Separation Agreements NYC and Long Island
Attorneys Who Prepare Separation Agreements
The best way to work out the issues in a divorce is by the parties amicably negotiating through their attorneys a separation agreement. Separation agreements are handled out of court. Usually the parties meet on several occasions with their respective attorneys present to discuss the various issues in the divorce. The issues dealt with in a separation agreement involve child support, spousal maintenance, custody of the children, visitation with the children, equitable distribution of marital property, division of assets, who gets the home, who pays for college and all other issues involving the marital relationship and the children.
A separation agreement (or settlement agreement) if properly prepared and executed is legally binding. Most separation agreements deal with over 30 issues involving the parties to a divorce.
Separation agreements must be in writing, signed by the parties and acknowledged before a notary public at the end. New York has very specific requirements as to the wording and material that must be included in a separation agreement. The separation agreement should settle all issues between spouses. The parties can live pursuant to the terms of the separation agreement for as long as they want. After one year either party to a separation agreement may bring an action to convert the separation agreement into a divorce. This type of divorce is called a conversion divorce.
Perspective on Separation Agreements
One of our goals in assisting our clients in negotiating and drafting of separation agreements is to lay a firm foundation so they will have a stable personal and economic future. We focus on the long term issues and solutions to these issues facing both husbands and wives while negotiating separation agreements. We maintain our poise. We don’t become mired in the contention between the parties. We remain focused on our client’s long term goals!
Separation Agreements Are Voluntary
Both parties must be in agreement that the way they wish to move forward with a separation agreement. Separation agreements deal with the respective rights, duties and responsibilities of both the husband and wife concerning issues involving the custody of their children, where the children will live, visitation with their children, child support payments, medical insurance, dental expenses, distribution of the property in the marriage, who lives in the marital residence, college expenses for their children and all other matters relating to the marital relationship.
Separation Agreements Should Be Drafted and Reviewed By Lawyers
Individuals having marital difficulties should not try to draft these documents on their own. Separation Agreements are technical documents that are fact and law specific and include terms of art. In addition, there are very specific statutory and case law requirements concerning the proper formal execution of these documents. Mis-drafting these documents or improper execution can lead to their being set aside and declared invalid by the court. The wife thought she had custody of her young daughter. In the end she was wrong and misinterpreted the wording of the agreement. The agreement gave the husband custody of the daughter. My office had a case several years ago where we represented a party who had drafted a separation agreement with her spouse. The wife spent over $20,000 in legal fees to set aside the separation agreement and obtain custody of her daughter. Don’t let this happen to you!
Our law firm has been negotiating and drafting separation agreements for our clients, for more than 35 years. We also assist our clients in the planning and drafting of the Stipulations of Settlement for divorce cases. Feel free to call us for a free consultation at 1-800-344-6431; 718-350-2802 and 516-561-6645.
Tags: conflict of laws, marital property division, long island, child support, legal documents, prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, settlement agreement, assets, marriage, lawyer, divorce, law, family
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