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Living With Your Spouse After You Sign a Separation Agreement

June 6, 2018  | 

{3:00 minutes to read}  Why would you want to continue living together with your ex after you sign a separation agreement? Many couples feel that financially, they have no choice but to live together. It could be because they are waiting for the closing on the sale of the home before they can both move out or that they agreed that they could both save money for a period of time if they lived together.

Living together for any period of time can lead to unintended situations and complications, even if the couple seemingly gets along well. In this type of situation, it is best to have your separation agreement include terms for your living together, such as these:

How are expenses to be paid?

While going through the mediation process, it’s not unusual for a couple to continue to deposit their incomes into a joint account and pay all of their expenses from that account. Some couples may want to just continue that process even after the agreement is signed.
 
However, while that could work during the mediation process because any problems could be easily addressed, it’s a good idea to provide more detail as to what and how expenses are to be paid in a separation agreement. For example
 
If they continue to deposit both incomes in a joint account:
 
  • Define joint expenses and separate expenses.
  • Will there be limits on personal spending while living together?

If they are going to have separate accounts for their income and then each make deposits into a joint account for shared expenses:

  • Outline when and the amount of deposits to be made;
  • Determine how deposits will be modified;
  • List the exact expenses to be paid;
  • Decide who pays what expense.

How long will it last?

If the clients are waiting for the sale of their home to occur, you should discuss what happens if the home doesn’t sell within a certain period of time, such as six months. Do they continue living together or will there be a different plan?

What if one of you can’t take it any longer?

Even if the clients are committed to remain together until a certain date or the closing of sale of the house, one may feel the need to leave before then. Does that person need to continue to pay the same expenses as they had been doing, or just a share of the costs related to the house such as mortgage, taxes and insurance?

What are the effects on the children?

It may be difficult for the children to understand that you are separating but still living together, especially if they are younger. It’s a good idea to have input from a mental health professional as to how and when to tell them what is going on and details as to your arrangement.

Depending upon the circumstances, there may be other terms that should be included in the agreement as well.

Living together after a separation or divorce agreement is signed, is certainly not ideal, but is sometimes necessary. Putting guidelines in place in your separation agreement will go a long way toward making that situation as uncomplicated as possible.

Clare Piro Attorney and Mediator

Attorney & Mediator
500 Mamaroneck Avenue | Suite 320
Harrison, NY 10528
Tel: 914.946.0848

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