No Separation Agreement



My spouse left over 14 months ago. No separation agreement before leaving or since. The dependent children live with me full time and I receive no child support (not asking for it either) or help with expenses.

Everything is amicable.

I want closure on this part of my life and would like to know what my options are regarding divorce. Elementary question - does a Sep Agreement need to be on file before I can file for divorce?
Attempts to negotiate in good faith (nothing objectionable from her) have been met with ok - lets do it, without the actual execution of it.

Any ideas?



A separation agreement is not a necessity to move forward with filing for divorce in this state. Nor, is there anything like a “legally filed” separation. The minimal requirement is living separate and apart for one year with one party intending for the separate residences to remain permanent.

Having said that, I would recommend getting SOMETHING in writing since you have children together. Things are amicable now, but who knows what the future will bring? The courts are willing to step in for the best interests of the children, if need be, but IMHO it’s always better to get custody, visitation, and support outlined in advance just so one is less likely to have to resort to court interference. If nothing else, it simply makes sure that there are no assumptions and that every one is on the same page where the children are concerned.


I think you want to get that bit about she gets not visitation in writing. She could change her mind later. And judges are notorious for giving mothers full custody.


I’d try to get an agreement as to custody, but a judge may modify it at any time. You do not need a separation agreement before you file for divorce, but once a judgment of divorce is entered claims for alimony and ED die.


I would think you would want to be very coy about how this is handled. If you have full custody now the status quo is certainly on your side as far as the kids, the longer you keep that the better if she contests it later. If you push her to much next thing you know she will have an attorney who as talked her into a custody fight.


CDavis has a very good point about an attorney pushing her to get custody. You can go back and get child support until the child is 18 and that kind of liability would scare an attorney.