Legal Separation and Separation Agreements

Syracuse Separation Attorney Assists Spouses Who Seek to Live Apart

New York family lawyer works to develop suitable separation agreements

Relationships can be very complicated, and spouses who no longer wish to live together might have reasons for remaining married, especially remaining on their spouses’ health insurance plan. New York does give residents the ability to separate legally without divorcing. At Bombardo Law Office, P.C. in Syracuse, I am a Central New York family law attorney with 27 years of experience who is committed to finding effective, personalized solutions for my clients. If you are considering legal separation, I can explain the process and help you negotiate a fair separation agreement that addresses issues such as custody, child support, property division and spousal maintenance.

What is separation?

Some couples simply execute a notarized separation agreement that can be enforced by the courts, but even if you obtain an order of separation, your marriage is still legal and in force. Unlike divorced New York residents, separated spouses cannot marry someone else. Separation also should not be confused with annulment, which is a determination that a marriage was invalid from the outset due to fraud, duress or illegality. A separation agreement must be entered into voluntarily by both parties and covers various issues, including:

  • Custody and visitation
  • Spousal maintenance
  • Child support
  • Division of, and access to, marital assets

As an accomplished divorce and family law attorney, I can help you negotiate a separation agreement that is tailored to your situation and needs. Should you eventually decide to terminate your marriage, the terms of the agreement can form the basis of your divorce judgment.

Why you might choose separation

There are various reasons why married people who are not getting along might opt for separation instead of divorce, such as:

  • Religious or moral beliefs — Husbands and wives who believe that divorce violates their religious beliefs or moral principles might opt to negotiate a separation agreement instead of dissolving their marriage. The stress of the marriage dissolution process might also encourage spouses to find an alternative arrangement.
  • Shared finances and benefits — Marriage is not just an emotional bond, but a legal relationship where spouses share assets and financial responsibilities. Ending a long-term marriage or one in which one or both spouses have significant medical issues could create a serious hardship. Legal separation does not change someone’s marriage status, so they may remain covered by their spouse’s insurance policies and own property jointly like other married couples.
  • Possibility of reconciliation — Sometimes, couples believe they need a break to ease tension in the marriage but might still have hope of reuniting at some point. In these situations, creating a separation agreement that can be dissolved by mutual consent of the parties is a much simpler process than divorcing and then remarrying if a reconciliation occurs. It can also provide verification of support from the other spouse, which can then be used in application for a mortgage and other types of credit.

No matter what is motivating you to consider separation, my firm offers comprehensive legal guidance so that you can start the next phase of your life with confidence.

Contact a Syracuse family lawyer regarding the legal separation process

Bombardo Law Office, P.C. in Syracuse handles a full range of family law matters for Central New York clients, including the negotiation of separation agreements between spouses. To make an appointment for a free consultation, please call 315-800-4002 or contact me online.

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