Should divorce change agreements?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Should divorce change agreements?
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 6:07pm
A couple are in complete agreement that their children should always have a SAHP. They agree that Parent A will be the SAHM and will take care of the homefront and that Parent B will be the WOHP and will take care of the finances.

If they divorce does that void the agreement?

Since Parent B agreed that their children should always have a SAHP should they continue to fully support Parent A and the children as long as there is child in the household.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 7:01pm
is parent a still going to be taking care of parent b's homefront? does parent b get to determine how the money is spent? i would think it would be virtually impossible for one person to financially maintain two households in the majority of cases. personally i believe that the divorce voids the agreement.

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 10:07pm
The agreement only holds as long as they're in agreement.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Mon, 05-19-2003 - 10:19pm
the biggest problem with divorce occurs when the courts have to order a settlement. I say this because the court goes on a general assumption of what is fair for all parties and what is right for all involved. And let's face it, most families don't fall into that general catagory. There are special circumstances in most every family than needs to be taken into consideration, and the courts just don't have the time to do that.

1) In a lot of families, as much as they believe in having a SAHP, it is almost impossible for one person to support two households. 2) In a lot of families, there is one or the other parent who is being a flipping idiot and could care less about the children they made with their ex. All they want is to get back at the other parent. 3) In a lot of families, there comes a time when one or the other just isn't responsible enough for the other parent to hand over large sums of money to them. Especially if communication regarding child matters isn't working.

In my case, I would do almost anything to see that my kids not end up in daycare, and that they always had a parent available. In reality, that would be very difficult because the only thing I can see making me divorce my husband, at this point, is if he went back on some medications that I have forbidden or if he stopped his treatment and/or medication for depression and PTSD. In those cases, I would fight for him to have absolutely no visitation with our children. And in those cases, I would likely file for separation (and a RO), but no divorce, and then just wait for him to get his head on straight.

So, to be honest, I can't really imagine what *I* would do in this instance, but I think there is no "right" answer across the board.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-01-2003
Tue, 05-20-2003 - 6:48am
Divorce nullifys the agreement that you would stay together until you died...

It could, then, nullify any other agreement during that time. I don't think

many people get married thinking, In five years we'll divorce... and then

do whatever to make it to five years. In most cases divorces occur in the 3-5 year range

for a marriage. Hence, how could anyone expect that the same two people would still

be in agreement about child rearing 3-5 years into THAT...

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-22-2000
Tue, 05-20-2003 - 7:14am
Divorce changes *everything*. Once it takes place, all deals are off.

Also, based on what I've seen, I think it's extremely unrealistic for anyone to believe that, in the case of divorce, their spouse would willingly support them and their children, either financially or otherwise, in the manner that they have during marriage. In the majority of cases I know, one spouse (usually the one initiating the divorce) has slipped into what I refer to as "divorce mode" ...wherein a previously loving, devoted and supportive spouse changes so suddenly and completely that you wouldn't even recognize them, and NCP's who have been totally wonderful parents in the past suddenly have to be forced by the courts to support their children. People who are in this "mode" will do things that are completely ridiculous and unpredictable (such as a couple fathers I knew who quit jobs so that their wages couldn't be garnished.) I truly believe that if a couple divorces, they should not expect to be dealing with the same *person* that they were married to. Even if the change turns out to be temporary, it happens and it is devastating. Anyone who faces divorce should be prepared to do battle and to support themselves and their children IMMEDIATELY. If it doesn't turn out to be necessary, at least they were prepared.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-20-2003 - 7:59am
As a SAHM, I would never expect dh to support me totally if divorce were on our plate.

In fact, I believe one of the *best interest of the child* points that I believe exsist everywhere, a parent's ability to provide financially for the child(ren) is important to the courts. To SAH with child(ren) with nothing but a dependency on the child(ren)'s father financially, (or vice versa) you would be taking the position that at any time, the other parent would probably have a better chance to obtain full custody in court. Especially when such things would probably happen from some kind of verbal agreement. I would think the second that SAHP or the WOHP started dating again, this is the kind of thing that would fall apart. I think you would have a hard time with a new spouse accepting of the agreement on either side. What SAHM would want this? I would think this would be a very rare situation to find.

Besides, isn't joint custody more typical these days? If divorce were imminent in this family, I would want the children to spend as much time as possible with their father - I fell in love with him, and married him for many great reasons, but his parenting is what blows me away everyday as time goes on. And besides, I've watched his older children be torn from him time and time again by his ex-wife - hurts him, but even worse, is the affect on those children. His influence, married to me or not, is something our children only deserve.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-20-2003 - 8:28am
In the case of divorce, all bets are off and all agreements made in happier times are out the window. There is only a certain amount of money to be spread around and the non-custodial parent is going to have to live, too, so I seriously doubt that most men would continue to support a SAH-ex-wife.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-20-2003 - 1:27pm
Divorce changes EVERYTHING! The entire process of divorcing involves setting up NEW contracts between the former spouses and therefore negates any previous agreements.

Hollie .. what? me bitter?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-21-2003 - 10:24pm
I'm really starting to develop a negative attitude to the whole divorce mentality - whereby the *dependant children* are the only entities of concern.

I'm starting to think that this mentality creates alot more animosity between the divorced parents than is really necessary, and alot of unnecessary problems. I mean, what kind of dwelling, neighbourhood, lifestyle sacrifices would be made in order to accomodate the maintenance of that sahm arrangement? Or are we assuming the husband goes at whatever level of subsistance it takes in order to maintain this arrangement? While the sahm gets to live on, lifestyle at par, because, well, she's the sahm? THAT is not something I can imagine having wanted/wanting for either of my parents, for my spouse, even the one I did divorce, or for one of my children later in life. Not even for their ex-spouses.