 718-222-3155.

Contact Figeroux & Associates to learn how experienced matrimonial attorneys can guide you through the choice between divorce and separation, the best ways to document support and child custody stipulations during the separation period, or even the benefits of separation for those who have good reasons to stay at least legally married while maintaining separate residences.
Deciding whether to divorce or separate can be difficult, especially when the spouses have opposing views on the matter. Reasons that vary from religious convictions to health insurance arrangements or survivors’ benefits could influence a person to prefer separation. On the other hand, the possibility that the matters resolved in an open-ended separation agreement could be reopened and disputed in a later divorce case suggests that dissolving the marriage sooner than later might be a better approach. The knowledgeable family law attorneys at Figeroux & Associates can help you make the right decision for your situation by explaining the legal considerations and working through the practical factors. For people who probably will end up divorcing, drafting the separation agreement with an eventual divorce in mind is usually the most efficient approach, and makes obtaining the divorce decree that much easier and less contentious.

A separation agreement should cover the same topics that a divorce settlement would, property and debt division, child custody, visitation, child support and alimony Ideally, the separation agreement will be comprehensive and fair enough that it can serve as the basis for a divorce settlement on all issues. If not, it can be adjusted during the separation period while the spouses identify and narrow the issues they find it difficult to agree upon. To learn more about the ways careful attention to legal separation and a well-crafted separation agreement can benefit you and protect your interests whether or not you eventually divorce, contact the  New York separation agreement lawyers of Figeroux & Associates in Brooklyn.


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