Buying real property while separated but not divorced


In order to establish a separate residence I am planning to move out of the marital residence and purchase a home. We have drafted our separation agreement and have no disagreements. Since we are about to have our separation agreement notarized, can we include the Free Trader agreement within the separation agreement? Or does it have to be a separately notarized document?

And a follow-up question, what do I need to do with the Free Trader agreement for it to become effective?

Is there anything else, you would recommend to protect our individual ownership rights?

Thank you


Free trader language should be in the separation agreement, but if you need to complete a transaction before the separation agreement is signed, then you will have to execute a separate free trader. The agreement is filed at the register of deeds.


I am a North Carolina resident and my husband and I have not lived together in years, but we do not have a illegal separation. He purchased a home in Alabama and his girlfriend is living with him. My name is not on the home and no Free Trader Agreement was ever signed, do I still have rights to his home in Alabama. I must say that we are also buying the home I leave in, in North Carolina, although this home is much smaller and value is much lower. I am not working and he pays all the bills here and his bills there. He wants a divorce but I need to know my rights in his home in Alabama.


Perhaps Ryan can clarify, but I think advise in reply was geared toward assumption they were married and un-separated. The Free Trader gives a ultra-clear claim to property acquired after the separation but even without it, property acquired after a separation that is purchased with non-marital property (like earnings after the separation date) is generally not marital property with or without a free trader. A mortgage lender may require a free trader, which is one of the reasons they are popular.


@ Charlene1

Assets are frozen at DOS. Unless he purchased the home with marital funds, and there aren’t sufficient assets to go around, that house probably won’t be part of your ED case. You must make sure claims for alimony and ED are settled, or filed, prior to entry of divorce or those claims die.