There are a variety of reasons why a married couple in New York would choose to legally separate rather than divorce. They may have religious or cultural beliefs that prohibit divorce, but they no longer want to stay in an unhappy marriage. Or they may feel like they just need some cooling time apart to decide whether divorce is right for them. When this happens, a couple can enter into a separation agreement that will spell out their rights and obligations while they are separated but not divorced.
What is a separation agreement?
A separation agreement is not issued by a court. Rather, it is a document voluntarily written and signed by the parties. A separation agreement gives couples the ability to spend time apart without having to go through the formal divorce process, which they may not be ready to do. It gives couples time to work out their issues. Separation agreements can address child support, alimony, child custody and property division. It can outline the rights and obligations of both parties both while separated and after if they decide to divorce.
When can a spouse challenge a separation agreement?
Although separation agreements are presumed to be valid, they may be contested under certain circumstances. First, each party to a separation agreement must have their own attorney. Second, both parties to a separation agreement must be completely honest about their assets. Third, a separation agreement cannot be signed under coercion or duress. Finally, separation agreements cannot be unfair or inequitable.
Learn more about separation agreements
Separation agreements can be useful for couples who want some time apart but do not necessarily want to divorce. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on family law may be a useful resource for those who want to learn more about this topic.