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Separation agreement question


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Old 16th March 2019, 4:48 AM   #1
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Separation agreement question

Hi, thank you for taking the time to help with this question.

I believe separation is an option while living in the same house, possibly occupying different areas, but it may be a struggle if an agreement about (non) emotional abusive behavior cannot be reached.

I've reviewed the legal document samples for a separation, but wondered whether some things are added to the agreement in certain situations?

Is it possible to make a legal agreement where it stipulates X and Y:
1) will treat each other with respect and/or not allowed to raise their voice when a child is in hearing distance
2) Must inform each other of the activities of the kids (MD appointments, school activities, etc.)
3) When making dinner, will also make dinner for the spouse or stipulation of how many times a week spouse X and Y agree to make dinner.

Some general household duties/behavior, which could make or break a separation, in my opinion, if living under the same roof. Living under the same roof will really be our best option for the sake of the kids, emotionally and financially.

Thank you.
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Old 16th March 2019, 5:05 AM   #2
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To me that sounds like a waste of money getting one written up. When has living at arms length worked for long with an ex?


I would wait until one or both of you were out of the house. Easier with the no stalking clause also then.


Just MO....
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Old 16th March 2019, 9:57 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAonthewestcoast View Post
I've reviewed the legal document samples for a separation, but wondered whether some things are added to the agreement in certain situations?

Is it possible to make a legal agreement where it stipulates X and Y:
1) will treat each other with respect and/or not allowed to raise their voice when a child is in hearing distance
2) Must inform each other of the activities of the kids (MD appointments, school activities, etc.)
3) When making dinner, will also make dinner for the spouse or stipulation of how many times a week spouse X and Y agree to make dinner..
A. You can add anything that you want,but it is gonna cost you.
B. You can add anything that you want, but most of what you describe will be legally unenforceable with no penalty.
C. Why are you trying to control the other person??...that is what this is really about...forcing the other person to behave and parent the way you want them to. Most people's exes would laugh at this no matter what parts of it actually make sense. BTW, number 3 is absolutely unreasonable to put in writing even with loving married couples.

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Old 16th March 2019, 10:42 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SAonthewestcoast View Post
Is it possible to make a legal agreement where it stipulates X and Y:
1) will treat each other with respect and/or not allowed to raise their voice when a child is in hearing distance
2) Must inform each other of the activities of the kids (MD appointments, school activities, etc.)
3) When making dinner, will also make dinner for the spouse or stipulation of how many times a week spouse X and Y agree to make dinner.
Sounds like the kind of things that are at least implied by marriage vows. The two of you stood up and promised before God, family and friends - how'd that work out ??? Since it didn't then, don't like your chances of legislating consideration now.

SAonthewestcoast, separation/divorce occur so you don't have to make your spouse dinner. Stick to financial and custody issues, you'll be much better off.

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Living under the same roof will really be our best option for the sake of the kids, emotionally
I really doubt that's true...

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Old 16th March 2019, 12:11 PM   #5
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Being separated and living in the same house is horrible. I did it for a while and it was just so so bad. And itís not great for your kids to experience that. We had 7k square feet, too, so it wasnít like the problem was not having our own spaces.

Donít do it. Also the terms you are considering for a separation agreement are not going to be enforceable by a court and if you couldnít count on each other to do these things in marriage why would you expect anything to change in separation? Like Mr. Lucky says, chances arenít good.

Forget this and just get an actual divorce. Your kids will be so confused by the separation youíre planning it wonít be good for them and you will feel so trapped it will be awful.
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Old 16th March 2019, 1:13 PM   #6
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You need to face the fact that you can't "be separated" while living in the same house. Come on! One of you has to move.
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Old 16th March 2019, 4:17 PM   #7
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Being contractually obligated to make a person I donít want to be married to anymore dinner x number of times a week sounds like a special kind of hell.
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Old 17th March 2019, 12:11 AM   #8
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Separation question

Thank you for the replies. You confirmed that only the basic financial and living arrangement, etc. will be included in a separation contract and legally enforceable.

Divorce is not currently an option for a few reasons and I was hoping to add some stipulations to the separation contract to make the living situation a little more bearable. Some examples I would have liked added to the contract were the ones addressing situations with more emotional abuse potential. I could have used other examples such as - who will do the washing, take out the garbage, etc. (and may not have pushed buttons as I did).

Yes, you would think that some of these things are implied with the marriage vows and cannot be fixed with a contract, but I am groping at straws as I will not be able to leave this marriage. The children will be none the wiser if we have a separation contract drawn up as we will likely not tell them and continue status quo. I realize emotionally neither the current situation nor divorce will be great for them.

We continue in silence, at least most of the time and still eat dinners together (and as implied, at times, none made for me). Divorce and splitting the family up will definitely be worse for the kids at this point.

PS. It was disconcerting to hear chryssy83, that despite a very large house and space, you didn't find relief.

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Old 17th March 2019, 1:40 AM   #9
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We continue in silence, at least most of the time and still eat dinners together (and as implied, at times, none made for me). Divorce and splitting the family up will definitely be worse for the kids at this point.
How is this good for the kids? They see their parents don't get along, don't speak to one another and aren't kind to one another. They aren't stupid, they feel the negative energy in the house.

IF you two are going to live in the same house and be separated then do counseling together so you two can learn to co parent together and be on good terms, learn how to communicate better and have respect for one another as mom and dad.
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Old 17th March 2019, 9:18 AM   #10
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When will people FINALLY get it that 'staying for the kids' is a complete farce? Ask any kid whose parents stayed together for them - not only do they know it, but they say their lives were miserable BECAUSE of it.

