Re: Resources for Very Small Group?
From: Michael Barrett (
Date: Sat, 19 Jan 2008 10:25:31 -0800 (PST)
I hate to project any possible gloom and doom, but it happened (a lot of gloom, anguish, and a threatened lawsuit) to a cohousing community (a well-planned co-housing development with lots of structure?) that I lived in. While finding an existing "perfect fit" legal structure would be very convenient for you, it is possible, and even probable, that it doesn't exist. In which case, create your own. But to do so you need to know rather precisely what you want and (more than slightly ominously) what you are prepared to put up with. When that is determined then, I suggest, is the time to talk to lawyers to see if they are willing and able to "legalize" it for you. I say "if they are willing and able" because most lawyers are quite conservative and unimaginative, and much prefer to xerox existing boilerplate. In saying "knowing what you want and what you are prepared to put up with" I imply some very hard work of considering well past the "isn't it going to be great" stage to considering the "it'll never happen" instance of how the community will, in detail, handle disenchantment, divorce, disability and death. Saying "we are such good friends we will work it out" may be unduly optimistic. Circumstances and people change, sometimes without apparent reason - and assets and debts can suddenly become very contentious. When you have clear paths to handle the issues above (and others), and clearly defined responsibilities and consequences, then maybe is the time to find, or create, a legal structure that formalizes your intentions.

Michael Barrett
Shadowlake Village, Blacksburg ,VA - where we enjoyed our Winter Saturdays Breakfast this morning and have rented the town (indoor!) pool for a pool party tonight - if it doesn't have to be cancelled by forecast snow!

----- Original Message ----- From: "Sheila Oakes" <sheila [at]>
To: <cohousing-l [at]>
Sent: Saturday, January 19, 2008 2:58 AM
Subject: [C-L]_ Resources for Very Small Group?

First timer here...I am a part of a small group (five "families" -  single
male, another single male, two families of 2 and a family of 4). There are
6 adults and 4 children.  We pounced on the opportunity to buy this land
from the couple that lived here for decades and now we are dealing with
trying to define our structure, etc. more than a year after the fact.

Results generated by Tiger Technologies Web hosting using MHonArc.