The Moneyist: ‘I’ve been living inside a silent divorce’: I want a ‘kitchen-table’ separation from my husband without lawyers. Is that a good idea?

by | Oct 23, 2023 | Stock Market

Dear Quentin, For the last decade of my 22-year marriage, I have been living inside a silent divorce, as psychologist Esther Perel calls it. We are roommates and co-parents, but there is no marriage. Despite this, my highest priority is for us to continue to live and parent under the same roof until our children are off to college in a few years. My goal now is to sever our financial relationship, aligning it with our nonexistent emotional and physical relationship. 

We live in Washington state, which is a no-fault, community-property state. I believe a legal separation agreement — rather than a separation case filed with the court — would allow us to split our current assets and stop the accrual of marital property, and could also serve to set the terms if we decide to divorce later on.  We have a reasonable chance of coming to an agreement ourselves and would like to see if we could approach this as a “kitchen table” separation, using a mediator if needed. I have heard of kitchen-table divorces, but not a separation where …

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