Conflict in a marriage can be one of the most difficult things a person faces. At Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner, we not only serve as competent and skillful attorneys but also strive to serve as calm and caring guides through the legal system. Attorneys at our Poughkeepsie law firm assist clients considering divorce or separation. We also help them learn about their options and identify the legal strategies that are best for them.
Effective October 12, 2010, New York State has added “irretrievable breakdown of marriage” for a period of at least six months, as a new ground, effectively permitting no-fault divorce as an additional ground for divorce. This additional ground allows one spouse to unilaterally conclude that they want out of the marriage. The “fault” grounds also continue, including adultery, abandonment or cruel and inhuman treatment.
At Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner, we understand that marriages deteriorate for many reasons – sometime for the “at fault” reasons and sometimes couples just grow apart. If they do, and if they wish to resolve their issues without going to court, or wish to avoid placing blame where it does not belong, they may consider entering into a separation agreement.
Separation agreements are complex documents that deal with all the issues related to the demise of a marriage. They address child custody, division of property and support matters. Couples enter into this agreement and live apart. After a minimum of one year has passed, a divorce may be granted on the ground that the couple has been living separately. As of October 12, 2010, they may also use the additional ground of irretrievable breakdown of the marriage for a period of at least six months as long as all other issues have been resolved, including, equitable distribution, spousal support, child support, custody, visitation, and counsel and expert fees.
Separation agreements should not be confused with postnuptial agreements. These agreements serve as a condition to remaining married, where couples lay out their respective rights and responsibilities.
While many couples reach a turning point in their marriages that often leads to divorce, couples may have other legal options. To speak with a lawyer about your options, contact Ostertag O’Leary Barrett & Faulkner by calling 845-486-4300. You may also complete our online form.