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How To Get A Legal Separation In New York State

Do I Need A Lawyer What If I Can’t Afford One

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It is better to have a lawyer if at all possible. If you are filing for an uncontested divorce and you believe your spouse will not disagree with anything, then you may want to file without the help of a lawyer by using the uncontested divorce do-it-yourself program available on the NY State Courts website.

If you are asking for custody, child support, spousal support, or to divide up marital property or marital debt, you may want to hire a lawyer because these issues get quite complicated. Also, it is important for you to find out if your spouse has a pension, retirement account, insurance or other significant property before you decide whether to file for divorce. If you do not ask for such things in the divorce, you will give them up forever. Note: If the only contested issues involve custody or visitation of the children and there are no other financial issues or division of property, you might want to deal with custody and child support in family court before you file for divorce. Those family court orders could then be incorporated into the divorce. This may make the divorce uncontested and easier to handle.

If you are low-income, you can get an attorney appointed for you in the divorce but only to handle the custody and visitation portion of the divorce action, not the division of property or support portions. .1

How Does Legal Separation Differ From Divorce

Now that you know the basics of legal separation, lets get into legal separation vs divorce New York style.

The difference is surprisingly simple. While a legal separation is all about the separation agreement, the ultimate goal of a divorce action is obtaining a final judgment dissolving your marriage.

If you opt for legal separation, you and your separated spouse maintain your legal relationship with each other. If you go through divorce proceedings, then you are no longer legally joined, even if one spouse pays the other support or the two of you share custody.

Why You Need A Divorce Settlement Agreement

A divorce settlement agreement is an important document to have because it spells out the terms of your divorce. The divorce settlement agreement will help you and your spouse outline all the important details of divorce-related matters, such as child custody, division of property, alimony, and similar.

You can get your agreement online or hire a divorce lawyer to draft one, but both options have their downsides. If you opt for an online divorce settlement agreement, you risk having a document filled with errors. Hiring a lawyer can cost you a small fortune since they generally charge by the hour, and a lawyer can take a long time to write your settlement agreement.

You can avoid all this if you choose DoNotPay to draft this document.

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When Will Child Maintenance End

  • This includes any payments for additional costs, health insurance, and dental coverage.
  • The expenses will end when the child is no longer a financially dependent minor
  • Payments will continue indefinitely if the child is financially dependent due to illness or disability
  • Even if not a minor, payments will continue if the child is attending an educational institution full-time
  • At what age will the child maintenance end?

    years old

    • Will one party pay spousal support?
    • Yes
    • Not now, but possibly in the future
    • Never, not even after divorce
  • Will one party pay spousal support?
  • Yes
  • Never, not even after divorce
  • Who will pay spousal support?
  • Husband
  • How much will Husband pay in spousal support?

  • How To Create A Valid Separation Agreement In New York


    The process of creating a valid separation agreement begins with both spouses providing full and complete financial disclosure. Married spouses have a fiduciary obligation to be truthful and honest when entering into an agreement to separate if they dont provide full and complete financial information, then the agreement can be invalidated at a later date.

    Believing it will save time or money, some divorcing couples in New York attempt to create their own agreement without professional assistance. In New York, a separation agreement must be executed with the same formality required for a deed to be recorded, which includes having a notary sign an acknowledgment.

    Depending on the terms of your separation agreement, if at some point you decide to reconcile, only to discover that your relationship is not improving, it is important to know that temporary reconciliation could invalidate a separation agreement. An experienced family law attorney will provide a reconciliation provision, which would supersede the common law that otherwise would terminate a separation agreement in the event of reconciliation.


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    Same State Different Addresses

    You do not have to remain at the same address to fulfill your residency requirement. You can move anywhere within the state from which you are filing. The forms do not require you to list all addressees, but you should be prepared to prove where you lived during the separation in the final hearing.

    Legal Separation Attorney In Bohemia Ny

    When a couple no longer wants to continue a marriage but divorce is not an option, a legal separation may be your solution. There are many situations that call for a legal separation. Whether it is for religious or financial reasons, legal separation can help a couple move on, but in a limited way. It is important that the couple retains the quality legal support when deciding to separate in the state of New York. The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. has over 25 years of experience helping families across Long Island. When addressing such a significant decision, it is in your best interests to speak to a knowledgeable professional. To know more about legal separation, contact The Law Offices of Susan A. Kassel, P.C. for a free consultation.

