Just getting started

So grateful to have found this site, so first, thank you.

My husband and I are working on a separation currently, no one has yet moved out of the home. We don’t seem to be having any issues as of yet in who will take care of our financial responsibilities. Currently my husband is not making enough income to move out of our home and take on the financial responsibilities we are looking to set up in the agreement. So here are my questions: am I correct that the separation agreement becomes formal/legal after it is signed with a notary? Outside of filing a lawsuit, is there anything I can do that will protect me if he doesn’t follow through on those financial obligations? For example; the home loan is in his name but I will be taking responsibility for that and both cars are in my name but he will take responsibility for one car loan. Can I do something that will change the names on those loans so I am no longer responsible if the payment is not made?

You can ask banks to remove and change names but they typically don’t and are under no responsibility to do so regardless of any agreement or judgement. This is typically done by refinancing. The separation agreement can specify refinancing requirement. Basically if a separation agreement (that in not incorporated into a court case) is broken you make a civil claim against the other party, if you get the separation agreement incorporated into the judgement you can the contempt of court route. If your close on the framework I think you can go together to an attorney and ask them to do the separation agreement and associated quit claim deeds. They would only be able to do the agreement and not advise you individually. Attorneys here typically charge around $750 for this, plus a fee for filling the deeds or another court related fees.

A properly executed separation agreement is a binding contract. You will likely have to refinance the loans to remove a name from the loan. On bank accounts the best thing to do is open a new one, and close the old one. If you want to do most of the drafting yourself, we can walk you through the process at Rosen Online. You may find more information here: