I understand that if I leave the marital home prior to having a separation agreement entered that it could be considered abandonment. Is there something that me and my wife could sign prior to the separation agreement being finalized that would allow me to leave the marital home and it would not be considered abandonment?

Yes sometimes in these situations we have our clients and their spouses sign a “non-abandonment” agreement (so long as both parties are willing to do so. This is simply a contract between the spouses that states that the spouses may physically separate, and further that one spouse leave the marital residence without fear of being charged by the other spouse in divorce proceedings with abandonment of his or her spouse or children.