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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I stumbled upon this website looking for co-parenting cohabitation advice from others who have gone through this situation.

We have been married almost 8 years and have 3 children (2.5, 5, 6.5 yrs old). Financially, we must stay living together for the next 6 months, however we have considered continuing it past that point if it is going well. He just moved into the guest quarters this week for us to have our own separate space.

Basically, our marriage has been very one-sided on the affection front. My husband does not have any sexual or physical attraction towards me and it has been this way since we dated (we're both very attractive people). I always hoped it would change, of course it didn't, and I just felt more and more neglected over the years. I'm still very much attracted to him and often feel "in love" with him (which is the part that I think may ruin this "ideal" arrangement); he only has a deep rooted love for me as the mother of his children and his friend.

We opened up our sexual relationship to others a year ago and were able to communicate through all jealousy and insecurity issues. At this point, it usually feels like being married to your best buddy rather than a spouse - there hasn't ever been much romance to our relationship. I'm too drained from trying and giving 110% and getting very little in return, if anything.

We are very open with our children and have told them that we love each other but we need space. I don't know if this is a healthier alternative to divorce and separate housing. We are certainly modeling friendship for them. There really isn't any "right" way to model for kids, imo - we are all human and we all make mistakes in doing the best we can.

May I ask what your "rules" were? How you decided to negotiate your divorce terms? What you told your children? etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, for anyone who has negotiated their own divorce terms...can you simply type up 2 copies of the agreements you come to and have them notarized by you both? Will that hold up in court in regards to agreed financial support and custody arrangements?
 

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I'm interested in this thread. I'm not quite there yet, but this appears to be the way my marriage will end up - mainly because we have kids and both believe it's best for the kids to have both parents close by.
 

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I am not a lawyer and the following is not legal advice:

Whether or not your agreement will hold up in court depends on the laws and customs of your state and of that particular court in general. Most notorized contracts are usually upheld in court. In family law, however, standard contract rules are out the window due to protections that are built into the law. The judge will look to eusure the agreement is fair to both parties and will not lead to one party becoming destitute or poor. The agreement must also spell out in detail how the children will be cared for and who is paying who support, etc. If any elements are missing then the agreement can be tossed out and the law applied. This can be done without either of you objecting to the agreement.

Of course, if one party objects to the agreement in the future, then the agreement may be tossed and the law applied.

You can live under a private agreement as long as you want until you file for divorce. Once you file, you can ask that your agreement become your divorce decree. That will prompt the judge's review of your agreement. If everything checks out, your agreement will become your decree and you will be legally divorced.

Consulting with a qualified, local attorney who practices in your area will be the best bet in getting that question answered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the info, Married_in_VA. We live in CA and I know family laws are generous here, I would likely get more in alimony and child support than 50/50 if we let the court decide. I am thinking that a notarized contract is more sufficient than nothing, at the very least I feel that it gives me something to feel more secure than not knowing. I will consult some of my attorney friends and see how family law could play out here.

I've been hesitant to share our family situation, I am worried about a lot of judgment (especially from extended family). And what if he does happen to pull through and change and all is happily ever after?! (Ok, I know, I still have a little bit of hope that hasn't died...how does one get over that?!)

I have a friend who is actually living in this situation right now in her household. They split income in half and put it in separate accounts and then pay their share of expenses into the mutual account. We don't have much disposable income leftover after groceries, utilities, housing, gas, car payments, etc. each month so I'm not sure if this would be a good idea or not. What does everyone else think??
 

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I have a friend who is actually living in this situation right now in her household. They split income in half and put it in separate accounts and then pay their share of expenses into the mutual account. We don't have much disposable income leftover after groceries, utilities, housing, gas, car payments, etc. each month so I'm not sure if this would be a good idea or not. What does everyone else think??
This makes sense, if you want to go with a mutual agreement and not a legal separation and custody agreement.

Did you try asking what others in the The Family & Parenting area of the forum do about co-parenting? Maybe you should read some of the threads there.
 

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Can you explain that in some more detail - Do they combine ALL income, pay biils and then split the remainder?

Or do they each take half of their individual incomes and then pay the bills with what's left?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
They combine all income and then split everything down the middle for expenses, as their incomes are different rates.

I would *LOVE* to find the time to read every possible thread in the world on this topic, but I'm hoping that some of the knowledge and suggestion fish will come to my line because I do not have enough hours in the day to seek out every resource. Specific thread links would help, if you have one in mind. :smthumbup: Thanks!
 

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I'm thinking of doing the same thing for my marriage. But I don't know. I think the biggest obstacle would be if you started a long term relationship with somebody. That person would probably have issues with you living in the same house as your spouse. It would be real hard for both you and your spouse to move on with your lives if you continue to live together.
 

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I'm thinking of doing the same thing for my marriage. But I don't know. I think the biggest obstacle would be if you started a long term relationship with somebody. That person would probably have issues with you living in the same house as your spouse. It would be real hard for both you and your spouse to move on with your lives if you continue to live together.
Indeed, it would suck. There would have to be some sort of condition - in my case I intend to have some sort of say -
bi-annual discussion regarding that situation.

That said - people who have been in similar situation would understand (say another divorcee perhaps?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I am thinking about developing a schedule like you would for a job, where there are specific things to be done each day by each person to ensure the household is being run 50/50 without conflict as well as scheduled meetings to keep communication flowing.

I agree it is hard to move on emotionally if you are the spouse who was the one who still wanted to try to work on things (i.e. me). But realistically, I understand that I cannot make another person give anything to me and I'm working on a lot of CBT and personal growth to accept this. It doesn't help that codependence is idealized for marriage, because that is another thing I need to overcome now. I imagine with this self journey emotionally, I will be able to get over the "jealousy" factor and accept the man I have chosen to father my children as what he has been for years, my good friend.

I would hope that anyone who was worthwhile would also be understanding and realize that as long as it does not affect them personally, and it should not unless they have insecurity issues they need to work on, living with another person is simply like having a roommate as long as there is no physical connection happening (and if that were the case, I'm pretty sure the divorce wouldn't be going forward so they should be more worried about an opposite sex roommate than soon to be ex spouse in that case).

I just "came out" with my situation on Facebook and my friends have all been very supportive thus far, a huge step for me in accepting. I find myself going through stages of grief at the loss of my dream (our marriage/family being intact forever). I am sleeping better with my husband in the guest room. It is awkward right now to be in separate rooms doing separate things during waking hours, but that is my codependent learned nature. Personal time and space is healthy - I am learning.

I've explained to our kids that everything in life comes to an end in one way or another, and it does not mean anything is wrong or bad. I'd love more input on ways to deal with young children (2, 5, 6), as I imagine they could internalize these emotions because they seem happy about it, even excited, which I find odd.

Anyways, there is an update on my situation - I am checking out several avenues on healing. CoDA meetings, sedona method, spiritual communities to join, coabode for single mom roommates (if it comes to that). San Diego seems to have some good help in place for sorting through this transition. Any other suggestions on support or resources?
 
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