Separated But Living Together

My wife and I have been talking about separating for 2 years now. Unfortunately we are unable to separate due to financial reasons - I can barely afford to maintain 1 household on my income, I cannot afford to maintain 2 households.

So what is the legal solution here? I am thinking that a formal Separation Agreement would help?

I get that this is very messy, but I just need somewhere to start…


  • Though you may be ‘SBLT’, that does not count toward the year-and-a-day to get divorced. You must actually live in different households in order to truthfully answer the question ‘have you been separated a year and a day’.

  • Anything legal that you both agree to, voluntarily, in a property written and executed separation agreement, is a contract between the two of you. The only exceptions I’m aware of are child custody and child support, the court can always get involved in those and override a SA. Alimony and/or post separation support can be anything you agree to.

If you are amicable now, you can definitely start hashing out the SA and get it executed.

While I agree with most of what PhilipJFry wrote, it is not 100% accurate. For instance, when a court enters an order from child support that is different from the spearation agreement, the court is not simply overriding the agreement, as a party may still have an action for breach of contract depending on the language of the agreement.

He is correct though when it comes ot hammering out the details of the separation while you are still living together. Executing a separation agreement needs to be done immediately pending the physical separation of the parties or thereafter, and if done before, you need specific language in it to make it valid.