How To File For Separation In New York State

If you are not sure if divorce is the right path for you and your spouse, then getting a separation might be a more suitable solution. A legal separation resolves all the same issues that are addressed in a divorce, but you and your spouse will still be married.

In New York, you have two options to achieve legal separation from your spouse – through an Action for Separation or with a Separation Agreement.

Action for Separation

If you want to become legally separated in New York through the court system, then you must first initiate a procedure known as an “Action for Separation.” This involves starting a court case not unlike a divorce case, which is based on whatever “grounds,” or reasons, you have for wanting to separate from your spouse.

Your case will then proceed through court, in which you and your spouse will have to negotiate and resolve many of the same issues you would find in a typical divorce case. At the end of your separation trial, you will receive a final Judgment of Separation.

Separation Agreement

While a court proceeding is one way to achieving separation, a more preferred path is to enter into a Separation Agreement with your spouse. A Separation Agreement and an Action for Separation both have the same goals – to resolve complex issues like custody and visitation, child and/or spousal support (alimony), and asset distribution, but a Separation Agreement delivers the same legally binding result without involving the courts. Once reached, a Separation Agreement is a valid contract; thus, the spouses are legally obligated to abide by its terms.

Separation Agreements are becoming more popular because they save couples a lot of time and money. Court cases move slowly and there is a lot of waiting involved, and that is time that you will be billed for by your attorney. The longer your case lasts, the higher your legal fees will climb. Alternatively, when you and your spouse negotiate a Separation Agreement, you have greater control over the process and most importantly, its timetable.

And, if you and your spouse eventually decide that divorce is the right solution, then you can simply incorporate your Separation Agreement into your divorce judgement, making the entire process move along quicker and easier.

Let a Mediator Help Guide Your Separation Agreement to a Satisfactory Result

If you are in the process of separating from your spouse and you want to reach a Separation Agreement without taking on the added expense of going through the court system, then mediation can help you reach a calmer and more reasoned resolution that works for both you and your spouse.

Contact Mediation Professionals of Long Island today for compassionate, experienced mediation services and one of our skilled mediators will help you and your spouse negotiate a fair and equitable Separation Agreement.

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