Divorce Or Separation: What’s Right For You?

The decision to separate from a spouse can be difficult even when you know it is the right thing to do. I have handled simple uncontested divorce cases and the most complex divorce cases as well as legal separation agreements. Even though I am the kind of attorney who tries to settle or negotiate your case in a way that avoids costly litigation, I am more than prepared to take a case to trial and litigate it from beginning to end.

Both divorce and separation agreements are as unique as the individuals involved. I sit down with you to discuss your priorities and wishes. At that point, we create a strategy that most effectively achieves those goals. This can be done separately or in conjunction with your spouse and his or her lawyer. With more than a decade of experience handling dozens of divorce and legal separations, I effectively protect your legal rights to best ensure that your agreement is both fair and binding.

What To Consider In Divorce

There are many difficult decisions that must be made when drafting a divorce agreement. These include, but by no means are limited to, the following areas:

  • Contested or uncontested: Contested is expensive and ends up in court, but it is sometimes necessary. Uncontested is a more collaborative process.
  • Child support and custody plan: The No.1 issue for many parents is child custody and there are many variations. There also should be a discussion of how to handle the children's health care coverage.

  • Spousal maintenance: Also known as alimony, there is a common formula for determining the amount.
  • Dividing marital assets: This can be a contentious area of negotiation that involves money, possessions, retirement plans and property, but also can address debt obligations.

What Does Legal Separation Mean?

The general concept of separation is often the first step toward filing for divorce. Many married couples separate before divorce or perhaps use this agreement with the idea that some time apart will help them sort issues out and work toward a reconciliation. Whereas many couples may informally separate or move out, "legal separation" is specific and the court must approve and order legal separation.

Why Legal Separation Works For Some

There are some aspects of legal separation that some couples consider desirable:

  • The New York and federal tax codes for marriage still applies.
  • It is easier to legally reconcile (all they need to do is submit a request).
  • Child custody is the same as in marriage.
  • Property ownership and finances are the same as marriage.
  • Legal separation order greatly simplifies the divorce process.
  • Child support is legally formalized.
  • It conforms with religious beliefs.

Call Me With Your Divorce And Legal Separation Questions

Perhaps you are unsure what the best approach is for you and your marital situation. I will sit down and discuss your options in a free initial consultation. Call my office in Garden City at 516-350-5074 or contact me online.