July 31, 2010

Instead of divorce, an amicable permanent separation.

"Why bring in a bunch of lawyers? Why create rancor when there’s nowhere to go but down?"

Plus, there are all sorts of financial reasons to preserve the marriage — health insurance, pensions, joint tax filing status. If you both understand what you are doing, why isn't this a great solution?

1. One spouse may be more attached to the old relationship than the other and may see this failure to divorce as hope for getting back together. You might need the divorce to express that the relationship is truly over.

2. It makes it hard to establish relationships with new partners, who might feel uneasy or immoral consorting with you. You might need a divorce for the peace of mind and comfort of those outsiders to the marriage.

3. Maybe it's not ethical to collect the financial benefits of marriage if you aren't committed to each other in the traditional way, living together and having an exclusive emotional and sexual relationship. Is it as wrong as 2 individuals marrying solely to create an economic benefit and without any sex or love at all? But how wrong is that?

38 comments:

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Yeah, this rocks. And for the single person, let's establish "conditional suicide" where you can stop paying all your taxes permanently, but you don't have to be dead.

Hagar said...

You don't need to bring in "a bunch of lawyers."
You will both be better off by doing a little research on what the going rates are and set up your own deal on notepaper. Then take that to one lawyer and tell him to shut up, type it up, and file it with the court.

Bob_R said...

I think your reasons 1 and 2 are fine. But I don't agree at all with reason 3. A good economic foundation is vitally important to a strong marriage. Marriage as a purely economic partnership has been incredibly important historically in the west and is still important world wide. The exclusively romantic view of marriage is of pretty recent vintage and ... isn't exactly uniformly successful.

The couple profiled are still part of a family. Maintaining economic ties strengthens that family and probably provides economic security for all concerned. The idea that is is "wrong" or "not ethical" to keep this going because they aren't living out some schoolgirl romantic fantasy is ... well, wrong.

EDH said...

Pure speculation on my part, but I would expect this kind of relationship to flourish most, because of emotion and instinct, for gay men.

It's one of the social dynamics why, aside from the effect on caselaw, I think same sex civil unions should be kept a separate from marriage for the time being.

Kirstin said...

I think that Maurice Tempelsman remained married to someone else during his long relationship with Jacqueline Onassis.

I wonder what Al and Tipper Gore will do.

traditionalguy said...

I Once of knew a situation like the one you describe. It was between an English couple who owned a company that employed both of them for green card status. The fun loving woman wanted this type of permanent separation. The morality was not an issue for her. She liked her male companions 25+ years younger, and those poor men had never been told of God's judgement on all adulterers. All was fine for 5 years until her husband met an American woman who wanted him. That home wrecker pushed this male's ego into getting a divorce. Sure enough, they both have less to enjoy now. The "Morality" notion can pinch, yet 90% of the time it protects folks from themselves.

sunsong said...

I love to see things like this. People doing what works for them. In a way creating new *maps* - new roads along the path of life.

The idea that there is only way way to be or one answer to a problem or that *traditional marriage* is somehow sacrosanct or even has any real meaning has always been attempt to control people - to socailly engineer.

But, thank God, for non-conformists, and those who are willing and able to chart a course that works for them. The idea of one-size-fits-all top down presciptions of how to live one's life simply don't work.

jaltcoh said...

2. It makes it hard to establish relationships with new partners, who might feel uneasy or immoral consorting with you. You might need a divorce for the peace of mind and comfort of those outsiders to the marriage.

Plus, you prevent any new partner from marrying you.

3. Maybe it's not ethical to collect the financial benefits of marriage if you aren't committed to each other in the traditional way, living together and having an exclusive emotional and sexual relationship. Is it as wrong as 2 individuals marrying solely to create an economic benefit and without any sex or love at all? But how wrong is that?

Society is kind of "asking for it" by not having universal health care.

Methadras said...

You can divorce without lawyers. I don't understand this lazy logic at all.

traditionalguy said...

@ sunsong...IMO new paths are mostly old paths that did not work out before. The new age is the old occult idol worship. The hallucinatory drugs were the old mushrooms of religious initiation. Rock and roll is African drum and banjo music. The only thing new under the sun may be transgender surgery,unless that is seen as another form of the old surgical creation of eunuchs. My point is that our best "new paths" are deluding ourselves all over again.

edutcher said...

