Separation agreements used to serve as a common, cost-effective stepping stone to divorce in New York, accounting for roughly 1 in 14 (7%) divorces granted annually. Since Oct. 12, 2010, the state has allowed spouses to divorce under the legal grounds of an irretrievable breakdown of a marriage that has existed for at least six months, also known as a “no-fault” divorce. By 2012 only 1 in 32 divorces (3.1 %) granted came after a separation by agreement, according to a Tully Rinckey PLLC analysis of New York State Department of Health vital Statistics data.
A minority of couples continue to execute separation agreements, primarily so one spouse can continue to receive health care coverage under the other spouse’s plan during the minimum one-year period prior to the divorce. Talk to an attorney to see if you should pursue a divorce via no-fault or a separation agreement.