I believe your situation is ripe for mediation. You should engage in an experienced attorney-mediator who can draw up the Separation Agreement, which should provide for retaining the home as “tenants in common” instead of “as husband and wife.” It will allow your wife and children to remain in the house, and for you to continue your ownership interest in it. The Separation Agreement should provide that the children be the beneficiaries of your Will, and should receive your interest in the home if you die before their maturity.
The Separation Agreement should also provide that each may live separate and apart and conduct his/her life as if they were unmarried.
Concerning the question of inheritance, inheritances are not considered “marital property” if they are kept separate and apart from the other marital property and maintained in the beneficiary’s name only.
I would be happy to discuss with you both the drafting of the Separation Agreement, and to that end, please give me a call at 212-370-1660.
Leonard M. Weiner, Esq./Divorce Solutions