In New York, people who are struggling in their marriage might not want to immediately move forward with a divorce. Often, they try to live apart before making the final decision as to whether the marriage can be salvaged. For some, the time apart if effective and they reconcile. In other situations, they will decide to take the next step and divorce.
A legal separation is useful in that it will detail how various family law concerns are handled. That includes spousal maintenance, child support, visitation and property. There is a difference between the details of the legal separation and an outright divorce, so it is important to understand the law.
Key factors in divorcing after a legal separation
There are seven grounds for divorce in New York. Among the basics are the marriage being irretrievably broken, adultery, abandonment and abuse. Included in the grounds is a divorce after a legal separation. To have a legal separation the parties will have an agreement.
When pursuing a divorce after a legal separation, they can do so after having lived apart for a minimum of one year. The parties must show that they adhered to the separation agreement for this to be the grounds for divorce.
In some instances, the couple decides that the marriage cannot be saved before the year has elapsed. They can still get a divorce, but other grounds will need to be cited. In general, the easiest way to get a divorce is to simply say that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Even if the agreements from the legal separation were followed and there were no problems during that time, the divorce decree will need to address support, custody, visitation and property division. Couples might accept the terms of the separation agreement for the divorce. They could be able to negotiate and settle the case without rancor with minimal changes to the separation agreement. If there is acrimony, then it might need to go to court for significant modifications.
With a divorce after a legal separation, having assistance can be crucial
People are frequently under the mistaken impression that getting divorced after a legal separation is simply a matter of making the agreement permanent. That can be done. However, there could be lingering factors that must be addressed.
The sides might not be satisfied with the terms of the legal separation and do not want them made permanent. Regardless of the individual challenges, it is beneficial to have guidance throughout the process to be fully protected.