Odd agreement for Seperation


#1

Once the divorce is final you can not go back and get equitable distribution. I don’t think that it’s a good idea to agree to it. In my opinion only, it would set up the groundwork for “I’ve lived in this house for a year and have custody of our daughter” Things change over time and what you and the ex agree to now will not be as easy to agree on later when the bitter feelings start creeping in. Even if this is an amicable split, it could get ugly quick once one of you start seeing someone else. All bets are off down the road. I would suggest that you offer to have the separation agreement written up with joint legal and physical custody with equal time spent with each parent. The marital home…your decision. Whoever stays in the home will have to split whatever equity there is and get refinanced with the other’s name off the mortgage, deed. Protect yourself and your child’s future first. Children need both parents to be as involved in their lives as possible and the courts know this. If you give her custody for a year, you may never get it back. If neither is asking for child support, have that put into the papers also. IF the state gets a hold of it, either both or one of you will HAVE to pay.
My husband and his ex had joint legal and physical custody with equal time with each parent. She flipped out when she found out we were seeing each other (even though she was on her 4th boyfriend by then) and tried to get the separation agreement negated. She asked him (through a lawyer)for child support and by this I mean that he pay her $800 for two children and still pay 1/2 of everything (clothes, sitter, school supplies and functions, medical and dental bills and carry insurance). She basically didn’t want any of her money to have to be spent on the children even though they were equally sharing custody and time. She also wanted all the rest of the items from the marital home, 1/2 his business, and a settlement amount. She was talking about moving to the coast and never letting him see the children, so he filed for temporary custody. We all went to court and the judge essentially left it how it was in the separation agreement. She was a little worried about her lifestyle, parenting skills and her track record with the children up til that point, so they ended up settling and the case was never fully put in front of the court. So basically, he spent $10,000 to have the same agreement he started with when she moved out. They share 50/50 custody and he still pays her child support, though we are looking at getting it lowered since she’s doubled her income since then.

I don’t mean to imply that all women are this devious but just keep in mind that once this year is over, she will no longer be your wife. There will be no partnership or relationship as you have had in the past. What either of you do, when the child is not with you, is none of the other’s business as long as it causes no long term effects on your welfare or your child. You won’t have allegiances to the other and there will be someone else in both your lives eventually. With children involved, it’s complicated and it will be a contest for a while, no matter how amicable it is now to see who is the “better parent”. Children need BOTH parents. Don’t give your daughter up without a fight, unless it’s what you truly want to do. This is something that will be dealt with until she’s 18 or out of school and it can change from week to week. Best to get things arranged and legalized now so you don’t have to worry (as much) about it down the road when mom gets a new husband with a job in California or your new wife doesn’t want to live so far away from her family in Ohio. Get an different attorney than the one you “both” use and protect yourself. Keep us posted and good luck!


#2

Dear Cayvmann:

Greetings. First - cute name! Very creative. Next, congratulations on realizing that you need to have an attorney review any agreement you create.

Yes, this sets up a pattern of her having custody. This does not sound like a reasonable or appropriate solution to me. It also does not sound like one that will work long term - even for a year. Thank you.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.256.1665 direct fax

301 McCullough Drive Suite 510
Charlotte, North Carolina 28262
704.644.2831 main voice
704.307.4595 main fax

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#3

Thank you both for your replies.

The funny thing is, she was geared up to move out, until she talked to her father. He had a bad divorce/split up with her mom and ended up on the short end of the deal, by a long shot. His bitterness might have influenced her. He told her if she left it was abandonment of child and marital assets. I was trying to get her to agree to see lawyers to draw up a fair and equitable seperation agreement so she would know I had no intentions of screwing her, so when she left she would still have rights. She’s since contacted a lawyer and told me I don’t need one… yeah

On a side note, I have reason to believe that she has secret investments that she wants to hide from me, and this is why she’s agreeing to not asking for support. I personally don’t care about the money or house, but I don’t want to lose my daughter…

I’m just tired of her ignoring me, and to some extent our daughter, for her own pursuits… I also want to keep some of the ugliness from my daughter so it won’t be as bad, down the road… It’ll be hard enough as it is.

There is a question. I know I’m not signing anything without representation, but if I go to her lawyer and ask him who he’s representing, doesn’t he have to state if he’s representing her specifically?


#4

Yes, her lawyer must make it clear that he is her lawyer.

Lee S. Rosen
Board Certified Family Law Specialist
The Rosen Law Firm
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
Rosen.com
(919)787-6668

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#5

Let me preface this by saying that I’m going to get a lawyer to look at any agreement that is placed before me by my wife and her attorney. Forgive me if I’m not completely coherent, this has been hard on me lately.

That being said…

I originally asked her to leave and let me have primary custody, with liberal visitation from her. I’ve even offered support. I don’t want to keep her out of her daughter’s life, I’m not like that.

My wife says she wants to have our marital house and child for one year. I’ll still get to visit and call and read books at night time… No support, either alimony, or child, well structured support anyway. I still make the house payments and will still pay the daycare for my daughter. At the end of the year, when we actually get the divorce she says she will agree to give back both the house and custody of the child to me. No request of support from me then either. She’s going to have “our” attorney write the document up to say these things. He is supposedly just helping us write up a valid seperation agreement. She contacted him.

Even if the document says these things, doesn’t this set up some kind of precedence, or a pattern, that could then be used against me later, showing I agreed to the situation for a year?

Could the question be asked of a judge that if she’s willing to give up the child in a year, why won’t she do it now?