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Legal Separation and Separate Maintenance in Long Island

Legal Separation and Separate Maintenance in Long Island

Posted By Meyers Law Group, P.C. || 17-Jan-2014

If a married couple wants breathing space, if they are uncertain about getting a divorce, or if for insurance reasons they do not want a divorce, then legal separation can be what they need. While legal separation may involve creating an agreement on child custody, property division, and support payments, it is not the same as a divorce, mainly because a couple is still legally married, despite living apart. For this reason, getting a legal separation is also an option for couples who do not want to get a divorce for religious reasons.

Even if you think that a separation is only going to be temporary, having a written agreement is vital to protecting your financial status, and to avoid being accused of abandonment. With a written separation agreement, you can decide on what to do with your joint accounts, credit cards, etc., and you can create a parenting plan. If you and your spouse cannot reach an agreement on certain matters, then a judge can decide the terms of your separation for you.

One of the issues before you in a legal separation is the matter of separate maintenance. While this is essentially alimony, it is not the same because the couple is still married. Still, how this separate maintenance is decided is akin to the process for deciding whether or not there will spousal support, and if so, how much. Among other factors, how long the marriage lasted before the separation and each spouse's earning capacity are considered. In general, this means the spouse with a higher income supports the other spouse, temporarily or for however long the separation lasts.

If you want to learn more about what it takes to get a legal separation in New York, then do not hesitate to contact a Long Island family lawyer from our firm. With the Meyers Law Group, P.C., you can know that you are working with experienced legal professionals who are committed to helping families resolve any issues related to nuptial agreements, child custody, separation, divorce, and more.