What is a legal separation?
It is an arrangement where husband and wife are still legally married but agree to live separately, following a court order.
When should I consider a separation over a divorce
Consider a separation instead of a divorce when you and your spouse are feeling uncertain or have doubts about getting a divorce.
If I am separated rather than divorced, can I still retain benefits from my spouse’s health care plan?
Yes. Especially when it’s under your spouse’s name.
What are some benefits of getting a separation instead of a divorce?
- In a separation agreement you and your spouse remain married. Remaining married for ten years or more qualifies couples for particular social security benefits.
- If you get a divorce, your taxes have to be filed singly so it may be better to avoid the divorce.
- The separation might give you time to settle your differences with your spouse so that if you had previously been considering a divorce you no longer find it necessary. It may also give you time to accept the divorce and decide to go through with it.
Are the issues addressed in a separation the same as the issues addressed during a divorce.
Yes. If after a separation the couple decides to get a divorce, the judge will likely apply the same agreements and terms of the separation to the divorce using the logic that if they worked for the separation they will work for the divorce as well.
Should we create agreements that we can accept long term or short term (assuming we will not be separated for long).
You should create agreements that you can live with for a long time because a judge will likely apply those same agreements to your divorce, if you and your spouse choose to get a divorce.
Can I remarry if my spouse and I are separated?
No. In order to remarry you would need a divorce.
Why should I get a lawyer if I am getting a legal separation?
A separation is just as important as a divorce. It requires a legal contract that is binding. It is important to have a lawyer especially when you and your spouse disagree on particular issues, like who will get custody of the children.
What form would I need to file for my separation in NYS?
You would need to file a Separation Agreement, which should be prepared by an attorney, and purchase an index number from the county clerk which costs around $210.
Does abandonment, as grounds for a separation, need go be for a year or more?
Abandonment as grounds for a separation can be for less than a year.