Separation Agreement Enforcement
If one spouse does not abide by the separation agreement, that person has broken a legal contract. Since separation agreements are enforceable in Syracuse courts, the spouse who disregarded the separation agreement may prove liable to a financial judgement depending on the situation.
However, divorce judgements are generally easier to enforce than separation agreements. This is something to keep in mind if you are wavering about the idea of separation versus divorce or concerned that your spouse may ignore the terms of an agreement.
Divorce Conversion and Reconciliation
If you and your legally separated spouse do ultimately decide to divorce, your separation agreement can form the basis for a so-called “conversion divorce.” New York Domestic Relations Law §170.5 allows a couple to file for divorce if they live apart due to a properly executed legal separation for at least one year. That being said, a conversion divorce is not automatic, and even if it is uncontested and based on the conversion of a properly executed written separation agreement, an action for divorce must be taken by one spouse against the other.
Sometimes, though, couples just need breathing room to work out their problems. If you and your spouse do want to work on reconciliation, your separation agreement can address that possibility. This may involve wording on how the separation agreement could be voided if you both decide to actively resume your marriage.