Separation Agreements

My husband and I have agreed to very simple terms for our separation - he wants nothing from the marriage with the exception of some items he purchased, and I have also agreed to give him a portion of the proceeds from our home if and when I choose to sell it, and neither of us wants any interest in any retirement accounts. savings accounts, or investments the other has. In writing up the separation agreement, can we simply say “husband agrees to waive all claim to all assets and property of the marriage with the exception of the following items:” , and " wife agrees to give x% of the net proceeds from the marital home if and when the home is sold" ? Or do we need to list out all of our accounts, debts, property, etc.? We are really trying to keep it as simple and painless as possible.

*not an attorney, but I think both issues would put you on a slippery slope. He could claim he did not have knowledge of what assets you had later and attempt to contest the agreement. You may want to go into some detail about asset split. You may want to do something to get him out of interest in home right now. What if home appreciates over the years and you pay off the mortgage, you certainly would not want to him to have 50% of the sales price when his equity today may only represent small percentage of the value. I think that agreement may limit you refinancing, cashing out, getting heloc, and certainly limit you on making major improvements in the house.

** not an attorney **

You really need to think through the house issue, especially in an unpredictable market. The market could tank further, and you could end up not being able to sell - or you could end up with a loss.

Also, if you are living in the house, you are probably putting money into upkeep that he’s not. The house should not be split 50-50 in the future. Maybe come up with an amount you are reasonably sure you could get today (though that’s hard to do) and word the agreement that when you sell, he gets xx amount. You don’t want to be in a position where you’ve had to replace the AC or the roof on your own dime, and he gets half of the equity when you sell. When I listed my house, I had realtors wanting to list it between 575k and 625k. I wanted to get rid of it asap and move on. I listed at 579k, thinking it would go quickly…well, 2 years later, I was still sitting with the house and still couldn’t get rid of it at 499k. Eventually, I sold for 470k – WAY below market value…these are unpredictable times.

There’s wording you can put in the agreement to say that you’ve both waived the need for a full financial investigation, so that neither party can claim “I didn’t know about x” later on.

Thank you both for your comments. I will definitely take these into consideration. I am having him sign a quit claim deed to help alleviate any problems with house, but I will spell out the exact amount of money I will give rather than making it a percentage. I am interested in the verbiage regarding waiving the need for a full financial investigation. Is there somewhere you know of where I can find the proper wording?

Would still love a reply from the attorneys as well.

Rosen has a sample separation agreement, one of items in it deals with both parties having ability to get an attorney and understanding the document, etc. I would suggest you just settle the house issue right now, by giving him other assets, or a note and you make payments to him for his interest in the house. You want separations to be cut and dry.

Heres my question. My wife and I are FINALLY starting to get the sep agree started after 18 months. I have told her that if we are going to do the standard 50/50 split + or - in the selling of the house(s) she will need to pay half the mortgage(s). Ive been making all payments on both houses our names are on. She has said that she cant afford that and will sign over her part of the deeds to me. Whats the difference in a Deed of Gift and a Quit Claim? We currently are in the RED on one house and in the black on the other. If she signs over the deeds before the SA is signed do I have to have them in the SA?
Thank you so much for all these answer you provide!

What you discuss isn’t too complicated, but if you want to do this yourself then I’d suggest you take a look at Rosen Online. We have templates you can use to make sure the agreement is as good as it can be without retaining an attorney. You may find more information here: