I left the marital home 18 months ago. At that time the stbx and I agreed to cancel joint credit cards etc and I have been paying my own bills etc ever since. We didnt do a formal separation agreement. He is retired military, and I know I can request a portion of his retirement, but am not interested in alimony above and beyond that. Other than our house, and a few mutual funds, we really dont have much to divide in the equitable distribution of marital assets… there are a few things in the house that I would want, but other than that, not much else. If the he and I can come to an agreement on the final division of assets, do we really need to do a separation agreement??? Since we have been living apart for over year, can we go ahead and file for divorce without the need to wait another year of “separation?”
You could, in theory, sign a separation agreement today and file for divorce tomorrow w/o any issues (based on what you’ve stated here.)
The separation clock starts ticking when you start living separately and apart, not when you sign a separation agreement.
A separation agreement probably isn’t a bad idea, just to make sure everything is spelled out, and you don’t have a “he-said-she-said” issue. If the split is as amicable as you say it is (and it stays that way!) it shouldn’t be particularly expensive or painful to get a separation agreement drawn up.
Yes, you do need a separation agreement in order to ensure you have outlined your agreement regarding the house, mutual funds and retirement accounts in an enforceable document. If you do not have a separation agreement you must include a claim for equitable distribution in your claim for divorce in order to preserve your right to have the court distribute the martial property in the even you end up not being able to agree. In any event you will need to preserve ED in order to have the proper court documents entered to divide the retirement accounts.