Sharing a home during the divorce: 3 tips for couples

Photo of attorney Melinda L. Singer

Not many life experiences are as tumultuous as divorce. If you decide to end your marriage, one of the most important decisions you will need to make is whether to leave the marital home or not. Both decisions have personal and legal implications.

If you decide to share the home with your soon-to-be ex, it is important that you observe some ground rules. This will help you avoid mistakes that can complicate your divorce case going forward.

Here are three steps you need to take while living together during the divorce period.

Set clear personal boundaries

The importance of creating clear personal boundaries while living with someone you are no longer romantically involved with cannot be overstated. Here are a few things you can do to set boundaries and create your personal space:

  • Have separate bedrooms
  • Agree on how you will share joint spaces like the kitchen and the living room
  • Agree on how common bills like utilities will be shared

Keep your communications as respectful as possible

Living with someone you no longer love can be difficult, especially if you believe they played are responsible for the divorce. However, it helps to keep your communication with your soon-to-be ex as respectful as possible. This is especially important if you have kids together.

Focus on the kids

During the divorce period, chances are your kids will notice the changes and this can confuse them. It is important that you look out for signs of instability or stress. Most important, be sure to talk to them. Find an appropriate time to disclose the news of your divorce to the kids. Most important, avoid falling into the trap of becoming the favorite parent.

The decision to live together while your divorce is underway entirely depends on you. That said, knowing your legal rights and obligations can help you safeguard your interests while living together with your soon-to-be ex.

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