In New York State, couples are given the option to become legally separated if they are, for one reason or another, hesitant to file for divorce. While some couples may choose to simply live apart, this does not constitute a legal separation. Rather, they must either enter into a legal separation agreement or seek a judgment of separation from the court—which is an option that is seldom used. A separation agreement defines the legal rights and obligations between two married people who have agreed to live separate and apart. Often, separation agreements include provisions for child custody, child support, spousal maintenance and property division. Although the parties are legally separated, they are still legally married. After entering into a separation agreement, the couple can either choose to reconcile, remain legally separated or subsequently become divorced.
Entering into a legal separation can be beneficial for a number of reasons, depending on the couple's specific needs. For example, some spouses opt for a legal separation because they:
- Wish to retain certain medical benefits;
- Have hope for reconciliation in the future;
- Need time apart from their spouse; and/or
- Wish to uphold certain religious beliefs.
If you are hesitant to move forward with a divorce or you have questions about the advantages of becoming legally separated in New York State, it may be in your best interest to discuss your options with a Suffolk County divorce lawyer from Rubenfeld Law Firm. Filing for divorce is a decision that should not be taken lightly, so we encourage you to let our firm guide you through these turbulent times. Simply put, there is no reason why you should have to face the stress and anxiety of marital trouble alone when the experienced legal team at Rubenfeld Law Firm is here to help. All you have to do is contact our firm today at (631) 777-7200 or fill out a free case evaluation form online to retain the compassionate legal representation that you deserve.