Nov 3, Myths about polyamory abound, and your poly friends are tired of hearing them. If two people in an open marriage decide that, for example, and the husband sleeps with his secretary, that's a violation of their agreement!. Nov 6, Here's a 'behind the scenes' look at the real contract written by the San Diego Polyamory Pod family. This is a living document that has evolved. May 22, Here is an actual contract written by the San Diego Polyamory Pod family. All Rights reserved by Polyamory: Married & Dating. If you'd like to.
Relationship Agreements, Rules, and Contracts by Polyamory PodKamalaDevi
In New York City, I've won custody for a mom who was a polyamorous lesbian dominatrix, because the judge didn't think these aspects of her personal life implied that she lacked moral judgment or that they would impair her abilities as a mother.
In more rural and conservative upstate New York, I had a Republican Christian police officer dad lose custody because he was living with a girlfriend before his divorce had been finalized. The judge found that behavior immoral to the point of questioning his ability to parent.
In this landscape, how do I provide stability for clients when the law doesn't recognize their family structure? How do I protect their rights and minimize the harm they suffer from the government bias against them?
In many cases, I help clients create family agreements by design, out of court, so they can use contract law to map their own path rather than picking a family structure from the government's menu. In effect, they can hack family policy and make it their own. Connubial Contracts Many of my clients want to commit to each other while maintaining nonmonogamy.
Some call themselves polyamorous. Some prefer the word monogamish, or describe their relationship as an open marriage. Some still call themselves monogamous but claim the right to define what this means. A first decision for a couple in a consensually nonmonogamous relationship may be to choose whether they wish to enter into legal marriage. Many couples who question monogamy also question the institution of marriage.
I explain the many financial ramifications of entering into marriage, which, legally speaking, amounts to a private welfare state of two where all debt and profit is shared as marital property unless these terms are tweaked by a prenup. For a specific couple, this may or may not be the best strategic choice for their interests. For those clients who do marry, I help them devise creative prenuptial agreements.
People think of prenups as a way to keep a gold-digging future spouse away from their money, but I try to reclaim the concept of prenuptial agreements for romance. The process can be an opportunity for an intimate discussion about a couple's practical and financial intentions for their marriage. Just as they have a right to make their own vows, I encourage them to make their intentions clear about whether and how they wish to share their money and property through their unknown possible future of children, prosperity, or loss.
Hacking Marriage - babae.us
As long as these prenups include the factors required by their state, such as full financial disclosure, adequate legal counsel, and recitations of any legal rights to be waived, these agreements are generally legally enforceable in any future divorce action.
But the conversation is even more valuable protection than the contract, by helping prevent future misunderstandings and ensuring that the parties share their underlying assumptions.Polyamory Season 2: Episode 8 Clip - Living in Limbo
If clients choose not to marry but still wish to outline their intentions about how they will share finances as a cohabiting couple, we may create a cohabitation agreement. If one will be a stay-at-home parent or other financial dependent, this agreement is the essential means to provide for ongoing support and division of assets if the couple separates. In effect, the couple can choose some of the financial protections of marriage and agree to them via contract.
An unmarried couple may also wish to protect their rights with wills, powers of attorney to make financial decisions for each other, health care proxies who can make decisions for their partner in the hospital, or a state or local domestic partnership registration, which may allow them to share health insurance benefits through an employer although often at a higher rate than for married couples.
Some clients create what I call "emotional prenups," which are not legally enforceable. For clients who are nonmonogamous and wish to marry, for instance, I might help them write both a legally binding prenuptial agreement and a separate emotional prenup, more akin to a Jewish Ketubah or a statement of vows, that may address their intentions in relation to monogamy, parenting, division of household responsibilities, or a commitment to pursue couples therapy before splitting.
With these delicate discussions and negotiations, couples create powerful vows about issues that cause rifts in many marriages. Clearly written intentions on a signed piece of paper can have tremendous emotional weight, even if they involve agreements that it wouldn't necessarily make sense for a court to enforce—that a wife would go to couples counseling before divorcing her husband, say, or that a husband would agree to support his wife in her romantic relationships with women.
Couples have told me that the process of reaching these pacts has saved their marriages or vastly improved them. Legal enforceability isn't the only measure of an important contract. Triads and Quads What if a polyamorous couple falls in love with a boyfriend and wants to welcome him into a three-way triad marriage?
