When a marriage or relationship is ending, the task of separation can seem overwhelming.  Once the decision to separate is made by one party or both parties together, the stress of living together often drives them to want to separate.

Separation can take a variety of forms.  Within the home, one party moves out of the bedroom.  When there are minor children, sometimes the parties take turns in the house.   It is inevitable, however, one party or both parties, if their house is being sold, move out.

It is a good idea, if you can to tolerate the stress of being in the same residence, to wait until a physical separation can be planned.  Separation is disruptive.  A planned move is much less chaotic and disruptive.

Here are some factors that you might want to consider in planning a physical separation.

If you separate before you figure out the division of your jointly owned assets and joint liabilities.

How will the separation be funded.   How do the rent or mortgage, repairs, and utilities for both residences get paid?  Does the mover have any financial responsibility for the residence they leave.   If the property is jointly owned, the mover has an interest in the property being maintained and the property taxes, homeowner’s insurance and mortgage, if any, getting paid until the property division gets sorted out.  If it is a rental and the mover is on the lease, the mover’s  contractual obligations to the landlord need to be addressed.

Separating after you have figured everything out.

If you own the house, and it will be sold, when does it go on the market.  Is it a realtor sale or by owner.   Are decisions about the sale made together or does one party take primary responsibility for some or all decisions.  Most of the time, decisions get made together.  How do costs associated with the property get paid until the sale?

If one party is buying the other out of the house, when does that party take sole responsibility for it.  Most people when they move out want to move once.  If they need their share of the equity to get into another house, how much is their share and how and when do they receive it.  Can earnest money be made available to put down on another residence to facilitate a purchase?  This is usually an advance on the mover’s share of joint assets.  If you separate after you have figured out the division of your assets and liabilities, support and parenting details, if any, these details are often linked to move out decisions and reduce problems later.