Secondly, this is the most overused excuse in the book - "we're staying for the kids." Married people use this excuse all the time because they're too paralyzed with fear to actually do anything that involves changing their lives in any way.
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Old 17th March 2019, 9:48 AM   #11
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Divorce is not currently an option for a few reasons and I was hoping to add some stipulations to the separation contract to make the living situation a little more bearable.
As far as I knows, there is no legal document that you can draft that will require someone to treat you with respect and consideration. Your expectations are a bit unrealistic if you think this will happen...


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Divorce and splitting the family up will definitely be worse for the kids at this point.
I doubt that very much. And, your children will likely show you the error of your thinking, in the months and years to come.
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Old 17th March 2019, 9:48 AM   #12
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How is this good for the kids? They see their parents don't get along, don't speak to one another and aren't kind to one another. They aren't stupid, they feel the negative energy in the house.

IF you two are going to live in the same house and be separated then do counseling together so you two can learn to co parent together and be on good terms, learn how to communicate better and have respect for one another as mom and dad.
Yeah if you sit down to dinner and everyone is eating but Mom didn’t make food for dad, the kids aren’t “none the wiser.” I still this this is a horrible idea but if you insist on doing it try going to a counselor to talk about what you each want to model for your kids. Is it a relationship where silence and tension are on the menu at every meal? Is it a situation where unless legally bound to do so, the parents let resentment keep them from even demonstrating civility to each other?

As for the chores...if you could agree to a schedule, maybe even make a chart and get the kids involved too? Then there would be an agreement and accountability but not a contract. Sorry, but it still seems like if you guys were able to do this you wouldn’t need to do it.

I was willing to do anything it took to stay together for my kids but that meant actually forgiving my spouse (if he had accepted responsibility and shown remorse) and working on the relationship, etc.

We stayed in the same house for a while because I didn’t want him blowing a bunch of money to rent a place and because we both wanted to see the kids every day. It was harder than I thought and we didn’t have the issues you describe. It was more that he acted like nothing had changed in front of the kids but on our own he would be mad at me because our son asked me to put him to bed on the wrong night or because we fell asleep without calling daddy before bed and it was “obvious what really happened.” But there never was a dispute about laundry or dishes or meals. He didn’t respect my boundaries at first but once I started locking my bedroom door at night he stopped trying to come in there to get things or walking through the bathroom while I was showering. He never stopped getting in my bed in the mornings when I was snuggling there with the kids after they woke up and it made my skin crawl.

When I moved to my own place, even though it’s small and nothing like what I moved out of, it was like I could breathe again. Living in that kind of tension is so bad for you mentally, emotionally, even physically. I’m still struggling and divorce is so hard....but now I can be NC except as it relates to the kids and the healing that has gone along with that has been priceless.
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Old 17th March 2019, 3:11 PM   #13
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Very true things said by each replier. I am sure each participant at this website knows that life never is that simple.

I am trying to find the best decision among "no-real-good-options". My goal with this website and hearing from others with experience is how they were able to make a never-dreamed-of situation better/livable while there was no option to leave.

As far as the "kids none the wiser" - they will know the problems continue, but likely not know the extent. My husband and I communicate with them and talk to them around the table. Their mom is a vegetarian and if food was not made for mom (you take the vegetable part out before you add the meat), then it was probably "a mom will take frozen meal out of the freezer evening". Their dad is an introvert and as years have gone by, even more so now, so him not speaking to me could be considered "normal", by them at least. They would also not know that he has hardly touched me since soon after our wedding day - and no, he is not interested in counseling.

Our marriage has been problematic from the beginning with many many ups and downs, typically related to my tolerability of no affection (physical nor words of endearment). We worked well as a team with at least the same standards, interests and priorities. I think the relationship dwindled as the 18 years passed. To such an extent where things really started turning south with overt disrespect towards me (though most often subtle and not in front of the children). Walking away while I was midsentence, or starting to talk to the children, ignoring my question, while I wait for an answer. Yes my children will likely notice this and I don't like the example he is setting, but it is still far better than taking their dad out of their life for at least 50% of the time.

I also agree with the person who said that it is seldom about "doing it for the kids alone". I-I-I don't want them out of my life for 50% of the time!! (Oh and I also have experience how a divorce pulls a family apart even into adulthood. You actually lower contact with your kids more than 50% as they won't have a family home to return to during vacations/holiday times...).

It will be a very bad financial move for us to divorce. It will dilute and maybe destroy a business built together and have significant tax and retirement implications.

Can I add as a number 4 for MY reasons of not divorcing - that I still love him?

There are of course other factors affecting the complexity, but these are the main reasons that I don't want to divorce him. I would appreciate feedback from others who separated, yet remained in the same house with their spouse/ex and children.

What did you find improved or helped make the situation tolerable?
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Old 17th March 2019, 3:41 PM   #14
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Well when my 1st husband and I were separating waiting on divorce we still lived together for a short time. I gave him complete freedom to start seeing other women, go on dates and whatever because we were separated anyway and looking forward to divorce. He stayed out all night (probably with another woman) but I didn't care as I was happy to have the place to myself. I think it takes that type of mindset to make a "living together separation" work. I was free to see others as well. Do you mind if he starts dating other women through this separation?
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Old 17th March 2019, 3:49 PM   #15
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Hmm, it'll hurt for sure. I think it will hurt more if the kids became aware of it. I've not had him for years, so probably only hurt a little more, but I don't know yet.
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