Re: divorce in cohousing
From: Catya Belfer (
Date: Tue, 11 Feb 2014 04:12:32 -0800 (PST)
Speaking as half of one of those now-divorced couples...  I think that that
sort of policy would put MORE stress on the couple, and definitely the
kid/s, even if it put less on the community somehow.

My ex (who some of you know) and I generally fail to serve on the same
teams, or participate strongly in the same discussions, and we try not to
let our stuff hit everyone else too hard.

I'd suggest strongly that if you need a community wide solution, you agree
to your community support / conflict resolution folks to help them find a
participation solution that works for them and for the community.

     - cat

Catya Belfer   -
Technical Director   -
Cohousing in MA -

On Mon, Feb 10, 2014 at 9:42 PM, Elizabeth Magill <pastorlizm [at]>wrote:

> wow! at five years old I feel our community is too young to have a strong
> opinion.
> but we've had two divorces where all parties still own homes here, and
> live here, and as we head into a third divorce in process many people are
> working hard to help one member to find a rental so they can stay.
> I don't know if we are setting ourselves up for more challenges (we've
> certainly had some) but I also can't imagine telling the parent of a child
> living here that the parent can't be a member.
> -Liz
> (The Rev.) Elizabeth M. Magill
> 508-450-0431
> On Feb 10, 2014, at 9:06 PM, Doug Huston <huston [at]> wrote:
> >
> > At times I've read on this list serve how stressful break-ups/divorces
> have been on communities.
> > In our community, we are considering the following proposal:
> > When a couple breaks up, the person who moves out of the community is
> automatically no longer a member of the community.
> > This means he/she cannot be an off-site member, a category which exist
> for some communities.
> > This would be the default situation. Exceptions could be considered. If
> after one year the member who moved out wants to re-join, the group could
> choose to consider this - or not.
> > The intention behind this is to insulate the community (to some extent)
> from the common challenges, stress, and tensions which usually accompany
> break-ups, and would likely be heightened if both parties remain formally
> involved in community activities.
> > We are wondering what others in communities think, and if there are
> similar or related policies regarding break-ups elsewhere in cohousing.
> > Thanks for your comments in advance.
> >
> > Doug Huston - Ashland (Oregon) Cohousing Community
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> >
> >
> >
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