How to Live with Your Spouse While Going Through a Divorce
Living with a spouse while going through a divorce is rarely an easy thing to do. To begin with, the very fact you and your spouse have deemed your marriage irrevocably broken means you no longer desire to be together permanently. This being said, it would not usually be the desire of a couple to continue to live together in the same home. In most instances, each party has his or her own residence while going through a divorce and most certainly after the divorce is finalized. Occasionally, however, some circumstances make it necessary for a couple to continue to live together, which can include caring for minor children while the other party works, financial hardships preventing each party from having their own residence, only one car that must be shared, or sometimes a couple stays friends but no longer want the commitment of marriage. When it happens that a couple decides to live together, there are some ideas to help make the co-residency successful.
- Probably the most important idea is to accept the fact you are divorcing and no longer desire to spend a lot of time together. Make it clear you each now have your own private lives separate and apart from each other. Do not look over each other’s shoulders or ask where a person is going and when he or she will return.
- In a sense, divide living spaces in half. Each party needs their own bedroom with a door that closes and is off-limits to the other. Decide if inviting a friend into the bedroom, especially romantically involved is acceptable. And, if so, don’t interfere or act annoyed when this occurs. Usually, bringing home another partner is not a good idea.
- You must set boundaries. Come up with a plan, put it on paper, and stick to it. Set down what areas will be “cohabitated” and what areas will be shared. For example, you might share the fridge but not the stereo system. Decide things like what times each person has use of the kitchen or backyard patio. If sharing a vehicle, be specific what times each has use of it.
- Be specific about how the living expenses will be divided and who will take what responsibility in seeing bills are paid. Be sure to honor this part of the living arrangement if you expect it to work.
- When minor children are living with you, be sure to keep personal problems out of earshot. Don’t put them in the middle of your disagreements, and certainly do not say negative or unkind things about each other in front of them.
- Try to stay away from home as much as is reasonable. COVID now makes this often difficult, so you will have to make extra effort to get along under the same roof. Keep a TV, computer, and other electronic devices in your room and likely spend a lot of time there. Decorate your room attractively, have good lighting, a comfortable chair (rockers and recliners are great), and a mini-fridge and hot plate can add a dimension of pleasure to your room.
- Hopefully, you can have a bathroom of your own, but if not, this is another area you will need to schedule a time for.
- More than likely, you don’t get along too well, or you wouldn’t be getting a divorce. Try, however, to keep arguing to a minimum and discuss legal issues with your attorneys.
- Try to communicate as little as possible and not spend a lot of time together. Some couples use email and texting as a way to communicate most issues. This method is helpful as it keeps emotions to a minimum and also allows keeping the conversation recorded. Social media, email, and texting can be used in court as evidence.
No, it is not easy to live with your spouse while going through a divorce. However, if this becomes necessary, with careful planning and thoughtful consideration, people no longer wanting to be married can successfully and maturely make the difficult choice of living together during divorce work.