Home-Related Details To Outline In Your Separation Agreement

Posted on: 28 November 2018


In a separation, it's common for one spouse to remain in the home — often with the children, if there are any — while the other finds another place to live on a temporary basis. It's a good idea for you and your spouse to meet with an attorney to write up a separation agreement. One of the many legal services that family attorneys provide is help with separation agreements. This document will outline your roles during this challenging time in your relationship. You'll need to give some thought to the upkeep of your house. If you earned the bulk of the money and did much of the upkeep, but will now be moving out, it's important for the separation agreement to outline how you and your spouse will care for the house in the months ahead. Here are some ideas to discuss.

Hands-On Work

If you're adept at working on projects around the house but are moving out, it doesn't make sense for your spouse to start hiring contractors for the projects that you'd have otherwise performed. You may want your separation agreement to stipulate that you'll still take care of this work — and that your spouse should advise you of any issues that he or she encounters — but that you will respect your spouse's right to space and privacy. For example, unless there's a pressing issue with the house, you might agree to perform the work when he or she isn't home.

Household Expenses

It's appropriate for you to continue to cover the bulk of the household expenses, even if you're not living there — and especially if your children live there. There are many ways to go about this idea. You could simply transfer a set amount of money to your spouse's bank account every week or, depending on the level of trust between you, he or she could use a credit card in your name for the expenses that are part of running the household.

Necessary Vs. Unnecessary

This is a time to work on yourselves with the hopes of eventually getting back together, not make decisions that will add stress to your marriage. Even if you're not living in the house that you own with your spouse, your separation agreement should specify that you must both agree before your spouse makes a major purchase for the house. For example, your spouse may want to put hardwood flooring in the living room or buy a large TV, but you should both agree that this is the right time for these expenses.

Contact an attorney for more help.