Legal Separation in New York FAQs

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Individuals considering getting a legal separation in New York may have some questions about this process and how it differs from divorce.  Some common questions about legal separation in New York


What Are the Legal Grounds for Separation?

Just like with divorce, there are certain legal grounds that must exist.  Grounds include abandonment, failure to provide support, imprisonment, adultery, abandonment or cruel and inhuman treatment.

How Can I Get a Legal Separation?

A spouse can get a legal separation by an agreement with the other spouse that corresponds with the law or by a judgment of separation from the court.

What Are the Advantages of Separation over Divorce?

Some spouses choose to obtain a legal separation over a divorce because they do not want to finalize the severance of their relationship.  They may be able to retain certain benefits that they would not be entitled to through a divorce, such as benefits under a health insurance policy.

What Are the Disadvantages of a Separation over Divorce?

A legal separation agreement is generally more difficult to prove than not complying with a divorce order.  This requires a separate trial to show how the spouse breached the contract, which can take several months or more.  With a divorce decree, the spouse can seek a contempt of court and seeking enforcement action such as an income deduction order or the seizure of certain property. 

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