If you have ever asked divorcing friends what it is like still living together under the same roof, they will usually tell you it is awkward. If your home is palatial, you and your spouse may be able to spread out to opposite ends of the building and avoid each other. However, for most folks, living together while going through a divorce will act as a constant reminder of the pain you are going through. It can be hard to move on and focus on a bright new future when you come face to face with your past at the breakfast table each morning. If you have children, the situation becomes far more complicated.
What other options do you have? Here are some suggestions to consider:
- Stay where you are but reduce the time you and your spouse are home together. If one of you can work nights, this can reduce the time you spend together. It may also be the perfect opportunity to take up some new hobbies to keep you out of the house so much.
- Take turns rotating in and out of the family home. “Nesting” is a method where parents take turns living with the children. When it is not your turn, you can go and stay with friends or family, or rent a small apartment. This has the advantage of keeping things very stable for the kids.
- One of you could move out and leave the other in the family home. This can be risky, especially if you have kids. Consult a family law attorney if thinking of doing this. It is vital to ensure the other party cannot later claim that you abandoned the family home.
- You both move to new places. This may be easier if you are renting than if you own a home together. However, if neither of you intends to stay in the family home after the divorce, it could make sense if you think you can sell the property quickly. It could help you clear a joint mortgage, which might be the only joint debt you have.
There are a lot of decisions to make during a divorce. Having your own space to make them in can help. Seek legal advice to understand more about the legal implications of any decisions you make about living arrangements during a divorce.