    Legal Separation

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    What Are The Drawbacks Of A Legal Separation In Ny

    The main drawback is that legal separation agreement in NY is not as easily enforceable as a divorce agreement. Although the legal separation agreement is enforceable under contract laws , a legal separation agreement does not have the teeth of a Stipulation of Settlement .

    It lacks the same stringent enforcement parameters and enforcing something like child support or spousal support can be quite difficult.

    A legal separation does not sever the financial involvement of parties in the same way a divorce can, nor does it allow parties to file taxes individually .

    With a legal separation in NY, parties are still married and therefore are not free to marry other people until a divorce has been obtained.

    If The Deserter Returns: Consent

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    Your spouse has left you, spent six months chasing butterflies, and suddenly wakes up one morning and decides that you are the one after all. In good faith, your spouse shows up at your doorstep and begs you to forgive and forget. In New York, if you say yes, then all is well. But if you say no and refuse to even see or listen to your spouse, then, strange but true, your spouse could sue you for abandonment. The waiting period would start all over again beginning with the time of your refusal. Keep in mind that “good faith” is the key. If, for example, your husband deserted you and then tried to return only after realizing what the high costs of his alimony and legal fees would be, his desire to return would not necessarily be considered “good faith”.

    Also be aware that an abandonment ends when a separation agreement is signed, if a defendant is incarcerated, or if a defendant is physically unable to return. If any of these events occurs less than one year from the commencement of the abandonment, you cannot use abandonment as a ground for divorce.

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    What Is A New York Divorce Going To Cost Me Can I Afford It

    It is extremely difficult to determine how much a divorce will cost. I have seen divorces range from a few thousand dollars to over a hundred thousand dollars. Because each case has its own unique qualities , it is hard to state how much it will cost.

    I think the real question in most cases is Can I afford to not get a divorce? With New York now becoming the last state in the country to enact No-Fault divorce, divorces are pretty routine and will likely be granted in most cases, if not all.

    Therefore, the ultimate question is what will be the end result? Given this landscape, it is important to have an attorney that is experienced and practices in the area of family and matrimonial law to assist you in protecting your rights throughout the divorce process.

    It is much more difficult to try and undue an agreement reached that may never have happened if you had an attorney from the start. You could very well have to end up living with an unjust result.

    Does New York Have Residency Requirements For Legal Separation

    Yes and no. There is no residency requirement if, at the time of filing, both you and your spouse are residents of New York State and the grounds for the separation arose in New York.

    Otherwise, you must meet one of these two residency requirements:

  • At least 1 of you has been living in New York state continuously for at least 2 years before you file for separation.
  • At least 1 of you has been living in New York state continuously for at least 1 year before filing and:
    • …you got married in New York state
    • …you lived in New York state when you were married
    • …the reason you want to separate happened in New York state

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    How Much For A Divorce Certificate And How Long Should You Wait

    The cost of applying for a divorce certificate varies from one state to another. For example, New York City charges $30 normally and $45 if you want priority handling. The other part that will affect your overall expenses is the shipping or method you choose to request the divorce certificate with.

    On average, divorce certificates take about two weeks for processing, much like other records kept by the bureau of vital records. But again, this time can be longer or shorter depending on the number of requests the office where you’re applying is receiving.

    How Much Will Wife Pay In Spousal Support

    Contested Divorce Flowchart
  • 0.00
  • When will Husband make first payment?

  • When will Wife make first payment?

  • Note: Some months do not have 29 days. The legal language will specify that the payments will be due at the end of the month instead.MM slash DD slash YYYYNote: Some months do not have 29 days. The legal language will specify that the payments will be due at the end of the month instead.
  • When will Husband stop making payments?
  • When Wife remarries or enters a common-law relationship
  • Payments will continue indefinitely
  • When will Wife stop making payments?
  • When Husband remarries or enters a common-law relationship
  • Payments will continue indefinitely
  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
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    Filing A Summons And Complaint For Judgment Of Separation

