Separation & Annulment Lawyers in Long Island NY
Separation or Annulment
Divorce, separation, and annulment are three options that are distinctly different from each other. Many clients call the law firm with the mistaken impression that they need to get a separation to get divorced in New York. Married couples can get divorced without getting a separation, but a separation, or an annulment may work out much better to achieve the overall goals of the client. With the help of a Long Island family law attorney at the Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC, we'll make sure that you're able to make an educated decision no matter which legal remedy you choose. Some information about separation and annulment is listed below.
Splitting from someone you have been close to or had an intimate relationship with is by no means an easy situation.
For over two decades our firm has served the needs of couples throughout Long Island and the surrounding region. Above all, we are a client focused firm, dedicated to helping you navigate the stressful moments in your family's life. Whether you are considering a separation from your partner or an annulment, let our in-depth experience and nuanced approach to family law help you make the proper decision. Contact us at (516) 227-5353 to schedule a comprehensive review of your options.
How is Separation Different from Divorce?
Simply put, in the eyes of New York State, separation means you are technically still married. All the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage are still intact. However, you no longer live together. This is a huge distinction from divorce, which dissolves the marriage outright. In fact, many jurisdictions view separation as a precursor to divorce; New York does not subscribe to such a view.
Now, that raises the obvious question – why would anyone want to separate and not divorce entirely? If the relationship isn't working, what good is a separation? The following are just some of the reasons that couples opt for a separation over an immediate divorce; all of which are quite valid:
Sometimes putting some physical space between one another can work wonders for a relationship. A legal separation allows couples to explore their lives outside of the marriage, while still keeping their legal status as a couple. Should it finally be decided that they are better off apart than they are together, the couple can file for a legal divorce. This process will move quite quickly through the courts, as a separation has already been awarded and will help expedite the process.
Continued Benefits Basis
Marriage comes with a number of legal perks. From tax breaks to medical insurance and other extended benefits, married couples stand to lose a number of these bonuses in the fallout of divorce. With that in mind, many couples choose to file for a legal separation. As mentioned before, legal separation will allow the couple to live separately, but retain all the rights, responsibilities, and bonuses that comes with their marriage.
If a couple's religion forbids the act of divorce, separation may be the only choice available. This way both partners will be able to live separately according to their doctrine, but remain married.
Avoiding Litigation Basis
There are times will a spouse will refuse to consent to a divorce but are willing to consent to a separation. It can be much more cost effective to settle all the terms of the marriage, other than the status of being married, by a separation agreement. After one year, either party can file for a divorce and the terms of the separation agreement will become the terms of the divorce, usually without the need for any litigation.
There are two ways to get a legal separation; either by a written separation agreement, or by a judgment of separation issued by the court after a trial. A written separation agreement will usually address all of the issues that would be resolved in a divorce settlement, such as custody, child support, maintenance/spousal support (alimony), equitable distribution of assets and debts, and all the other ancillary issues. The marriage, however, will remain intact. If the parties cannot agree to sign a separation agreement, a party can file for a judgment of separation, and if the matter is not settled, the court can grant the judgment of separation after a trial on the issues of the marriage.
As stated above, after one year of being separated, either with a separation agreement or a judgment of separation, either party can file for a divorce based on the separation, in what in New York is called a conversion divorce. All of the terms of the separation agreement or judgment of separation become the terms for the divorce.
So What is an Annulment?
In the case of divorce and separation, there is the foregone conclusion that the marriage in question was legitimate. There was actually a marriage to dissolve or put on hold with a separation. This isn't the case with annulments. Despite the confusion with some religious actions, an annulment effectively says the marriage was never legal or verified, and as a result it's declared void from the get-go.
What can lead to an annulment? The following are a few examples:
- One or both individuals were impaired, mentally ill, emotionally incapable, incapacitated, or intoxicated at the time of the ceremony.
- The marriage was illegal from the start (under age, incestuous, or bigamous relationships).
- There was some type of fraud, deception, or coercion that would have otherwise called off the marriage had it been known, such as – unable to have sexual relations, consent was given by force or duress, or the marriage was solemnized by an unqualified official.
- The individuals involved were both underage at the time and failed to receive consent from both sets of parents and a judge.
Your Nassau County Family Law Firm
Splitting from someone you have been close to or had an intimate relationship with is by no means an easy situation. Regardless of how the union came to be or where you both may be headed, there is the present moment to consider. The Law Offices of Paul A. Boronow, PC understands the heavy burden that accompanies these decisions and the confusion they can cause. We are here to help make sense of the legal process, represent your best interests, and ensure your future is heading in a meaningful direction.
Give our office a call today to set up a consultation. Our number is (516) 227-5353.
- Annulment Blogs
- Separation Blogs
- Void vs. Voidable Marriages in New York: What’s the Difference?
- What Goes Into a New York Separation Agreement?
- What You Need to Know About New York Legal Separation Agreements
More questions about Separation & Annulment?
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