Separation Agreements

Separation Agreements

When you and your spouse separate, it is best to enter into what is called a “Separation Agreement.”. A separation agreement is a contract between you and your spouse that can include division of the property acquired during the marriage, child custody and visitation, and spousal support. The courts can enforce the agreements if there is not compliance by one spouse. If the spouses later legally dissolve the marriage, the divorce judgment may include stipulations of the agreement contract.

In New York State, a Separation Agreement is a very detailed contract which should be prepared by a matrimonial attorney. According to the agreement, generally the spouses will agree to live separately for the rest of their lives. The agreement should contain the respective rights and duties of husband and wife with respect to the custody of children, visitation rights, support payments, distribution of property, as well as all the other issues pertaining to the marriage relationship.

Get help from a knowledgeable attorney

It is important to carefully follow certain crucial procedures and formalities or the written agreement cannot be used to qualify as a basis for divorce. If you are contemplating a separation, family law and matrimonial lawyer Ingrid Gherman can offer invaluable assistance is drafting, negotiating, and obtaining an agreement for you that will address your legal rights and concerns. To get in touch with Ingrid’s law office, call (212) 941-0767 or you can send the on-line form.

The agreement, or also referred to as a “memorandum of separation,”, is filed (with complete confidentiality) with the Clerk in the New York County where either or both spouse live. At the termination of one year agreement date, either of the parties can sue the other spouse based on the no-fault grounds.

All that must be proven to the Court is that the agreement was duly executed and acknowledged and was properly filed; that the spouses have in fact lived apart during the period of the agreement up to the time of the divorce action; and that there had been ample compliance with the separation agreement terms by the Plaintiff.

Separation Judgment

In another method of separation, a Judgment of Separation is granted by the State Supreme Court. The four “fault” grounds that are used in deciding a divorce are used as the basis of this judgment. There are, however, two differences: in the case of abandonment, the duration can be one year or less and in the case of “non-support,” it is not a ground for a judgment of divorce, although it is for a judgment of separation.

Based on one year of separation or living apart either spouse can sue for a no fault divorce a year after the Court's judgment of separation has been filed. A divorce does not doesn’t come about automatically after the year has elapsed. Action must be taken in the courts.

Get the Best Possible Terms in Your Separation Agreement

As a New York City family law attorney with high expertise handling separation agreements, Ingrid Gherman will help you achieve the best possible terms for your Separation Agreement with your spouse, including spousal support, child custody, visitation rights and division of property acquired during marriage. Ingrid can get the best feasible provisions for you in a separation agreement. This is important because the courts may include these terms if you later divorce or decide for one based on no fault. Ingrid Gherman can also get the optimum for you before the Supreme Court of the State of New York in a Judgment of Separation. Contact the law office of Ingrid Gherman (212) 941-0767 or send us the on-line form.