A Separation agreement, also called separate maintenance, is used when parties wish to live separately and have the legal issues of their marriage resolved while not actually dissolving the marriage. There are several reasons why some people may prefer a separation as opposed to a divorce. They may not want a divorce for personal or religious reasons, they may want to stay on a family health insurance plan, they may want to keep marital membership in civic or community organizations, or they may not meet New York’s jurisdiction requirements to obtain a divorce.
A separation action requires that a valid marriage exists and a bonafide state of separation. The separation acts like a divorce in many ways and it can resolve many of the same issues including division of property, alimony, child custody, and child support.