I support couples in just this situation, and it's a complicated adventure to try to provide them with the legal protections they seek. Three-way marriage is not legal in the United States. To create parity between three partners, I've divorced happy couples so that their third partner wouldn't feel left out of the marriage, with the burden of fewer legal rights and protections. I've also helped triads decide whether any two of them should get married strategically to protect a partner's parenting rights, health insurance, or immigration status.
This triad might go on to have a polyamorous commitment ceremony that is as elaborate, expensive, or deeply felt as any wedding but not legally binding. If a triad wishes to share finances or buy a house, we can create a three-person cohabitation agreement.
It would include all the factors that make a two-person cohabitation agreement valid and binding, with the intention to set them up for stability that would keep them out of court, but also to create a document that I hope would be enforced by a court to clarify that a three-person cohabitation agreement can be binding. My clients are advised that depending on their jurisdiction, the courts may refuse to enforce the contract. Some polyamorous triads or quads!
In practice, squeezing a family dynamic into the corporate structure of mission statements and bylaws often feels unwieldy. It has never been the most efficient structure to achieve a goal of shared home ownership or shared health insurance, though I would try it for the right clients.
If our polyamorous triad wishes to have children and to co-parent as three, a careful co-parenting agreement could attempt to protect the party who is not a biological parent. And about having no support system?
I remember Kamala insisting [outside the show] that the first thing she stresses for making poly work is, "You need a tribe. I want kids like, in a year. Emma informs Megan that before she came on the scene, Chris and Leigh Ann always were known to, um, experiment, and that about a year into their new closed relationship of three, she remembers "Leigh Ann saying to me, 'Wow.
I really should have had a discussion with Chris before this started. Because now I'm in a position where I'm in a relationship with someone that I don't know if I want to be in a relationship with. And I should have, as a married woman, with my husband, set boundaries before we entered into this relationship. Emma continues to lay it out: Or do you say what Chris wants to hear? And I don't know that Chris knows what polyamory actually means. Because he gets to have two people who love him, and cater to his every need.
Chris is Chris's priority. And you and Leigh Ann, you just do what you can to make Chris happy, with your own self just pushed by the wayside. Here is a transcript of nearly the whole thing, because it is a fascinating model of how an important and unusual thing is done. Kamala tells the camera, "In the seven years that I've been doing play parties, I've found that having a pre-party conversation to set intentions is essential.
And since we have a number of new people, we want to find out what their boundaries are, so that we avoid having breakdowns, and we increase the breakthrough. Or green, 'it's totally cool. I'm not comfortable with Jen being sexual, or really sensual, with any guys except Tahl; women I guess I'm okay with I don't want to be left alone. And, I want Jennifer to really respect Jesse's boundaries. Mainly because, I'm not percent comfortable yet with knowing you?
Sexually we kinda have that incomplete" — the failed threesome — "and it'd be nice to see what happens between us tonight? That's kind of an intention. I don't really need to have a second time that doesn't work out? That I'd like to explore some other people tonight. And not really revisit the threesome with you. For you to say you're not comfortable doing a threeway with me is like you're excluding me, and I'm not okay with that.
To the camera Kamala explains, "I want to have a sister connection with Rachel. But if she doesn't want to play with me, she at least needs to know that the rules of a play party is that my husband and I always include each other.
Real Relationship Agreements, Rules and Contract by San Diego Polyamory Pod
I see impressive modeling of the way that direct, honest communication within a poly network can work — even when it's saying tough things between people who don't particularly like what's going on with each other. This is how to make what might look like a utopian fantasy actually function well in a non-utopian world. And then they break and all join together in setting up and decorating the main room, and dressing up.
As they're getting ready, other lovers arrive — several folks who we've not seen on camera. For the record, at least one is black, so the cast is no longer entirely white or part Latina as critics have mentioned. Leigh Ann is resolved to "be really honest by finally coming clear about my biggest fear about our relationship. We didn't talk about things I'm looking very much in the future. And I want to feel like I'm an equal. That I'm a priority.
But the truth is I never anticipated how serious you were going to get, and we were going to get in this relationship. Like, it was really not what I wanted I was afraid to say, that's not what I wanted. I know you've been scared to say it for a very long time.
I know you're finally being honest to me. But I don't want to just like be the girlfriend forever. I want a commitment, you know? I want to have kids. And I can't help but ask, if it's something that you're ever going to be able to work towards.
I think that you two would have beautiful children. But it scares me to think that a girl that's ten years younger than me could come in, partway through our relationship, and earn all the credit and all the respect that I have. We see her driving away in the night. A very inconclusive conclusion.