Pushing spouse to next stage in seperation. Please help.
September 29, 2013 6:36 PM Subscribe
My spouse won't move with me to the next step in our separation and I don't know what to do.
posted by anonymous to human relations (22 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I prepared spouse that I was ready to separate for years, we did therapy, it didn't help. We're still in the same house for financial and parenting reasons. Moving towards an actual separation got stronger over the last year. I was firm 6 months ago that we would need to start preparing legally, financially. And I mentioned it all the time like - "Johnny will be in public school next year because we won't be able to afford private after we're in two houses." Spouse has been in guest bedroom for 4 months. 2 months ago I said, by the end of the year, we're separating. For the last 2 months I've been working with attorney/mediators and started the paperwork - parenting agreement (and the financial aspect), asset/property division.
But spouse won't go to mediation. They won't look at the asset/property spreadsheet. They won't look at the parenting agreement.
They want us to stay together. Every time I ask them to look at some paperwork, the reply is about how I am such a jerk for destroying our family. And sometimes replies are angry reactions that aren't based in the legal truth "I paid for that couch, so you have no rights to it." I've been using calm lines from divorce books like "I don't have the feelings to keep us together" to the emotional replies and "I'm not sure that's the case, but I'd like us to talk to a mediator or legal advisor to determine if the buyer of an item has more rights to it."
I don't want to just go get an apartment and take my things because my name is on the house too and paying for both the mortgage and rent wouldn't be possible. I am also the primary parent, so up and leaving the family house would probably seem to the other parent as if I was "taking the children away." I also need the financial support that is written into the parenting agreement draft that I worked on with an attorney or else I can't swing it financially caring for the kids.
So what do I do to force spouse to come to mediation and move on with things - agreements, selling the house, etc.? I feel like I have given them enough time. Maybe going to couples counseling again would make them feel initially like we're working on things even though I am just trying to get us to be good co-parents?
Note that our union is not legal, but we are both legally parents. Thus, asset/property division is something that the courts have nothing to do with (according to my lawyer), and this is really about us.