Saratoga Springs Separation Agreements Lawyer
Sometimes a person needs to temporarily step back from their marriage. Legal separation gives couples a chance to live apart without officially divorcing or incurring marital obligations. During this time, they may work with a seasoned marital agreements attorney to execute a separation contract governing financial and property rights.
A Saratoga Springs separation agreements lawyer might be able to help you understand the benefits of a trial separation and negotiate the terms of your time apart. Entering a separation contract now might allow you to work on your marriage without worrying about incurring joint liabilities or liquidating assets. A legal professional could also help you turn a separation settlement into a finalized divorce agreement or marital contract.
The Importance of Executing Separation Contracts in Saratoga Springs
Marriage joins two lives personally and legally. Spouses might incur joint debts, share equal rights to bank accounts, or own property as tenants by the entirety. Living apart while contemplating divorce does not typically sever the legal obligations and rights associated with marriage unless spouses work with an attorney to file for legal separation under New York Domestic Relations Law § 200.
Couples must generally file a duly executed separation contract with the family court during legal separation proceedings. However, they may also draft private separation contracts without requesting judicial intervention. Independent legal counsel in Saratoga Springs might help spouses execute separation agreements setting forth the terms of the parties’ living arrangements, property rights, parental responsibilities, and financial obligations during a period of separation.
Subjects to Address in a Legal Separation Agreement
Couples electing to undergo separation should work with an attorney to draft individualized agreements based on their unique situation. Generally, spouses should include all of the following applicable provisions in their separation contact:
- Spousal support (alimony)
- Child support and add-ons, such as payment for tuition, extracurricular activities, and other common expenses
- Child custody and visitation rights (subject to judicial review)
- Living arrangements
- Responsibility for maintaining the marital home and paying related expenses
- Counseling, communication, and reconciliation provisions
- Preliminary distribution of property including the right to use or make deposits in shared accounts
- Management of a joint business
As a general rule, separation agreements automatically expire if couples begin living together again with the intent to reconcile. An experienced attorney could help a couple include specialized termination and revocation provisions in their separation agreement to avoid unintentionally voiding their contract.
Executing a Valid Separation Agreement in Saratoga Springs
Seeking legal counsel might prevent spouses from unwittingly drafting unlawful separation settlements. Since spouses remain married while legally separated, they may include certain provisions related to child custody, support, and visitation in the contract. However, a judge could invalidate agreements deemed not to be in the child’s best interest and must generally approve any child-related provisions before incorporating this agreement into a divorce decree.
Each spouse should retain independent legal advice before signing a written and notarized separation contract. Taking these additional steps often wards off claims than an agreement was executed involuntarily or under duress. Lastly, an attorney-mediator may work with spouses to ensure the equality and fairness of separation agreements.
Connect with a Saratoga Springs Separation Agreements Attorney
Executing a valid separation contact now may expedite the divorce process if you decide to dissolve your marriage. Further, these agreements may simply expire if you resume marital relations. Drafting a separation contract now might save you from incurring liability, protect your assets, and reinforce your parental rights while separated.
A thoughtful separation agreements lawyer could help you execute a legally enforceable contract that could form the basis of a divorce settlement. Call now to learn more about how a Saratoga Springs separation agreements attorney could help,