Troy Separation Agreements Lawyer
If you and your spouse want some time apart from each other but are not ready to commit to a divorce, New York state law allows you to legally separate until you are able to resolve any issues or decide that dissolving your marriage is the best option. In order to legally separate, you and your spouse will need to first draft a separation agreement that addresses how certain marriage-related matters will be handled in the short term.
Depending on the circumstances, many components of a valid separation agreement can be factored into an eventual divorce decree, so it can be important to work with a seasoned marital agreements attorney when drafting one to ensure your rights and interests are respected. Once retained, a Troy separation agreements lawyer could help you achieve the best resolution possible to this often contentious and complicated process. This should leave you with the time and space you need to decide what your future will look like.
Creating a Comprehensive Separation Agreement
It is important to emphasize that legal separation is not the same thing as divorce, nor is it a legally enforced prerequisite to divorce in the state of New York. Accordingly, two people who draft and sign a separation agreement together are still considered legally married under state law, which means their separation agreement should specifically detail how matters that might come up in a divorce should be managed while they remain separated.
On a basic level, a separation agreement should establish who will maintain control of, and responsibility for, separate assets and debts. It should also determine how marital property will be divided in the short term—for example, who gets to stay in a jointly owned residence—and in the event of a divorce. Likewise, a separation agreement can set out what amount of spousal maintenance one spouse should provide to the other during their separation.
Perhaps most notably, a separation agreement can establish how a couple will split child custody, visitation, and/or child support obligations while separated. These are all decisions that courts have the sole authority to make during divorces. During a confidential consultation, a Troy separation agreements attorney could discuss what issues a couple could work into their contract and provide crucial assistance throughout the drafting process.
What Could Make a Separation Agreement Unenforceable?
If two separated spouses decide they want to proceed with a divorce, they can convert their separation agreement into a divorce agreement by living separately and apart for at least one year, and going through a few additional legal procedures. However, a court overseeing this conversion—or the enforcement of any element of a separation agreement outside that context—may declare the agreement to be invalid and unenforceable if any of the following are true:
- The agreement is unfair or inequitable to such a degree that the court considers it “unconscionable”
- One or both parties signed the agreement under duress
- One or both parties failed to honestly disclose all their financial assets and property interests during the drafting process
- The two spouses involved did not retain separate legal counsel while drafting the agreement, creating a greater risk that the agreement is unfair in some way
Guidance from a skilled separation agreements lawyer in Troy can be crucial to minimizing the risk that these or any other problems get in the way of enforcing a contract later on.
Speak with a Troy Separation Agreements Attorney Today
Separating from your spouse for any length of time is a big decision, and it can have various consequences not only for your relationship but for numerous financial and legal concerns incumbent to your marriage. Addressing all these possible sticking points in a separation agreement can be difficult without support from a legal representative who has experience drafting enforceable contracts of this nature.
A seasoned Troy separation agreements attorney could be the ally you need to preserve your future prospects through this emotionally exhausting process. Call today to learn more.