Navigating a divorce is overwhelming on all levels – financially, emotionally and even spiritually. Once you have resolved to end your marriage, you will have an additional number of hard decisions to make. One of these is whether you should continue living together while working out your divorce or not.
Unless your well-being is at risk, you should not leave your marital home before finalizing your divorce. This is especially true if you and your spouse have a child together. In doing so, you could compromise your ability to get the house as part of your divorce settlement.
However, living together during this period is not going to be a walk in the park. If you decide to take this route, you’ll need to come up with house rules that you will both live by. Here are two important rules that you’ll want to strongly consider implementing when living together during your divorce.
1. Put the kids first
During this period, kids will definitely notice that the family dynamic has changed. And this will certainly affect them in different ways. It is important that you listen to them and watch out for possible signs of duress. Start off by talking to the children about your decision to divorce. Use age-appropriate language and have an honest dialogue with the children on your decision to divorce.
Additionally, you’ll want to avoid the temptation to become the favorite parent. This could be tantamount to parental alienation. Instead, assure the kids that you will always love and care for them and that their other parent will always love them too.
2. Take personal space seriously
It is extremely crucial that you establish clear personal and financial boundaries during this period. This will go a long way in reducing conflicts. As a rule of thumb, take the following steps:
- Sleep in separate bedrooms
- Come up with separate budgets and discuss how you will share common bills like utilities
- Discuss each party’s concerns regarding personal space and time-related needs
The last thing you want during this period is to get intimate with your soon-to-be ex. It will complicate everything for everyone.
Protecting your rights
Living together during a divorce results in a fair share of challenges. And so does moving out. Knowing your legal rights and obligations during divorce can help you avoid costly mistakes that can delay your divorce process and compromise the strength of your legal case.