New York recognizes both divorce and separation. If you’re unsure of the differences or if you need legal guidance, keep reading. We discuss those differences and how a divorce attorney can help guide you through a difficult situation.

In New York, a married couple who no longer wishes to remain together might consider filing for a separation before they file for divorce. They have the option of either or both, depending on their unique situation. But what are the differences between the two? Like most legal issues, the details are where the distinctions can be found.

The two biggest details you should know about a New York separation is that it’s a written agreement between you and your spouse that does not involve the court and it can be an important tool for couples who are unsure of whether a divorce is something they want to pursue. This is usually due to challenges or problems that seem impossible to overcome. For some couples, a separation can help them see things in a different perspective, allows for some time and distance and ultimately, if things do work out, the couple has not spent a lot of money on a divorce neither ultimately wanted.

A separation agreement is a written agreement that you and your spouse voluntarily sign, without involving the court. It is, however, treated as a legal document, complete with the terms spelled out. If the couple choose to remain married later, they simply come back together. If divorce is ultimately chosen as the solution, then the agreement they previously devised can be used to formulate the legal divorce.

Another benefit of a legal separation is there are no time constraints. It is not uncommon to hear couples say they wonder if had there been more time between the time the divorce was filed and the time it became final, if things might have had a different ending. With the separation, you can truly take as much time as necessary to ensure the decision the two of you make is right.

Don’t forget the fact that a legal separation allows you to keep contractual obligations in place, such as finances and even healthcare and insurance.

It may be that ultimately, divorce is the answer. But then again, a bit of time apart can truly shift perspectives and provide the facts in a much different light. The fact that you have options should provide some peace of mind and if divorce is the answer, you are at least better prepared for what it means. If you have children, they too have had a bit of a grace period to get used to the two different addresses Mom and Dad have. There will be custody issues, child support, possible maintenance payments and a host of other decisions to make. Protect your rights.

To learn more about legal separations in New York or if you have decided to file for divorce, contact the divorce lawyers in our offices today to learn more about your legal rights and obligations.