Author Topic: Legal help/questions.  (Read 873 times)

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Legal help/questions.
« on: January 24, 2013, 02:05:00 PM »

Offline barefacedmonk

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I know there are some lawyers on this board, and even though I live in Canada, I'm sure someone can at least help answer my questions...or at least give me an idea.

What is an interim separation agreement? Does it mean that my wife can automatically file for a divorce without telling me if I sign one? Does this mean that my wife has refused to consider reconciliation in the future?

Thank you in advance for your help.
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Re: Legal help/questions.
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 02:21:49 PM »

Online Roy H.

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First, all the usual caveats:  I don't practice in Canada, the law can be quite different up there, etc.  The best advice is to do a free consultation with an attorney in your practice area; assuming they do free consults up there, it will only cost you an hour of your time.

That said...  Here in Maine, we don't have a term of art called "interim separation agreement".  However, we do have interim agreements and interim court orders in family law proceedings.  Normally, these are agreed to after a case has been filed -- i.e., an agreement pending divorce -- but they don't need to be.

So, my best guess is that an interim separation agreement is simply a contract regarding how certain issues are dealt with while you and your wife life apart.

Such an agreement shouldn't waive any notice requirements you need to be given, meaning that she can't file without having paper work served on you.  However, many jurisdictions have a minimum time you need to live apart before somebody can file, and presumably this time of separation would count against that.  Obviously, read the agreement carefully and make sure there are no waivers or anything like that.

Additionally, in terms of reconciliation, remember that this is an agreement / contract.  If you'd like to build in an agreement that you're going to go to couples counseling, do that.

One other thing I'd insist on:  make sure there's a clause that says that the agreement will NOT be used to determine the status quo in any ultimate divorce hearings, and will not be admissable for such purpose.  Usually, the courts are lazy, and if parties have reached an interim agreement, the tendency is going to be to not want to deviate from that agreement too much.  You want to protect yourself from that (i.e., you don't want to let her stay in the family home, and then have the court give it to her just because that's what you previously agreed to.)

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Re: Legal help/questions.
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 02:24:02 PM »

Offline barefacedmonk

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Thanks, Roy. Appreciate the help.
"An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching." - M.K. Gandhi


Re: Legal help/questions.
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 03:56:12 PM »

Offline barefacedmonk

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Also; to anyone that has gone through a separation, did it ultimately lead to a divorce? Does separation always lead to a divorce? If you were able to reconcile after being separated, how did you do it? What did you do?

I understand if you do not want to share something personal like this on a public board; but if you're comfortable with it, please reply here or via PM. Thanks.

EDIT: I did not want to create a separate thread on this topic; so mods, please allow me to post this in the same thread.
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Re: Legal help/questions.
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 04:35:41 PM »

Offline KGs Knee

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So sorry to hear about the tough times you are going through.

I don't have any real advice to give, as I've never had to deal with such an issue, but I hope everything works out for the best.
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Re: Legal help/questions.
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 04:54:53 PM »

Offline barefacedmonk

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Thanks KGs Knee.
"An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching." - M.K. Gandhi


Re: Legal help/questions.
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2013, 05:47:18 PM »

Online nickagneta

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Also; to anyone that has gone through a separation, did it ultimately lead to a divorce? Does separation always lead to a divorce? If you were able to reconcile after being separated, how did you do it? What did you do?

I understand if you do not want to share something personal like this on a public board; but if you're comfortable with it, please reply here or via PM. Thanks.

EDIT: I did not want to create a separate thread on this topic; so mods, please allow me to post this in the same thread.
My wife and I separated for a while. She actually filed for divorce. But in the end, after I consistently attempted reconciliation and some things changed in our lives(we were caring for my grandmother, who had dementia, for 6 years without much or any other family assistance and she finally passed), we reconciled and have been happily back together for almost 2 years.

Now, we both kind of knew the tension and problems in the marriage were not because we didn't love each other. But we let the pressure and tension of caring for an elderly person with dementia get in the way of our happiness. She thought she stopped loving me but it was just anger.

Therapy, lots of talking and honesty, and a commitment to each other regardless of what life threw at us(careers, children problems, finances, family that put lots of their problems in our laps, etc.) and making sure we had regular sex to show our love physically, made things better. But, we never had any indiscretions or affairs(not saying you did) and I think that made things easier. Also, through 25+ years of being together, we had been through a lot and I think that made our desire to make sure it worked out stronger.

Relationships are not easy. They require a lot of understanding, commitment and sacrifice. It takes a long time to learn how to live the rest of your life with someone without eventually growing to get so familiar with each other that you forget why you decided to spend the rest of your lives together in the first place.

Always try to keep that in mind. Make time for each other. Listen to each other instead of just talking at each other and making sure you are heard. Show each other why you love each other regularly(sex). And be open and honest about EVERYTHING.

That's what worked for us. Will it work for everyone? I doubt it. But I think its good advice.

Best of luck, bfm, and know that if you still love her, its not the end. It didn't mean divorce for me and I am sure I am not the only CBer that had a separation and then reconciled with their loved one with lasting positive results.

Remember though, with therapy, go in with a goal. Is the goal to reconcile? To divorce amicably? Or to find out which path you want to follow? That is very important if you go to therapy. As well as the honesty and talking without blaming and anger. That helps.
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Re: Legal help/questions.
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2013, 05:54:17 PM »

Offline barefacedmonk

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Thanks for sharing that, Nick. I appreciate it.

This is harder for me because I moved to a different city in mid November to look for jobs while she stayed back to continue at her job. We are in different cities, so marriage counseling will be hard if she isn't present. Also, she isn't open to to marriage counseling yet. She informed me last week...so maybe she will change her mind. I can only hope and pray.

Glad you are your wife were able to make things work. Not everyone is able to do so...I hope and pray I don't end up being one of those couples.
"An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching." - M.K. Gandhi


 

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