How to Get Along With Your Soon-to-Be-Ex While Still Cohabitating / by Cassandra Hearn

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Following a divorce, the housing arrangements for both husband and wife will change. Although one of the spouses may wish to remain in the marital residence, divorce means big changes to budget and lifestyle issues, which will inevitably lead to modifications. Before those big changes, however, some parties continue to live together during the divorce. Continued cohabitation with your soon-to-be former spouse during the divorce can have big advantages. Continuing to share cost of living expenses is an enormous help with spreading the financial burden, and if the parties share children, it allows both parents to continue to have continual access to the children. While the situation will not be optimal for every couple, there are some basic ways to make sure you keep getting along with your spouse.

Setting a new budget and expectations on who will pay which bill is an important first step. Financial issues can get sensitive very quickly during a divorce, so having a civil conversation about financial expectations can help cut off problems before they start.

Spouses also need to respect each other’s privacy and boundaries. While during the marriage it may have been normal to make inquiries about how the other spouse was spending free time or the structure of his or her daily activities, during and after a divorce, it is normal to no longer share that type of information. It is unrealistic to expect your soon-to-be-former spouse to share the details of daily life just as if you were still engaged in a relationship. In addition, you and your spouse should respect each other’s physical space. After separating bedrooms, you should respect the other person’s privacy and not invade that space, as you would want that person to respect your physical space.

Finally, in cases where parties share children, it may be helpful to craft a schedule on who is to be responsible for the children at which time. The daily schedules that you and your spouse shared during the marriage with respect to childcare may very well change during a divorce. A stay-at-home spouse may return to work or school, or a working spouse may reduce or change work hours to better accommodate the children. Spouses should discuss these changes and how best to maximize the time each parent spends with the children. Just because the parties share a residence does not mean they have to share all of their parenting time together.

We have extensive experience with helping our clients with unique arrangements during and after their divorce to help ease the transition. Call us today at 619-800-0384 for a consultation and we can discuss your divorce and possible solutions.