When a marriage is broken beyond repair and the couple resolves to divorce, sharing the same living space with your soon-to-be ex can be awkward at best and dangerous at worst. Consequently, it is not uncommon for one party to want out of the living situation before the divorce is finalized – but that may not be legally or financially prudent.
Living together with someone you no longer love (or one that you detest) is no mean feat. If you make the decision to share a living space during the divorce, it is crucial that you set some ground rules. Here are three important tips that can help you share the home harmoniously during the divorce process.
1. Set some boundaries
When you will be living with your soon-to-be ex while your divorce is underway, it’s important to understand that it is no longer “business as usual.” It is crucial that you set clear boundaries from the onset. As a bare minimum, be sure to have separate bedrooms and, if possible, bathrooms. Make an effort to respect each other’s space and stay out of each other’s path.
2. Set parenting rules
Changes in the living dynamics also mean that you may not spend time with your kids like you used to. In the best interests of your children, come up with a co-parenting plan that you will hopefully adopt once you finalize your divorce and go your separate ways.
3. Cut off financial ties
Money can be a contentious issue during the divorce. While you were married, chances are you had a household budget and shared household bills like mortgage, grocery and utilities. It is also likely that you had a joint bank account and credit card. But now that your divorce is underway, it’s crucial that you begin severing your financial ties. Close down any joint accounts and credit cards that you share with your spouse. Most importantly, come up with a budget for shared expenses.
Protecting your interests
Divorce is difficult, make no mistake. If you have made the decision to live together during the divorce process, it is important that you take the right steps to protect your rights and interests.