I've heard divorce lawyers often make things worse instead of better.

What's fascinating is that the Protestants, having fought to get divorce, can't keep it simple. The Moslems, whatever else they do wrong, make it simple.

sunsong said...

The new age is the old occult idol worship. The hallucinatory drugs were the old mushrooms of religious initiation. Rock and roll is African drum and banjo music.

Though I sure you honestly believe what you're saying. I don't agree with any of those examples. Rock n roll may have some inspiration from Africa - but that is not the music they were playing there :-)

LSD is not a mushroom and the New Age is not idol worship.

Do you think that the "American Experiment" is just warmed over Rome or Greece? Do you computers are not *new* or nuclear bombs?

I actually like the idea of tradition - as long as it is beautiful and good and has value in the present. Slavery was a *tradition* but is was neither beautiful or good. A women being essentially chattel was *traditional*.

There are many things about ancient cultures that I would like to see re-emerge :-) I suspect, however, that what you mean by *tradition* and what I mean by it are not the same :-)

newton said...

"3. Maybe it's not ethical to collect the financial benefits of marriage if you aren't committed to each other in the traditional way, living together and having an exclusive emotional and sexual relationship."

Maybe? Just "Maybe"? How about "It IS unethical"? I'll dare to go a bit further: it IS wrong. I know whereof I speak, Professor.

My father had a first marriage that went under after he found out his first wife's infidelity. He went on and started again with someone else, but she refused to divorce, having his house and his insurance policy still with her as beneficiary - she will not allow him to change anything, even though they were not sharing the same bed. He tried for years to finish that farce, but she preferred to keep it in limbo rather than to admit the relationship was truly dead.

Twenty years after the whole thing started, she relented, and the final divorce papers were signed. A week or so later, he married my mother. Another week later, he had a massive stroke. The next day, he became a corpse.

I was fourteen at that time.

Since he had no time to change the names on his policies and property papers, my mother and I were left almost in the street, while there was a nasty inheritance dispute which lasted almost twenty-one years. Twenty-one years of nightmares for my mother, who had witnessed how that woman's lawyers wanted to place her house under the dispute - a house she bought and paid for herself. Not to mention a visit from the U.S. Marshall to her work. Too many exchanges between each party's lawyers. Plus, one of my half-sisters tried to befriend me in order for me to give up my part of the inheritance. Needless to say, I didn't fall for it.

Twenty-one years after my father dropped the bucket, I finally received an inheritance settlement from the court. Twenty-one years too late. The two things that took me out of that limbo-and-chaos-induced poverty were my BA and my marriage. To this day, I do not speak to any of my half-siblings, except for one.

It is wrong to keep a legal marriage relationship in limbo for the economics of it, especially if one of the partners has found someone else.

The only thing I'd advise to someone separating is, if you are separating and can't stand for a second being under the same roof together, End The Marriage, period, especially if there is someone else in the picture. And write a will. You never know...

EDH said...

I probably should have said same sex male couples rather than "gay men," because my point is more about the predisposition of men in a relationship (in the particular situation where both partners are men), rather than making an intrinsic assertion about gay men, apart from them coupling as two men.

traditionalguy said...

Sunsong...You are correct that computers are new and H-Bombs are new, as are aircraft and rockets and satellites, as were steam engines 200 years ago. But are not these mere tools. What do new tools change about human nature and human ideas that determine how to use them? Today's computer gurus sincerely believe that human thought life is obsolete already. They believe people are tool dependent rather than tools are people dependent. But even HAL 9000 ruled only by thinking like a human told him to think. My belief is that there is no New Man that works like a machine/computer tool. We are stuck with the old men and an up, to date instruction book for them written down in the Bible.

Mark in Spokane said...

"Is it as wrong as 2 individuals marrying solely to create an economic benefit and without any sex or love at all?"

