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FEATURE | spring 2008

MARRIAGE CONTRACT
OF

Harriett Mary Cody and Harvey Joseph Sadis

THIS CONTRACT is entered into this 24th day of November, 1972, by and between HARRIETT MARY CODY and HARVEY JOSEPH SADIS, as the parties enter into a marriage relationship authorized by a Marriage License and by an Official of the State of Washington, County of King.

RECITALS OF FACT

  1. HARRIETT MARY CODY is a woman 27 years of age, born on August 23, 1945, in Norfolk, Virginia, and the child of Hiram S. Cody Jr. and Mary V. Cody.
  2. HARVEY JOSEPH SADIS is a man 26 years of age, born on April 12, 1946, in Seattle, Washington, and the child of Jean Sadis and Joseph Sadis.
  3. HARRIETT and HARVEY are presently residing together in Seattle, Washington.

 

RECITALS OF INTENTION

HARRIETT and HARVEY desire to enter into marriage relationship, duly solemnized under the laws of the State of Washington, the rights and obligations of which relationship differ from the traditional rights and obligations of married persons in the State of Washington which would prevail in the absence of this CONTRACT. The parties have together drafted this MARRIAGE CONTACT in order to define a marriage relationship sought by the parties which preserves and promotes their individual identities as a man and a woman contracting to live together for mutual benefit and growth.
HARRIETT and HARVEY are of sound mind and body, have a clear understanding of the terms of this CONTRACT and of the binding nature of the agreements contained herein; they freely and in good faith chose to enter into this MARRIAGE CONTRACT and fully intend it to be legally binding upon themselves. NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of their affection and esteem for each other, and in consideration of the mutual promises herein expressed, the sufficiency of which is hereby acknowledged, HARRIETT and HARVEY agree as follows:

Article I. Names

HARRIETT and HARVEY affirm their individuality and equality in this relationship. The parties reject the concept of ownership implied in the adoption by the woman of the man’s name; and they refuse to define themselves as husband and wife because of the possessory nature of these titles.
THEREFORE, THE PARTIES AGREE to retain and use the given family names of each party: HARRIETT MARY CODY and HARVEY JOSEPH SADIS. The parties will employ the titles of address, MS. CODY and MR. SADIS, and will henceforth be known as PARTNERS in this relationship.

Article II. Relationships With Others

HARRIETT and HARVEY believe that their partnership will be enriched by the extent to which their respective needs can be met by relationships with others, rather than by a total dependence on each other to fulfill their needs. The parties have strong individual identities, with their own families, friends, careers, histories, and interests, and do not view themselves as an inseparable couple who do not exist apart from each other. 
THEREFORE, THE PARTIES AGREE to allow each other as much time with other friends individually as they spend with each other. The parties also agree that invitations extended to one of them will not be assumed to have automatically been extended to the other.
The parties freely acknowledge their insecurities about sexual relationships beyond the partnership.
THEREFORE, THE PARTIES AGREE to maintain sexual fidelity to each other.

Article III. Religion

HARVEY freely admits to break with Jewish tradition represented by this CONTRACT with HARRIETT. But he fully intends to maintain the cultural and religious traditions of his Sephardic community insofar as possible. HARRIETT chooses not to embrace the Jewish religion. THEREFORE, THE PARTIES AGREE to respect their individual preferences with respect to religion and to make no demands on each other to change such preferences.
THE PARTIES AGREE to continue the traditions associated with their respective religious holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Passover, Easter, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Thanksgiving) and to include each other in the celebrations thereof.

Article IV. Children

The joy and the commitment of the parties’ relationship are not dependent on raising a family. HARRIETT and HARVEY will not be unfulfilled as individuals or as partners if they choose not to have children. At this time, the parties do not share a commitment to have children.
THE PARTIES AGREE that any children will be the result of choice, not change, and THEREFORE the decision to have children will be mutual and deliberate. FURTHER, THE PARTIES AGREE that the responsibility for birth control will be shared. In the event of a pregnancy unwanted by either party, THE PARTIES AGREE to obtain an abortion of such pregnancy. A decision by one party to be sterilized will be supported emotionally and financially by the other.

