Too Late For Seperation Agreement?

A separation agreement is only an agreement between the husband and wife where property assets and debts are split and where child support and custody is arranged. Having an agreement will 95% of the time keep the courts from deciding custody and who gets what. There is no such thing as a “legal” separation. You are separated the day that one of you move from the marital home.
You should contact the hospital and let them know that he was no longer covered by your insurance when he was in the ER and that you are not responsible for the hospital bill. They should have his name on them and be sent to his address since he was the one treated. Any debt acquired after the date of separation is separate debt, with a few exceptions, and would not be included in the equitable distribution.
The taxes, I’m not sure about. Contact the IRS and let them know the situation and ask them. It may be a matter of time. If he started collecting unemployment before your separation then you may be responsible for part of that. If it was after, then it would be separate debt. This is the only thing that a separation agreement would benefit you on. Stating in the agreement that he is responsible for filing a separate tax return and paying what he owes in taxes. The problem is getting him to agree since he would be totally responsible for the debt. This is why equitable distribution goes to court.

Thanks for the information. [:)] Unfortunately, yes, the unemployment occurred before and after we seperated (actually from the week prior to the marriage until after I left); it heavily contributed to me leaving. I really didn’t want to have to pay $500 for a seperation agreeement since it isn’t even dividing anything up, but I’m starting to think I’m going to have to now, just for the medical bills and the taxes. He and I are on good terms (although it took awhile) and he’s not trying to hold me accountable for this stuff, he just tends to forget or brush off things like making payment arrangements and filing taxes. We’re quite different in that aspect lol. I just don’t want to get hit for back taxes or medical bills five years from now.

Dear rubylucille:

Greetings. Yes, if he signs it and accepts responsibility. You should already be protected on the tax issue since you filed separately, but you need to check that with your CPA or tax attorney. Good luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
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The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.

My husband and I have been seperated for seven months. We were married for an incredibly short time and do not have any children, joint property, or joint debt. I didn’t pursue a seperation agreement due to these factors and the cost I was quoted. I took him off of my health insurance at the end of 2006 as he agreed to obtain insurance through his employer. He ended up missing open enrollment and of course, ended up in the ER two weeks later. I’m now getting collection calls for these bills.

Question: If I file a seperation agreement now, stating our August seperation, is this enforcable with his creditors for any bills he incurred after we physically seperated? Will it also protect me if he doesn’t file his taxes? I already filed Married but Seperate but am afraid he won’t file because he owes taxes on Unemployment from 2006.