Well, our society is currently engaged (and has been for about the last 40 years) in an on-going discussion that has shifted marriage from essentially a life-long covenant recognized by law to a contractual agreement created under the law. Most states have no-fault divorce now, and we are currently debating same-sex marriage in our society (with a few states having moved in that direction or its equivalent, civil unions). It seems to me that once the traditional understanding of marriage gets thrown out as normative, then there really isn't any kind of "right or wrong" argument about the kinds of relationships that get to be defined as "marriage." There may be strong prudential judgments that can be made, cost-benefit type analysis, etc., but the purely moral, "hey, this just isn't right" argument isn't really operative anymore. Now, this may be a good thing or this may be a bad thing, but it is where we are.

But one thing that is interesting is that this question is getting raised now. I think that since so many government benefits attach to marriage, this is as interesting a debate as the next big "marriage fight" brewing in our culture, plural marriage (which raises similar issues).

JAL said...

@ edutcher The Moslems, whatever else they do wrong, make it simple.


Absolutely. They do it right. And the divorced woman (who is the one being divorced) ends up ....

How was that again?

Freeman Hunt said...

Isn't this sort of like the Clintons? Or have they rekindled things?

Joe said...

It's time to end all tax advantages of being married or not married. Marriage should be tax neutral as should being non-married.

Fat chance of that happening.

And I think it's a stupid idea. Once you physically separate, you also emotionally separate. It's unhealthy to not move on and find a new life, unencumbered by pointless legalities.

Moreover, this assumes that one of the parties doesn't become nasty. Being married gives you a lot of legal rights over the other person. Among other things, they could bury you in debt. They can cash your checks. That assumes one of the two is being nice.

That said, divorce is an absurd legal nightmare with archaic, obsolete customs (like alimony) with courts that heavily discriminate against men.

If they made marriage as expensive and difficult as divorce, few people would bother, which may be the solution!

Texan99 said...

Anyone who wants an amicable permanent separation without divorce can have one, yes? Most (if not all) states obligate each spouse to support the other and the children, but I've never heard of a state that forces a husband to live under his wife's roof or vice versa. Get an apartment, don't give him/her the key.

But while you're in this limbo, you're not single. You're not free to remarry, and if you take up with a new partner and start having another batch of kids, you're going to have to accomplish piecemeal everything that the law might automatically have done to provide for them. You'll have to name them in your will, for instance. If all that's too much trouble, get a divorce. Can't get a divorce? Don't procreate. How hard is this?

I think we're actually seeing something like this "formal separation" happen already. It used to be unthinkable that you'd start dating again before the divorce came through. Now people start dating as soon as they're willing to say "the marriage is dead in all but name," even if they're still living together. By the time man and wife are under separate roofs, it seems perfectly ordinary for the separated-but-not-divorced spouse to move in with the new squeeze. New children? Why not!

Craziness: a desire for security of roots and convenience of rootlessness.

prairie wind said...

I have to wonder why Peggy Sanchez is so sure that her boyfriend doesn't read the NYTimes?

jimbino said...

It's about time that married folks suffer misery, indignity and poverty for participating in a system that regularly abuses singles, couples like mother-daughter, father-son, grandmother-grandkid, not to mention all the gays among us.


Now is the time to get rid of this stupidity of marriage. Let the religious continue to practice infant baptism and sexual mutilation, marriage, divorce, genuflecting, fiddling with rosaries, expensive funerals and all that rot. Just stop all government participation in the idiocy.

sunsong said...

traditionalguy,

My belief is that there is no New Man that works like a machine/computer tool. We are stuck with the old men and an up, to date instruction book for them written down in the Bible.

I’m sure that the Bible works for you and that is great. It doesn’t work for me and it doesn’t work for billions of folks in this world :-) Religion is a little tricky to talk about – because beliefs are often precious to us and we don’t like to have them questioned and especially not attacked – since we often identify with them.

That said, I think it is wonderful that you have a belief system that you love and understand. I assume that you do :-) . What I have trouble with is people who want me to live by their belief system. That’s bullying, imo. And, of course, I fight that. I am opposed to one-size-fits-all top down social engineering, as a rule. (I was thinking, I say that a lot lately – and there may be an exception that comes up somewhere, sometime :-) – but, in most all cases – I am just naturally opposed to bullying-type laws and structure.

