While the decision to dissolve a marriage rarely is an easy one to make, it is a difficult process—if not impossible—to manage alone. If you are contemplating a divorce but are not certain it is the right decision at this time, you should consider seeking a legal separation agreement for the time being.
If you are wondering what is involved in coming to a legal separation agreement, you should consult with a Rochester separation agreements lawyer who can explain the law and assist you in evaluating your options. The trial-tested family attorneys at Tully Rinckey PLLC have managed numerous legal separation cases and would be happy to help you manage yours and ensure it is enforceable and attentive to your needs.
A legal separation agreement is a contract between married couples often used to determine property division. It may also cover issues of child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, division of debt and other matters that married parties living apart need addressed. It should be noted, however, that final provisions for children fall exclusively under the jurisdiction of the family courts, and it retains the right to ensure proper support for minor children.
A separation agreement may be necessary when one party to a marriage elects to move out of the marital home and establish a household elsewhere. In this case, the agreement should provide guidelines for obligations, rights, and responsibilities during the separation.
Converting a Separation Agreement into a Divorce
Simply living apart is not a legal separation. If a couple lives apart but does not enter a separation agreement, assets and debts accumulated during this time may be considered marital assets subject to future division by a court.
If you have a legal a separation agreement, you may later elect to convert it to a divorce, for which the previous agreement may be used as the foundation. There is no longer a waiting period to do so and the agreement may be converted to a no-fault divorce at any time.
Separation Agreements and Reconciliation
Separation agreements can also be useful when a couple decides they need time to repair their marriage. The agreement in this scenario might allow for support, responsibilities for bill payments, and other financial considerations during the time apart. Meanwhile, the pressure of an imminent divorce is reduced, which may give the couple the time they need to resolve their differences.
Like other types of marital agreements, separation agreements must meet certain criteria in order to be enforceable. A valid separation agreement must be in writing, signed by the parties freely and voluntarily, and duly acknowledged and notarized. In addition, the agreement should be fair to both spouses and allow for asset division and consideration of support. All the prerequisite conditions are something with which a qualified separation agreements attorney in Rochester could help.
Consult with a Rochester Separation Agreement Attorney Today
Sometimes a legal separation could be a path to reconciliation, while other times it may be a precursor to divorce. Either way, separation agreements can be helpful to couples who are experiencing marital discord.
Whether you expect to reconcile or divorce, a consultation with Tully Rinckey PLLC’s legal team may be beneficial. Since separation agreements require specific knowledge of the law to be enforceable, seek the advice of an experienced Rochester separation agreement lawyer from our firm. Get in touch today to get started on your case—we are available by phone at
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