Living Together During a Divorce

Living Together During a Divorce

Get a Free Consultation

Getting divorced is never easy, but when the cost of living soars, some divorcing spouses find it difficult to turn one household into two. Though 13 states, like Alabama and Louisiana, require spouses to separate for a period of time before the divorce, in most states, it’s perfectly legal to continue living together throughout the divorce process. Choosing to remain living together during divorce is an option that some couples choose to save money during the expensive legal process, or to make the transition easier on their small children. Other spouses remain living together during divorce because they’re in a dispute about which one retains the family home during the division of their marital assets.

No matter the reason, when divorcing spouses choose to live together during the process of ending their marriage, it can be an uncomfortable situation. Setting ground rules for the duration of the experience can help.

Put Your Children First

If you and your spouse are still living together and you have children in the situation, it’s crucial to keep them as your highest priority throughout the process. This means resisting arguments in front of the children and only discussing divorce terms and other issues privately. Co-parenting during divorce can be tricky, but it can also be the best possible way to show children that they’ll remain the priority of both parents during and after the divorce.

If you feel like venting about your soon-to-be ex-spouse, it’s important to do so with a trusted friend or family member, but not with your children. Never speak negatively about your spouse to your children, since studies show that this can have long-lasting negative emotional impacts on children.

Finally, have a plan in place for after the divorce is final. This includes separate housing and a parenting time schedule. Colorado has many schedules for shared custody so parents can choose one that works best for their unique situation.

Set Boundaries for Sharing Space and Household Duties

Living together while no longer in a relationship can cause tension. It helps to set clear boundaries for the following:

  • Separate sleeping spaces
  • Alternating meals with the children
  • Alternating TV time in the living room
  • Having well-defined personal spaces and separate bathrooms
  • Keeping groceries on separate shelves in the refrigerator and cupboards
  • Alternating bedtime routines with children

Co-parents who can put their children’s needs first can spend family time together with their children during the time they remain in the same household, but it’s also a good idea to slowly transition children to become accustomed to spending time with only one parent at a time. This is what they’ll experience going forward after the finalization of the divorce when you and your ex-spouse live apart in separate households. Beginning the process while still cohabitating is a good start.

Speak To Your Attorney About Your Living Situation

Speak to Your Attorney About Your Living Situation

It’s important to be upfront with your Denver family lawyer from Ciancio Ciancio Brown, PC about your living situation, especially if there’s been any history of domestic violence or substance abuse in your history together. Your attorney can help you understand any legal consequences of remaining in the same home during the divorce such as the impact of separating your financial assets—including the family home—after the divorce.