Experienced Legal Separation Attorneys in New York City

It is never easy to make decisions about separation and divorce. Any decision involving substantial life changes should be properly pondered and planned.

A separation agreement is optional but legally binding in New York. In the settlement agreement, the married parties decide on financial matters, spousal support, custodial rights and conditions, property distribution, and other significant legal issues. This is frequently pursued if the couple is thinking about divorcing. It is also important to note that they will not be enforced unless both spouses agree to the terms.

Our New York City separation attorneys are here to assist you in that process to make sure there is minimal conflict and that your legal rights are being respected. We represent individuals throughout the New York City metropolitan area, including the lower Hudson Valley, the five boroughs—Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island—, and both counties in Long Island—Nassau and Suffolk. With countless years of collective family law experience throughout our firm, Tully Rinckey brings both the dedication and experience necessary to your situation in seeking a legal separation.

What are Separation Agreements?

Separation agreements are legally enforceable arrangements between married partners that are frequently put in place before a divorce. With the use of a legal agreement, you and your spouse can keep separate living arrangements while agreeing on child support and child custody issues, incomes, property split, and debts to guarantee that you and your spouse are on the same legal page. If one spouse does not comply with the agreement, the courts can enforce the conditions, just as they do with divorce. The agreement should spell out both couples’ particular responsibilities and rights in this area.

Common topics addressed within a separation agreement include:

  • Child support
  • Custody and parenting time
  • Spousal support
  • Financial responsibility for joint bills and debts
  • Disposition of the marital home
  • Tax refunds and deductions
  • Division of assets, including retirement accounts
  • Medical and life insurance coverage

Although most separation agreements will be legally binding, family law courts may be called upon to examine the document’s fairness in specific situations. The agreement may be declared void by the courts in circumstances of fraud or coercion.

Attention to detail is extremely important while crafting these agreements, even down to appreciating the tax effects and your future financial needs. Our attorneys understand the importance of meeting as many of your current and future life goals as possible.

How Long Must I Be Separated from My Spouse Before I Can File for Divorce?

After signing a separation agreement and living apart for at least one year, a couple can file for divorce in New York State. However, this does not mean you have to either file a divorce or get back together after a year, as couples can remain legally separated for however long they think is best.

How Long Does It Take To Put a Marriage Separation Agreement in Place?

While there is no formal timeframe put on the establishment of separation agreements, they are traditionally long and complex processes, only further exacerbated by each spouse’s unfamiliarity with New York State separation laws. These agreements must be made between you and your spouse—or lawyers. The courts will not draft the agreements for you, and they must be agreed upon and notarized before they are put into place.

How Does a Separation Affect Our Income Tax Status?

Separations can have an impact on your tax status, depending on when the court ruling declared your divorce/legal separation. The IRS will still consider you married if your separation was not final as of December 31 of that tax year. Similarly, if your divorce order was filed on December 31, you are considered unmarried for the whole year and can’t file a marital return.

Unless a court ruling declares that you are divorced or lawfully separated, you’re still married, according to the tax code. If you are separated by a court order on Dec. 31, not just living apart on your own terms, you’re no longer married. The finer points of this distinction, as well as many other laws that apply to divorced or separated taxpayers, are explained in IRS Publication 504.

Can I Date if I Am Separated from My Spouse?

While nothing is preventing you from dating when you are separated from your spouse, there are some things you should keep in mind from a financial standpoint. Following a divorce, many people form significant relationships but never marry. If you are in a committed relationship, your right to spousal support may be affected.

There is a distinction to be made between casual dating and cohabiting. Simply because you are seeing other individuals after your divorce does not mean your spousal support payments will be terminated. If a casual relationship becomes more serious, the court will consider a variety of circumstances before deciding whether or not payments should be stopped. This can range from how open they are with the new relationship and even how they refer to themselves in that relationship, if they have shared assets, their contributions to household expenses, how long they have lived together (if at all), and how long the relationship has lasted, to name a few.

After you answer these questions, the court may conclude that you and your significant other are cohabiting and in a relationship that is akin to marriage. The judge then has the ability to stop your spousal support payments in this circumstance.

Do I Need an Attorney for my Legal Separation?

There is no legal necessity that you retain the services of a family law professional in order to separate or establish a separation agreement. However, it is crucial to remember that these agreements, like divorce settlements, are legally binding and can be enforced by the courts.

When you enter into an agreement, it should be drafted with your needs in mind, and you should be aware of how it impacts you in terms of custody and child support. Our attorneys have assisted families with their specific family law matters and have practiced in many of New York City’s Family Courts, as well as those in the five boroughs—Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island—, Long Island, and Hudson Valley.

When you retain our services, you can rest assured that we have seen cases similar to yours and can give you the guidance needed to realize your goals. Also, with a team of attorneys located across New York State and access to online consultations and booking, we can assist you at any time and bill at lower rates than competing firms.

Call Our New York City Separation Agreement Lawyers Today

At Tully Rinckey, we recognize that the divorce and separation agreement process can be emotional and complex. Our family law attorneys will not only help make sure your rights are being protected but also ensure that your best interests are being upheld.

Our New York City legal separation attorneys routinely assist individuals throughout the New York City metropolitan area, Long Island, the five boroughs, and the lower Hudson Valley.

To schedule an initial consultation with a member of our experienced team, contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, at 8885294543 or info@tullylegal.com. You can also book your consultation online via the link below.

You can also use our secure Live Chat feature to connect with us regarding your matter. You will be connected with a member of our client relations team ready to assist you.

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