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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    15

    Default Legal Separation, Living in Same House for Kids

    Question:

    Is it possible to get a separation, but still live in the same house for the purpose of raising the kids?

    Background:

    I've been married for 20 years and my wife and I have kids about 14 and 9 years old. If it were not for the kids which I love dearly I would get a divorce and leave this very instant.

    However because of the kids I will not leave the house. I've actually been sleeping in the home office on a fold-able mattress under my desk, and that will likely not change. (Just to give an idea of how broken down this marriage is.)

    Financially we are fine. (I've made sure of that.) We owe about $250k on a house worth just above a million dollars. We have zero debt, and each have about 300k in retirement accounts.

    I'm perfectly willing to divide everything as it stands today 50/50.

    What I want to do is start a business of my own (on the side while working full time), but I could not stand the thought of her having 50% claim on something I've built from scratch while sleeping under the desk for the past four years. And just to be clear, this business will not take more that $1,000 to start it is software idea that takes little capital initiate (it is mostly "sweat equity" working during the evenings/weekends.)

    Thoughts, comments appreciated. What are the implications for a future divorce once the kids are off to college?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,948

    Exclamation Re: Legal Separation, Living in Same House for Kids

    If you want legal advice we need to know your state.
    LMK if you want my 'personal' advice,,,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Legal Separation, Living in Same House for Kids

    California.

    Both legal and personal advice would be fine. This would be my first and last divorce, so don't know what that is like.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,948

    Lightbulb Re: Legal Separation, Living in Same House for Kids

    Honestly - go to the library or log on to Amazon. Find parenting books that address children and divorce. Think about what kind of marriage and life you are modeling for your kids. They learn how to 'be' married by watching you and your wife. Do you really want to provide this example for your kids?

    As far as the legal stuff goes. You should see a lawyer who specializes in family law. If the wife is willing, you could do a post-nuptial agreement where everything is 50/50 except your new business. Of course your wife could also be planning a preemptive strike and already have plans to divorce you in the works....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Legal Separation, Living in Same House for Kids

    Thanks for your response. I'm not willing to abandon the kids in that way. We don't fight that much in front of the kids, it is mostly an icy cold silence from her and months without even a hug or an encouraging word.

    I did mention the idea of a post-nuptial and she is fine with the idea of splitting what we currently have 50/50 and doesn't have an interest in any business I might start. (Not yet knowing what the outcome will be though) Our finances with (non-mortgage) no debt are quite simple and solid. I think we both agree on 95% of the items currently.

    My question about a post-nuptial is I don't think it is legally binding, and I'm worried more that in a few years (if/when) we start the divorce a lawyer would push her to go after the business (if it is a success).

    So, could someone explain if such a thing is worth while.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Legal Separation, Living in Same House for Kids

    In a sense you're abandoning your kids now by not getting divorced and closing the sleeping under the desk portion of your life, you want strong minded kids right? Parents lead by example. I know where you're coming from but until you do what divorced people do your subjecting yourself and your kids to things that should be avoided.

    Yes, you can be separated but still living in the same house, but you do see how odd that sounds right? hint, hint.

    Divorce is the act of moving on with your life apart from your ex. As hard as it is to do you're not doing anyone, kids included, any favors by avoiding the initial move.

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