Although commonplace today, living under the same roof with a soon-to-be ex-spouse while you are going through a divorce can be difficult to navigate. Whether the reasons to cohabitate during a divorce have to do with economics, a desire to be with the children every day, or the fear of losing your rights to the home if you move out first, this situation is more universal than most divorcing couples realize.
Here are some survival tips for living together during a divorce:
Talk with the children.
Children pick up on a lot that you may think you are doing a good job of hiding. Depending on their ages, you will need to explain to them in age-appropriate language why things in the house are different (different bedrooms, stopping activities as a couple, etc.). For the young ones, you may just need to say that mommy and daddy sleep better when they have their own rooms. For older kids, you may have to go deeper than that.
Share a calendar.
You will want to keep things as predictable and stable as possible, so check out co-parenting tools like ourfamilywizard.com (or even Google Calendars) to streamline your scheduling and communication.
Respect each other.
We’ve all had to work on a project with someone we didn’t particularly enjoy, but most of us know how to keep it professional. You need to view your spouse now as your partner in the business of running a family. Treat him or her with the same respect you’d like to have given to you. Despite the challenges, if you choose to cooperate and be civil with each other, you can make it work.
Work out the finances.
Whether you have to work through your attorney or can make these decisions together on your own, you do need to determine how ongoing expenses will be paid. You may decide to stick with the status quo, or look for alternative arrangements that will work well for your current living situation. Whatever you decide, you need to decide together.
Give each other space.
Each of you needs enough space to be able to practice some good self-care activities when you are going through a divorce. Whether it’s going to the gym, out for coffee with friends, or getting a pedicure, you need to schedule some activities that make you feel good, which will help ease tensions at home.
When you are faced with an important life decision regarding a key family relationship, the advice and assistance of an experienced family law attorney often proves crucial to your understanding of the issues involved and your satisfaction with the ultimate outcome of your family law matter. Contact us today for your free consultation.