Article V. Careers; Domicile

HARRIETT and HARVEY value the importance and integrity of their respective careers and acknowledge the demands that their jobs place on them as individuals and on their partnership. Commitment to their careers will sometimes place stress on the relationship. It has been the experience of the parties that insofar as their careers contribute to individual self-fulfillment, the careers strengthen the partnership.
THE PARTIES AGREE that, should a career opportunity arise for one of the parties in another city at any future time, the decision to move shall be mutual and based upon the following factors:

  1. The overall advantage gained by one of the parties in pursuing the new career opportunity shall be weighed against the disadvantages, economic and otherwise, incurred by the other;
  2. The amount of income from the new job shall not be controlling;

(c) Short-term separations as a result of such moves may be necessary. HARVEY HEREBY WAIVES whatever right he may have to solely determine the legal domicile of the parties

Article VI. Care and Use of Living Space

HARRIETT and HARVEY recognize the need for autonomy and equality within the home in terms of the use of available space and allocation of household tasks. The parties reject the concept that the responsibility for housework rests with the woman in a marriage relationship while the duties of home maintenance and repair rest with the man.
THEREFORE, THE PARTIES AGREE to share equally in the performance of all household tasks, taking into consideration individual schedules and preferences. Periodic allocations of household tasks will be made, in which the time involved in the performance of each party’s tasks is equal.
THE PARTIES AGREE that decision about the use of living space in the home shall be mutually made, regardless of the parties’ relative financial interests in the ownership or rental of the home. Each party shall have an individual area within the home in an equal amount, insofar as space is available.

Article VII. Property; Debts; Living Expenses

HARRIET and HARVEY intend that the individual autonomy sought in the partnership shall be reflected in the ownership of existing and future-acquired property, in the characterization and control of income, and in the responsibility for living expenses.
THEREFORE, THE PARTIES AGREE that this Article of their MARRIAGE CONTRACT, in lieu of the community property laws of the State of Washington, shall govern their interests and obligations in all property acquired during their marriage, as follows:
A. Property
THE PARTIES HAVE MADE full disclosure to each other of all properties and assets presently owned by each of them, and all the income derived therefrom and from all other sources, and AGREE that each party shall have sole management, control, and disposition of the property which each would have owned as a single person, all as specifically described in EXHIBIT A, which is incorporated by reference and made a part of this CONTRACT.
THE PARTIES AGREE that the wages, salary, and other income (including loans) derived by one of the parties will be the separate property of such party and subject to the independent control and /or obligation of such party. In order to avoid the commingling of the separate assets, THE PARTIES AGREE to maintain separate bank accounts. At the present time, HARVEY’s income consists of is salary as a full-time teacher with Seattle Public Schools; and HARRIETT’s income is derived from her savings and governmental loans, while she is a full-time student at the University of Puget Sound School of Law in Tacoma.
Ownership of all future-acquired property, tangible and intangible, will be determined in accordance with the respective contributions of each party, even in the case of property which the jointly used. Annually, or sooner if required, THE PARTIES AGREE to amend EXHIBIT A of this CONTRACT to include future-acquired property and any changes in the ownership of property presently described in EXHIBIT A. The parties may, by mutual agreement, determine their respective interests in an item of property on a basis other than financial contribution, but such agreement shall not be effective until reduced to writing in EXHIBIT A to this CONTRACT. Gifts, bequests, or devises made to one of the parties will become the separate property of that party, while gifts made to both of the parties will be considered to be jointly owned.
THE PARTIES AGREE to name each other as full beneficiaries of any life insurance policies which they now own or may acquire in the future.
B. Debts
THE PARTIES AGREE that they shall not be obligated to the present or future-incurred debts of the other, including tuition and other educational expenses.
C. Living Expenses
The PARTIES AGREE to share the responsibility for the following expenses, which shall be called LIVING EXPENSES, in proportion to their respective incomes: (1) Mortgage payment or rent, (2) Utilities, (3) Home Maintenance, (4) Food, (5) Shared entertainment, (6) Medical expenses. Other expenses shall be called PERSONAL EXPENSES and will be borne individually by the parties.
THE PARTIES RECOGNIZE that in the absence of income by one of the parties, resulting from unemployment or extended illness, LIVING EXPENSES may become the sole responsibility of the employed party; and in such a situation, the employed party will assume responsibility for the PERSONAL EXPENSES of the other, including, but not limited to the following: (1) Insurance, (2) Transportation, (3) Clothing, (4) Miscellaneous personal items.

