The Differences Between Legal Separation and a Judgement of Separation

Oct 26, 2017

If you wish to separate from a spouse or have already done so, it’s important that you consider contacting our Brooklyn family law attorneys at Levitsky Law Firm, as there are two different types of legal separations in New York that might apply to your situation. Having a better understanding of the differences between legal separation and a judgement of separation will assist you with deciding on how best to proceed.

When attempting to seek a separation in New York, a judgement of separation is a part of a legal separation and only occurs if the couple is unable to make an agreement on the terms of the separation. New York provides married couples with the ability to go through a legal separation, which occurs when each spouse makes an agreement on the separation terms, which largely include everything that’s agreed upon in a divorce.

Both spouses will need to make a separation agreement that covers everything from spousal support and division of property to child custody and visitation rights. Once agreed to and signed by both parties, the contract is then filed directly with the Clerk of the County in New York. When this agreement has been made, a petition for a no-fault divorce can be filed one year from that initial date. During that one-year period, you will live separately from your spouse and will be unable to remarry.

However, if you’re attempting to obtain a separation from a spouse but the other won’t agree to all of the terms, it’s possible for the Supreme Court of New York to grant a judgement of separation, which includes the same grounds of separation, such as adultery, abandonment, neglect of or failure to provide support for a spouse, imprisonment for at least three consecutive years, and cruel and inhumane treatment. A petition for a “no-fault” divorce can be made after the same duration as a legal separation.

If you’re seeking a legal separation, contact our Brooklyn divorce attorneys today so that we can help you obtain the best terms possible within the separation agreement.