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Separation Agreements

New York City Separation Attorneys Advise You at Every Step

Professional matrimonial law office helping clients since 2001

Divorce is not for everyone. Fortunately, there are options. Depending on your situation, legal separation may be a more appropriate choice than traditional divorce. As experienced attorneys, we at Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld, LLP can assess your divorce case, explain your options and advise you as to which method best suits your situation. Known for our skills as negotiators, we are also highly experienced divorce mediators and trial attorneys prepared to fight aggressively for your rights.

What is legal separation?

In New York, being legally separated means living apart from your spouse while remaining married. While you reside in different locations, a court order details the rights and obligations of both parties. A skilled matrimonial and family law attorney can help you draft a comprehensive separation agreement that can easily be converted into a divorce agreement if you and your spouse wish to dissolve your marriage at a later time.

Following are some of the issues that may be covered in a separation agreement:

  • Division of assets and property
  • Child custody
  • Child support
  • Visitation
  • Spousal maintenance/alimony

Reasons for choosing separation

Divorce and separation differ mainly in that a divorce legally ends your marriage and separation does not. So why would you want to choose separation over divorce? For some New York City couples, divorce is too final.

Others choose separation for the following reasons:

  • To take a break from the marriage — Some couples use separation to take a break from their marriage and assess the situation.
  • For religious or moral reasons — If you have religious or moral beliefs that conflict with divorce, legal separation may be ideal for you.
  • To retain benefits — Some spouses seek separation and remain legally married to keep medical or Social Security benefits.

How to file for a legal separation in NYC

In New York City, if you wish to separate from your spouse, start with a knowledgeable lawyer. We can help you and your spouse thoroughly cover issues such as distribution of assets, child custody and alimony.  We then draft a detailed separation agreement. Next, your lawyer can file the necessary paperwork with the clerk at the county where you or your spouse resides.

Separation judgments

When a separation agreement is not an option, you might wish to obtain a separation judgment. With this less common option, one partner initiates separation proceedings by establishing fault on grounds similar to those for divorce. Either partner may sue for a no-fault divorce one year after the court files the judgment of separation.

Legal separation lawyer helps you get a fresh start

Never draft the conditions for a legal separation without the guidance of a skilled attorney. The experienced lawyers at Bernfeld, DeMatteo & Bernfeld, LLP can help you through every step of the separation process and protect your interests with a separation agreement or judgment. Call us at 646-880-4689 or contact us online to set up a free initial consultation with a skilled attorney.