THE PARTIES AGREE that extended periods of time in which one or both of the parties will be totally without income will be mutually negotiated.
HARRIETT HEREBY WAIVES whatever right she may have to rely on HARVEY to provide the sole economic support for the family unit.

Article VIII.  Evaluation of the Partnership

HARRIETT and HARVEY recognize the importance of change in their relationship and intent that this CONTRACT shall be a living document and a focus for periodic evaluation of the partnership.
THE PARTIES AGREE that either party can initiate a review of any article of the CONTRACT at any time for amendment to reflect changes in the relationship. THE PARTIES AGREE to honor such requests for review with negotiations and discussions at a mutually convenient time.
THE PARTIES AGREE that, in any event, there shall be an annual review of the provisions of the CONTRACT, including EXHIBIT A, on or about the anniversary date of the execution of the CONTRACT.
THE PARTIES AGREE that, in case of unresolved conflicts between them over any provisions of the CONTRACT, they will seek mediation, professional or otherwise, by a third party.

Article IX. Termination of the Contract

HARRIETT and HARVEY may by mutual consent terminate this CONTRACT and end the marriage relationship at any time.
FURTHERMORE, THE PARTIES AGREE that the breach of a material provision of this CONTRACT for a sustained period of time shall constitute “cruel treatment or personal indignities rendering life burdensome” and shall serve as a ground for termination of this CONTRACT, according to the divorce laws of the State of Washington, under RCW 26.08.020.
THE PARTIES AGREE that in the event of mutual consent to terminate this CONTRACT or breach thereof, neither party shall contest the application by the other party for a divorce decree or the entry of such decree in the county in which the parties are both residing at the time of such application.
In the event of termination of the CONTRACT and the divorce of the parties, the provisions of this Article and Article VII of this CONTRACT, as amended, shall serve as the FINAL PROPERTY SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT between the parties. In such event, this CONTRACT is intended to effect a complete settlement of any and all claims that either party may have against the other, and a complete settlement of their respective rights as to alimony, property rights, inheritance rights, and all other rights of property otherwise arising out of their partnership.
At such time as there may be a child born of this partnership or adopted by the parties, THE PARTIES AGREE to amend this CONTRACT to make provisions for their respective rights and obligations in regard to the child in the event of termination of the CONTRACT (including provisions for support and education of the child).

Article X. Decision-Making

HARRIETT and HARVEY share a commitment to a process of negotiations and a compromise which will strengthen their equality in the partnership. Decisions will be made with respect for individual needs. THE PARTIES HOPE to maintain such mutual decision-making so that the daily decisions affecting their lives will not become a struggle between the parties for power, authority, and dominance. THE PARTIES AGREE that such a process, while sometimes time-consuming and fatiguing, is a good investment in the future of their relationship and their continued esteem for each other.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, HARRIETT and HARVEY make the following declarations:
1. They are responsible adults.
2. They freely adopt the spirit and the material terms of this MARRIAGE CONTRACT.
3. The MARRIAGE CONTRACT, entered into in conjunction with a Marriage License of the State of Washington, County of King, on this 24th day of November, 1972, hereby manifests their intent to define the rights and obligations of their marriage relationship as distinct from those rights and obligations defined by the laws of the State of Washington, and affirms their right to do so.
4. They intent to be legally bound by this MARRIAGE CONTRACT and to uphold its articles before any Court of Law in the Land.
THEREFORE, COMES NOW, HARRIETT MARY CODY who applauds her development which allows her to enter into this partnership of trust, and SHE AGREES to go forward with this partnership in the spirit of the foregoing MARRIAGE CONTRACT.

HARRIETT MARY CODY

THEREFORE, COMES NOW, HARVEY JOSEPH SADIS who celebrates his growth and independence with the signing of this CONTRACT, and HE AGREES to accept the responsibilities of this partnership as set forth in the foregoing MARRIAGE CONTRACT.

HARVEY JOSEPH SADIS

FINALLY, COMES JANICE NIEMI who CERTIFIES that HARRIETT and HARVEY did freely read and sign this MARRIAGE CONTRACT in her presence, on the occasion of their entry into a marriage relationship by signing of a Marriage License of the State of Washington, County of King, at which she presided as an Official Witness and as an Official Authorized to Solemnize Marriage in this state. FURTHER, SHE DECLARES that the Marriage License of the parties bears the date of the signing of this MARRIAGE CONTRACT.

JANICE NIEMI