Cohabitation During Divorce - How to Make it Work When You Have To / by Cassandra Hearn

The end of a marriage is always a stressful time for both spouses. There is often a rush to try to move things forward as quickly as possible once the spouses have come to the conclusion that the marriage is broken. These changes include a variety of actions from dividing bank accounts to hiring attorneys. One big and common change is moving out. However, having two different households with two different sets of bills and responsibilities can sometimes be overwhelming at the beginning of a divorce. Continuing to reside with a spouse during the divorce process is not ideal, but it is sometimes necessary due to financial constraints, or other concerns. If you are forced to continue to reside with your spouse during a divorce, there are some ways to help make it work.

First, you will need to have an open and honest discussion with your spouse about how bills will be handled from now on. Even though you are still residing with your spouse, it does not mean you have to continue to maintain joint bank accounts. It may be an option to have both parties agree to only use the joint account for necessary bills, such as credit card payments or mortgage payments. Each party can then deposit the remainder of their income in their respective sole accounts, and use the funds as they see necessary.

Next, if the you share children, it's essential to have a structured plan around child care. Having a plan on who will spend time with the children at what times can help reduce conflict. It can also help ease the children into the idea of having two separate households, as it will get them accustomed to spending time separately with each parent.

Third, each person will want his or her own space. Creating a schedule on when each will be in the residence can be helpful for this purpose. This is not to suggest that you will never be at home at the same time, but rather will allow each of you to know what to expect from the other person's schedule. This is especially important where there are shared children or even pets.

Finally, try to be as respectful as possible of the other person. The situation will undoubtedly often be tense, but try to remember the other spouse is also going through the chaos of divorce. Do not take extra steps to antagonize the other party, such as bringing over a new paramour or leaving huge messes for the other spouse to clean up. Such actions will only make the living situation more difficult, and could hurt your court case in the end.

Making changes at the beginning of a divorce can be difficult, but we understand that keeping certain things the same can also present special problems. You need an experienced attorney to help you with your divorce. Contact us today at 619-800-0384 to talk about your divorce and how to move forward