No Such Thing as DIY Legal Separation in Bayshore NY

Marriage is a complicated relationship, often starting in passion and excitement and ending in what can appear to be cold and ruthless maneuvering. While many couples manage to divorce in a civil and even affectionate manner, some couples reach the end of civility and simply cannot stand to remain under the same roof.

However, one of the greatest misconceptions is what, exactly, constitutes legal separation in Bayshore NY or elsewhere in the state. Many couples are under the misconception that there is a “DIY” option for legal separation. Similar to misconceptions about the polar opposite, the “common law” marriage, legal separation in Bayshore NY cannot be attained in a DIY, fait accompli manner.

Physical Separation Not Relevant

The biggest misconception is the belief that simple physical separation – living in separate homes – is sufficient to qualify as legally separated. No matter how independent and separate your lives are, physical separation has no impact on your legal status as a married couple. This also applies to finances and other common aspects of married lives: No amount of literal separation makes any difference. Legal separation in Bayshore, NY can only be declared by the courts.

Two Paths

There are two legitimate and effective paths to legal separation:

  • The couple can negotiate, prepare, and submit a separation agreement to the court for approval.
  • One or both of the spouses can petition the court to issue a judgment of legal separation.

In both cases, an attorney is usually consulted to prepare the language of the agreement or to prepare and properly file the forms an ensure the court will have no reason to reject the agreement, although a mutual agreement can be prepared and submitted by the couple without benefit of an attorney.