We’re starting on the process - two weeks ago my wife said it was over. We’re both still living at home, and ideally want it to be as amicable as possible. We will be creating a separation agreement since we have some financial issues and a child.
Right now we are going through the attic, dividing stuff up, donating/trashing what neither of us wants. So far there have been no major disagreements, and hopefully there are none.
- Is it OK to divide stuff up as to ‘who wants it’, versus value? We will specify that in the SA (husband gets X, Y, Z, and all boxes labeled 'husband", etc).
This is preparatory to selling the house.
Since we have to be separated for a year and a day to actually file, if we wait till the house is sold for either or both of us to move out, I’m worried that will be even more stressful than doing this in stages. And of course that extends that year further down the road.
Assuming neither party wants to ‘abandon’, and both will continue working on the house and helping pay the bills (and a non-abandonment agreement is signed), can one of us pursue housing elsewhere? Either by renting an apartment or trying to buy a house.
If one person has moved out, and the other is still in the house, but both continue working on the house (repairs, condition, etc), does that still qualify as ‘separated’?
If I try to buy a new house, since of course I’m still married, what steps do I need to take? I think I recall in the SAs I reviewed some phrasing like “both husband and wife can make transactions without the other person”. Does that SA need to be written, signed, and notarized before pursuing a home purchase?
The down payment on that home purchase would be made by a withdrawal or loan from my 401k. What effect will that have on future financial considerations? Can that be taken into account in the SA? Or should I wait till the current house is sold (we plan to split the proceeds 50/50). Should I just pursue rental housing at this point?
We plan to share legal and physical custody of our child, as close to 50/50 as possible. My wife does work, though she does not make as much as I do - but she has potential for a lot more. Her parents also live very close to us, and can be very supportive of her and our son; whereas mine are in another state.
- Are child support and alimony something we can agree on, or does a court have to do that? While I of course will provide for my child when he’s with me, and during the separation they will remain on my insurance, and he can remain on it afterwards, I would of course like to minimize any other payments I’m making (ideally to zero). Is that possible/feasible?
Sorry for the random nature of these questions, as I said, we’ve just begun on this rocky journey, and while of course my main priority is my child, I want to know how to plan so I’ can take care of myself in the future, and what the possible options are. Thanks in advance for any help.