Photo Of Attorney Jane K. Cristal

Protecting Your Rights And Best Interests

In Divorce And Other Family Law Matters

The Benefits Of Separation Agreements

Some couples may choose not to sever their actual lawful marital bond but decide instead to enter into a separation agreement and remain legally separated for a period of at least one year before converting the agreement into a divorce (called a “conversion divorce”). Separation agreements and marital stipulations (that settle an action for divorce) cover the same legal issues. That is, the separation agreement addresses terms and conditions concerning child custody, child support, spousal maintenance, property distribution and all other issues.

A Nassau County divorce lawyer can assist in this important process, with insightful legal guidance. Some couples may need time to determine whether to file for divorce, but in the interim will need a legal agreement to ensure that the vital matters of finances, living arrangements, and the children’s needs are managed during their period of separation. In the event the parties reconcile at some point after having signed the separation agreement, they may enter into a modification agreement or declare the separation agreement of no force or effect; each of which would be drafted by the parties’ respective counsel to clarify the issues and implications of continuing in the marriage.

Separation Agreements And Divorce In Nassau County

The process of becoming legally separated is generally a cooperative one. It requires both parties to be willing to address all the important legal issues and reach a reasonable and practical agreement that will be written into a contract, known as the separation agreement. Financial disclosure is an integral part of the process, just as it is in the divorce process. Accordingly, it is expected that each party will be honest in presenting his or her information about financial holdings and assets of every kind and nature.

In the event one party refuses to disclose, as an example, every aspect of business ownership, it becomes the burden of the other spouse to determine whether to waive his or her rights to discover the worth or fair market value of the entity or to seek court intervention to obtain such information before deciding to enter into a negotiated settlement or seek a judicial determination. A husband and wife who are undecided about their future together may decide to enter into a separation agreement as an interim step before finalizing a divorce. Sometimes the couple may elect to stay legally separated so that the health insurance continues as a family plan.

Contact a Nassau County divorce attorney at Jane K. Cristal, P.C., for insightful legal counsel and guidance when seeking a separation agreement.