How to Handle Sharing a Residence While the Divorce Is Pending

divorce processMost people realize that it is not easy to move out of the marital home when they are contemplating divorce. This is why some couples may choose to continue to reside together during the divorce process. Often, the reason is due to financial constraints or because the couple has children. But as you can imagine, this can be very difficult and stressful for the entire family. So if you plan to continue residing with your future ex-spouse during the divorce process, take a look at these tips first.

Determine Financial Responsibilities

Knowing who is responsible for what expenses will help keep the peace. Plan a budget divvying the financial responsibilities, including your shared living expenses. For example, you may decide to split the expenses equally. Or, you may decide to alternate months. Alternatively, you each may be responsible for specific bills. These bills may include rent/mortgage, utilities, cable, Internet, cellphone, insurance, food, children’s education, medical and other expenses.

Divvy Up House Chores

Household duties should also be divvied up so no one person is burdened with all the responsibilities. Household chores include dishes, garbage, laundry, cooking, and cleaning. You may alternate the duties each day, every week or every month. This way, no one person is stuck with a duty he or she dislikes doing.

Help Your Children Through the Transition

Divorcing couples with children may also choose to remain in the family home in the hopes that it will help transition the children into understanding that their parents are splitting up. But pre- and post-divorce sharing of parental duties may not be the same.

It may be beneficial if you both determine which hours of the day each of you will be taking over parenting duties. This will help you, your spouse, and your children become accustomed to how life will be post-divorce.

Living together while co-parenting during the divorce process may also help you and your spouse develop a plausible parenting plan.

Establish Boundaries

Residing together during the divorce process may heighten negative emotions if your living environment causes you additional stress.   To reduce the stress, establish boundaries.

Determine which rooms you each will stay in and how much room you each may need. Ensure common areas, like the kitchen and living room, are accessible to each of you. You may also work out times when you each can have the house to yourself.

Don’t Bring Over a New Romantic Interest

It is not advisable for one spouse to bring a new interest into the home. Not only may this make it more difficult for the children, but may also create or increase animosity and stress. Remember, this is the time to learn how to be independent again and adjust to the changes.

Be Cordial and Respectful

In order to make any divorce proceeding move smoothly it is important to decrease animosity. If you and your spouse must interact, especially in a shared living space, be cordial and respectful. If you both keep fighting then continually living together will not only make the divorce process more difficult, but also burden familial relationships.

Speak to a Divorce Attorney

Considering divorce is an important decision that should not be taken lightly, especially when children are involved. Gathering as much information as possible can help you make informed decisions that are right for you and your family. Contact an experienced divorce lawyer at the Law Offices of Rick D. Banks by calling (559) 222-4891.

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