For some couples, it can make sense to file for legal separation rather than divorce. At the family law firm of Needle | Cuda, we help New Yorkers understand their rights when they legally separate and assist them throughout the process of negotiating and preparing a separation agreement. Our firm, which is located in Brewster, serves people throughout the five boroughs and Putnam, Dutchess and Westchester counties.
Legal separation in New York does not merely involve living apart in separate residences. Legal separation involves entering into a legally binding contract in which you agree to live separate and apart and stipulate terms that can be enforced by the court. Both spouses must agree to be legally separated. They then must prepare a separation agreement — often with the help of their attorneys— and have it notarized and filed with the court. Legal separation can last indefinitely or can end whenever the parties want it to. Your legal separation can also be used as grounds for divorce, and you might choose to carry your separation terms over to the divorce decree, but you must be legally separated for at least one year and the filing party must have complied with all terms of the agreement. Our knowledgeable lawyers can answer all of your questions if you are considering legal separation.
Much like a divorce decree, a separation agreement covers the decisions that must be made when parties are no longer living together and one household becomes two. These agreements describe terms of child custody and visitation, child support payments, how assets and debts will be treated, whether a spouse will live in the family home, whether spousal support will be paid and how much, and any other concerns the parties need addressed. When you trust us to help you negotiate your agreement, we will talk to you in detail and ask you the questions we need to completely understand your situation and develop a comprehensive agreement that meets your needs and protects your rights now and into the future.
There are various reasons married couples may legally separate rather than divorce. The decision to remain married but file for legal separation can be due to economic concerns, religious beliefs, to retain healthcare coverage provided by a spouse’s employer or because the parties do not get along but are hoping to reconcile. The decision is a very personal one for every couple and no two situations are the same. If you are considering legal separation, our experienced lawyers can explain the pros and cons for your unique relationship and help you determine whether it is the right option for your circumstances.
At Needle | Cuda in Brewster, our seasoned family lawyers advise New York clients on the legal separation process and help them in preparing separation agreements that protect their rights and interests. Call 203-557-9500 or contact us online to arrange a consultation about your matter.