If you and your spouse have chosen to continue to live together in your home as you go through the divorce process, or even for a time after your divorce has been finalized, you’re not alone. Some couples do it because they simply can’t afford to maintain two homes — even if one of them is a small apartment. Others do it because they feel it’s best for the kids — perhaps at least until the school year is over.
Of course, it only benefits the kids if the two of you can co-exist amicably under one roof. It’s also important, if your kids are old enough, to explain to them that this situation is only temporary and that you’re not getting back together.
Living together during divorce can help people ease into independence. If you’ve been married for some time, you’ve probably come to rely on each other to handle specific responsibilities — from cooking to yard work to paying bills. Learning to do them on your own while being able to ask your spouse for help if you need it can make the transition easier.
You’ll want to lay down some rules, of course. For example, bringing home a new boyfriend or girlfriend is generally not a good idea in these situations.
You’ll also want to set clear expectations about who is responsible for the kids and when. You may not have your custody agreement worked out yet. However, it may be best to have a schedule in place to make sure that you have drop-offs and pick-ups from school and other activities coordinated and that someone is always home when the kids are.
Personal space is important during the transition from married to single life. It’s best to agree that certain rooms (like the bedrooms) are each individual’s alone. You may also want to make some rules about whether you’ll both be in common areas like the living room or kitchen at the same time.
Cohabitating while divorcing isn’t for everyone. However, if you and your spouse want (or need) to make it work for a time, it’s a good idea to talk with your attorney. They can offer some advice that can help make things go more smoothly for everyone.