Like you, I don’t believe in a man that “works like a machine/computer tool.” Though, the body can be seen as similar to a machine, I suppose. The idea that man or mankind cannot change – strikes me as not true, though. If one believes in infinity – there is always more – by definition.

David said...

Well-to-do Catholic couples have been doing this forever.

Now a days, if it's possible to do, both as a matter of property and personality, then divorce would cost you little or nothing.

David said...

"let's establish "conditional suicide" where you can stop paying all your taxes permanently, but you don't have to be dead."

You can keep paying taxes after you are dead, so why not?

Class factotum said...

Plus, there are all sorts of financial reasons to preserve the marriage — health insurance,

This is known as insurance fraud. It has been prosecuted before.

c3 said...

Sunsong;
I love to see things like this. People doing what works for them.

You mean they don't need the sanction of their government?

Class factotum said...

I misspoke. The fraud that was prosecuted that I was thinking of was a guy who did not take his ex off his insurance once they divorced. He still claimed her as his wife.

That said, it is unethical (and unfair to the employer and everyone else who has to pay the premiums) to keep a for-convenience spouse on the group health insurance.

And if you do wait to file for divorce until your spouse is "ready" and because she doesn't want to get a job and wants to stay on your insurance, when you finally do meet someone you want to marry, it will take you forever to finalize that divorce and the ex will be diagnosed with cancer just before she's about to sign the papers, meaning you have to up the alimony to get rid of her.

Plus you will be paying her COBRA until November 2010. Not that you had any other use for that $500 a month.

William said...

I don't deny the existence of skilled liars, but the very idea of amicable divorce seems as much a logical contradiction as courtly love. It's a romantic fantasy.....The whole point of divorce is to get the court to pass judgement on the despicable bitch/bastard who, despite your best efforts, made the marriage such a failure. States should pass high fault divorce laws where the judge can make the guilty spouse register with the guilty spouse registry and the guilty spouse can be enjoined from ever dating again, and the children are granted visitation rights only for the funeral. People must pay for the way they mistreated you.

sunsong said...

c3,

I love to see things like this. People doing what works for them.

You mean they don't need the sanction of their government?

Thanks for mentioning that.

Show you said...

I do not deny the existence of expert liars, but the very idea of ​​an amicable divorce seems so logical contradiction, as the courtly love.
When we play the runescape, we need the RS Gold to help us become more powerful, as the same, we also need the cheap tera gold to spend less money to get the gold. When we feel tired we need the game to relax, we need the eden gold to play the game and we did this just for fun and don’t become addiction about it!

cinderaller said...

My father had a first marriage that went under after he found out his first wife's infidelity. He went on and started again with someone else, but she refused to divorce, having his house and his insurance policy still with her RS Gold Eden Gold Tera Gold Tera Online Gold WOW Gold as beneficiary - she will not allow him to change anything, even though they were not sharing the same bed. He tried for years to finish that farce, but she preferred to keep it in limbo rather than to admit the relationship was truly dead.

Cheapwowgold said...

However, if you have the time or expertise, have to do all these tasks, it suddenly becomes more logical, RS Gold specialized farmers. WOW Gold Eu, various items, including horses and battle to buy equipment.

zhu said...

where you can stop paying all your taxes permanently, but you don't have to be dead. cambridge satchel | cambridge satchel | cambridge satchel

cheap cartier jewelry said...

So now that I'm back to the blog and talking about relevant things, I just have 2 more things to add:cambridge satchel backpack|hermes handbags wholesale|hermes handbags for sale

gameplayer said...

yeah !
I think this is wonderful!
Just like my blogs below!
you can have a look!
http://coupondeals.blog4ever.com
http://discountcoupon.txt.bg

Jack said...

When you are traveling, you'll find commonly quite a few issues you desire to take with you along. And perhaps you cambridge satchel nyc should appear trendy through vacationing, especially when it truly is pertaining to business reasons. Hence, a little classiness and complicated appear will probably be your need. As you desire to have several items, quite a few vacationers prefer compact travel luggage along with cambridge satchel bag perhaps packing adequate goods not outperforming the desired fat to cart.

Criminal Lawyers in USA said...

If it's possible to do, both as a matter of property and personality, then divorce would cost you little or nothing.
Divorce Lawyers