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“We’re Living Separate Apart…”

I can’t understand why, but divorce has a stigma.  A connotation.  For a long while those who were morally or religiously adverse to divorce filed for a thing called separation (this option still exists though it is rarely used, and frankly, the Family Court judges dislike and discourage it).

Many people want to be divorced without getting a divorce.  They like being married, they just can’t stand who they married.  C’ est la vie.

For these poor souls there are many options.  As with life itself the more money a couple has the more options they have.  And like all Family Court matters, all of these options better be in the BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN if you are going to get a judge to sign on.

Previously we discussed “Bird nesting“, or how a divorced-but-not-divorcing couple can relay in and out of the marital home – where the kids stay put – like a tag team.  Husband spends a week outside the home, then comes back home, high-fives Wife, takes over, while Wife leaves for a bit.  And so on.  That’s fun and it works for some because it offers a distance and freedom between the spouses, which may help the heart grow founder.

But there is another option I read about lately which I think is cleaner.  More tidy.

Some troubled married couples are now trying to live “separate apart”.  The couple remains dedicated and committed to the family life and the family unit (no cheating!) but each of them maintains their own household.  Husband lives in a studio apartment in town, while Wife keeps the suburb condo.  That sort of thing.

The key is that they continue to consider themselves married.  They file joint taxes.  They don’t date.  They commit to joined finances and the responsibility of caring for the children.  They keep the one Netflix account.  The major difference from “bird nesting” is that it separates the bills so that Husband and Wife know perfectly well who has to pay the DirecTV bill and the fire tax when it comes in the mail.

If you rotate in and out of the same household all the time it can become difficult to suss out who is responsible for the electric bill.  Etc.

Again, it is not for everybody, but for those couples who can afford two domiciles and who will try anything to save their marriage – the people who just need a little space – it has worked wonders.

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