Long Island Legal Separation Lawyers
Family & Divorce Attorney Serving Long Island
Just because a married couple decides not to live together does not mean that their separation is legally recognized. A legal separation, also known as a “judicial separation,” “separate maintenance,” or “divorce a mensa et thoro,” must be either a judgment of the Court or a notarized written agreement that authorizes spouses to live separately for a period of time. The terms of the legal separation will usually address important issues such as:
- Child custody and visitation schedules
- Child support
- Spousal support
- Distribution of marital and separate property (separation judgment does not address property)
Filing for legal separation does not automatically lead to divorce, but it can regarded as a step toward divorce in many cases. Spouses may still have hope for reconciliation, for example, and may choose to go through a legal separation before filing for divorce so that they can test the terms of their arrangement and relationship before taking permanent legal action. In New York, if spouses live apart for a period of one year, under a judgment of separation or a filed separation agreement in proper form, they may file for a "no-fault" divorce.
Considering a legal separation?
We offer complimentary case evaluations to discuss your options.
Drafting a Separation Agreement
When spouses decide to legally separate, they may choose to draft a written separation agreement, or a spouse may petition for a judgment of separation from a New York court. Many spouses opt to draft a separation agreement because it allows them to make important, mutual decisions without the hassle or interference of the court. A separation agreement is considered a detailed contract that addresses the rights and responsibilities of each spouse pertaining to matters such as child custody, visitation, spousal support, and property. In the event that the separation does end in a divorce, it is important to have these kids of agreements already taken care of.
Because these decisions can greatly change each spouse's way of life, it is in their best interests to obtain separate attorneys who are experienced in matrimonial law. By hiring a family law attorney, each spouse will receive the counsel and consideration they need to make well-informed legal decisions. An attorney can also mediate through conflicts and ensure the protection of the family’s best interests. By working with a family law attorney in Long Island, spouses can address their individual and family needs while making effective decisions for their personal well-being.
Contact Our Firm for More Information
At Wisselman & Associates, we understand that legal and family law issues can carry significant emotional and personal challenges. We urge you to consider working with an experienced and compassionate attorney so that your case can be resolved smoothly and in a timely manner. When you work with our team, you can feel confident knowing that we will do everything in our power to help you achieve a peaceable resolution to your legal matter without having to resort to expensive litigation.
For more information on legal separation or any other family law issues, please contact a Long Island family law attorney from Wisselman & Associates by calling (516) 406-8500 to set up a free consultation.