HELPING PEOPLE ACROSS LONG ISLAND WITH LEGAL SEPARATION
Many people who consider filing for divorce ask the questions, “What is legal separation” and “How does it differ from a divorce?” Those who are going through marital difficulties should answer these questions and determine if separation is a good fit. At Capetola & Divins, P.C., our knowledgeable lawyers help clients with both legal separation and divorce filings.
You can speak with one of our matrimonial and family law attorneys by contacting our Williston Park office. We assist clients in Long Island and New York City with every aspect of their divorce or family law case.
UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE
Divorce is the act of legally dissolving a marriage – breaking the union between a married couple and doing away with many of the couple’s responsibilities toward each other. It is a legal process that requires a court sanction.
Annulment is much rarer. Obtaining an annulment is the act of legally declaring a marriage null and void, as though it had never existed. An annulment may take place when one spouse entered the marriage under false pretenses – for example, if a husband was already legally married to another wife or if one spouse was untruthful about something that, had the other spouse known about it, he or she would not have consented to enter marriage. Other situations might be included, such as if one or both parties were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the marriage took place.
Legal separation is different from both divorce and annulment. It’s sometimes called “divorce a mensa et thoro” (Latin for “divorce from bed-and-board”), “judicial separation” or “separate maintenance.” In simple terms, legal separation occurs when the couple goes to court and receives an order stating that they are no longer living as a married couple. It allows the spouses to live apart as though they are not married even though they are still legally married. If the couple moves beyond legal separation to divorce, issues such as alimony, division of property, child custody and so on must still be worked out.
WHY CHOOSE LEGAL SEPARATION?
Why do some couples choose legal separation instead of a divorce? Sometimes it is the next step between physical separation and divorce, although it is not a required step. Sometimes legal separation is an option for couples who have decided not to seek a divorce or do not believe in divorce, especially for religious reasons. Legal separation is also done in the hope that reconciliation will follow. Whatever the reason, it is crucial that you get the help of an attorney familiar with New York family law topics when pursuing separation.
SPEAK NOW WITH AN EXPERIENCED NEW YORK FAMILY LAW ATTORNEY
The information given here only skims the surface. Like any step taken toward divorce, legal separation is a serious matter. Before proceeding with it, you should find out all you can and be sure that you know your rights. At Capetola & Divins, P.C., we offer competent and compassionate legal counsel that has your best interests at heart.