How to Tell Your Attorney You Want to Change Divorce to Legal Separation 

You may have chosen to change your divorce to a legal separation for psychological or religious reasons. A legal separation can last forever, or for up to a year, after which either party can ask a court to convert it to a divorce. A separation agreement is traditionally the mirror image of a divorce agreement and can resolve issues relating to children from the marriage, custody, parental access, college education, and more. 

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Changing a divorce to a legal separation in New York 

A legal separation is a good way to avoid the costs and inconveniences of a divorce. While divorce is a final option, a legal separation can minimize the financial burden of a split. New York divorce laws require that a couple prove irretrievably broken after six months. Other grounds for divorce include adultery, inhumane treatment, abandonment, and three years of imprisonment for one spouse. This is by far the easiest way to end a marriage. 

Steps to take 

When you’re going through a divorce, you may be wondering what you should do next. There are many things to consider, from whether to pursue therapy or seek counseling. After all, your divorce isn’t about giving up everything that made your marriage so successful. It’s important to remember that divorce doesn’t mean the end of your financial security. Make several copies of important financial documents, including your marriage license, tax returns, and bank statements. You should also keep your health insurance because the division of property isn’t permanent. 

Common grounds for a legal separation 

When you tell your attorney that you want to change your divorce from dissolution to legal separation, they will look at the circumstances surrounding the decision. There are three common grounds for divorce. Abandonment means the spouse has left the home without intent to return. This is rarely grounds for a divorce, but it can occur. Abandonment must last for a year or more. In addition, the partner has to be physically or mentally unfit to live together. 

Getting a legal separation in New York 

If you and your spouse have decided to separate, it is possible to get a legal separation in New York. A legal separation allows you and your partner to agree on certain terms, such as child custody, visitation rights, and spousal support. If the separation agreement is legally binding, you can include it in your divorce judgment. However, if you and your spouse aren’t ready to separate, you may want to go through a therapeutic separation first. 

Costs of a legal separation in New York 

When you tell your attorney you want to switch your divorce to a legal separation, they will need to change your filing status to a separate action. This action is similar to a divorce, but there are some differences. The first thing you need to do is purchase an index number from the county clerk’s office. You can use this number in your divorce case later. 

Protecting your assets during a legal separation 

One of the best ways to protect your assets during a legal separation is to gather all of your financial records before separating. Make copies of everything. You should also download all of the records from any shared online accounts. Your spouse may change passwords and codes once they learn of the separation. These are just a few of the many ways to protect your assets. 

Preparing for a legal separation 

When you’re considering changing your divorce from a contested one to a legal separation, there are several important steps you should take before your attorney even begins the case. While separation can be an emotional roller coaster, it can also put your family under tremendous financial and psychological strain. By preparing ahead of time, you can minimize the stress and ensure your rights are protected.