Even if you have a lawyer, it can be extremely tempting to work with your ex on the side. If you feel tempted to do so remotely, call your lawyer! Make sure your lawyer knows you are trying to explore the colony and make sure you understand what to say and what not to say. As soon as both parties are content with the text of the agreement, they must communicate the agreement to their respective lawyers – or, if necessary, to any lawyer – to discuss the impact of the agreement on their legal rights and the possibilities open to them if they do not sign the agreement. This is called independent legal advice. This phase is crucial for three reasons: if you plan to continue your separation, the separation agreement should ideally define the final financial agreement that will be submitted to the court if the divorce or dissolution has finally passed. Here you decide who will keep what and a time frame for collecting personal belongings. They also agree to take care of the items until they are recovered. A separation agreement should not be filed in court, but may be submitted to the court in the event of a dispute. As with pre-marriage and post-marriage agreements, a separation agreement may not be applicable if one party is not fully disclosed or the other party is obliged to enter into the agreement.
If and if the parties formally submit the divorce, the terms of the separation agreement may be included in a settlement agreement, but the parties have the option of amending the terms if necessary. Although New York law now provides for a no-fault divorce, if you or your spouse can prove that you lived separately and separated under a written separation agreement and have complied with the terms of that separation agreement for more than a year, you can obtain a divorce judgment on that basis alone. A faultless divorce requires only an affidavit that the marriage has been irretrievably crushed for six months or more. The separation agreement can also be filed as part of a divorce decision if you or your spouse decides to file for divorce because of disorder, instead of waiting until the year necessary to file for divorce based on the fact that they lived separately and separately as part of a separation agreement.