Obstacles to Securing a Legal Separation in New York

Parties may agree to a legal separation in New York by drawing up their own written agreement for the court.  This process is preferable for a number of reasons because it allows the parties to determine how things will work while they are separated.  Eventually, this agreement may later be incorporated into a divorce agreement.  However, there are factors that can impede a legal separation in New York, including:

Timing

It is not uncommon for one spouse to want a divorce and the other spouse to still be trying to actively save the marriage.  Accepting a separation agreement can be difficult for the party who is still holding on to the marriage as he or she may see it as moving toward an unwanted divorce.  However, a separation agreement can provide clarity while the parties contemplate the next stage of their relationship.

Power Imbalance

Another hindrance to accepting a separation agreement is any perceived imbalance of power between the parties.  One spouse may earn more than the other spouse.  A spouse may have a more prominent role in the community.  One of the surest ways to balance the power dynamics is for each spouse to have independent legal counsel to ensure that their rights are protected.

Communication Problems

Couples who are moving toward separation may have a history of poor communication.  This may make it difficult for them to communicate together.  A buffer through the use of lawyers or a mediator can often help overcome this issue.