  • 1Understand a Summons and Complaint for Judgment of Separation. If you and your spouse cannot reach a Separation Agreement, you can ask the NY Supreme Court for a Judgment of Separation by filing a complaint for divorce and issuing a summons upon your spouse to appear in court . When you file the Summons and Complaint with the court, you are asking the court to decide upon the terms and conditions of your separation and for the judge to enter his/her Judgment of Separation.XResearch source A judge may grant a Judgment of Separation on any one of the five following grounds for fault of your spouse:XResearch source
  • Cruel and inhuman treatment by defendant that endangers the physical or mental well-being of the complaining spouse to such an extent that it would be unsafe or improper for the spouses to live together
  • Abandonment of the complaining spouse by the other spouse without cause or consent
  • Neglect or refusal to provide for the support of the complaining spouse where the defending spouse is responsible for such support under the Family Court Act
  • Adultery within five years of starting the lawsuit for a Judgment of Separation. Adultery must be without the consent of the complaining spouse
  • Confinement of the defending spouse in prison for three or more consecutive years after the marriage began
  • The couple was married in the state, either spouse is a New York resident when the action is filed, and has been residing in the state for at least one year before filing
  • How Much Does A Legal Separation Cost In New York

    The filing fee when you submit a separation agreement to the county clerk is $210, but additional expenses may arise in the process of negotiating said separation agreement.

    Thus, the answer to this question is very similar to that of another question: how much does a divorce cost in New York? For instance, hiring a divorce lawyer is almost always more expensive than mediation.

    If youre interested in learning about the most economical divorce method on the market, click here: Online Divorce New York.

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    Legal Separation In Ny How Is It Different From Divorce

    The main difference between legal separation in NY and divorce in NY is that couples technically remain marriedreconciling with your spouse is possible without requiring a new marriage license and other paperwork.

    However, a legal separation agreement is similar to a divorce agreement in many aspects, and a legal separation agreement in NY can be just as comprehensive and detailed as the Stipulation of Settlement required for NY divorces.

    While the agreements are comparable , acquiring a legal separation in NY does not require the numerous forms, papers and fees of a NY divorce.

    A legal separation should not be entered into lightly, but all the aspects of a legal separation can be determined through mediation just as though a divorce were being mediated. In fact, if couples later decide to divorce, the filed separation agreement can serve as the agreement for divorce.

    What Should I Do If My Spouse Files For Divorce Against Me

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    If you are served with divorce papers but do not agree with any of the terms that your spouse is asking for in the divorce, you have a limited amount of time to file your own papers in response to the divorce petition. If you are served with a summons with notice, you can answer in the case by filing and serving upon the other party a notice of appearance and demand for complaint. If you are served with a summons and verified complaint, you may answer in the case by filing and serving a verified answer and counter-claim, in which you can ask for whatever relief you want in the divorce. For specific advice on how to serve a notice of appearance and/or on how to fill out and serve a verified answer and counterclaim, especially if you are not sure which one to file, please consult with a lawyer. There are many steps to proper service, including knowing how to serve the papers to the opposing party, how to fill out and file an affidavit of service and what papers need to be filed with the court. It is generally best to get legal advice to be sure that everything is done properly.

    As the divorce progresses, there will be a series of court dates where you will have to appear in court in order to deal with the issues within the divorce. We strongly recommend getting a lawyer to represent you since contested divorces can be quite complicated and complex. Go to our page for legal referrals.

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    Can I Go Back To Being Married Or Move Forward With A Divorce If I Get A Legal Separation In Ny

    Yes, both are possible.

    The main benefit of obtaining a legal separation in NY is that its not finalif you are able to reconcile with your spouse, you can have the legal separation agreement revoked and return to the marriage.

    Alternatively, if you decide moving forward with the divorce is right for you, you can petition the court for a full divorce.

    If you and your spouse remain separated and live apart for over a year, either you or your spouse can petition the court for a full divorce based on the length of the separation, using separation as the grounds for your divorce.

    There are multiple grounds for divorce in NY, so couples wishing to move forward with a divorce before the requisite time for the grounds of separation can opt to rely on another cause.

    As NY offers the no-fault option of an irretrievable breakdown of the marital relationship for a period of 6 months or longer, which parties must simply stipulate to as accurate, almost all NY mediation couples use that as their grounds for divorce.

    How To File For Separation In New York

    This article was co-authored by Clinton M. Sandvick, JD, PhD. Clinton M. Sandvick worked as a civil litigator in California for over 7 years. He received his JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1998 and his PhD in American History from the University of Oregon in 2013. This article has been viewed 193,141 times.

    Couples who are unsure if they wish to remain married might consider a legal separation. A legal separation allows the parties to live apart, divide their debts and assets, and establish custody and support while remaining married.XResearch source The major reason for seeking a legal separation is to protect you from becoming liable for your spouses future debts. However, you remain legally married and unable to marry another. If you live in New York and want to file for a legal separation, you can pursue one of two avenues: filing a Separation Agreement or filing a Summons to your spouse and a Complaint for Judgment of Separation with the court.

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