A separation agreement helps you to formalize a separation from your spouse in New York. It is not a divorce, but having a formal agreement can allow you to get some similar results as a divorce. Your marriage remains legally intact, but the agreement gives you the chance to separate assets and ensure your children are being cared for properly. That is why it is important to ensure you draft your agreement carefully.

The New York City Bar suggests treating a separation agreement similar to a settlement in a divorce. You want to cover as many aspects as possible. This includes support. If you have children, you can work out child support. You may also ask for spousal support if you have concerns over the financial difficulties after you separate. Visitation and custody should also be a part of your agreement.

You can include anything, such as who lives in the house or who gets the vehicle. Make sure that you work together on the agreement and both approve of the final draft. Creating this agreement is only between you and your spouse. The court is not involved, so it is essential that you both are happy with the final terms.

You do not have to do anything further with the agreement, even if you get back together. Living with each other again will void the document. You may also use the agreement if you later decide to divorce, which can help make that process move along more quickly. This information is for education only, and it is not legal advice.