Living separately from your spouse involves two sets of household expenses. These include two rents or mortgage as well as two sets of utilities and related home expenses. Some couples simply cannot afford to live in two separate households while also paying the expenses of a divorce. In this case, they decide to both live in the marital home while the divorce is pending.
Living with a spouse while a divorce is pending is not an easy task for anyone to undertake. Be prepared for many emotions and difficult times and know that this is normal. Have a plan in place for when things become too heated or difficult.
This does not mean sectioning off parts of the home that are strictly for one spouse. Instead, respect each other’s living space. When one spouse needs alone for any reason, allow for this. Also, allow for the spouse to use the home as he or she pleases, respectfully. If one spouse wants to entertain friends, do not put too many restraints on this.
Set a Realistic Budget
The household budget should remain as similar as possible to the time before the divorce proceedings began. Base a budget on the previous year’s utilities, taxes, mortgage/rent, groceries, and any other additional monthly expenses and try to stick it as closely as possible. Try to keep all receipts, bank statements, and credit card statements. Do not attempt to spend more on personal items than you would otherwise. This can help ensure that there is an equitable division of the assets through the divorce as well as prevent you both from incurring unnecessary debt.
Allocate Parenting Duties
If children are involved, it is important to ease them into a parenting time schedule. Attempt to ensure that there are certain days throughout the week that will be exclusive time for one parent to spend with the children. Try to allocate all parenting duties to the parent who has that day. This will help the children ease into the change that will ultimately occur within the family.
Engage in Housing Searches
Living together while pursuing a divorce should be short term and you may start feeling the increasing need for living separately as the divorce goes on. However, some spouses still cohabit together even after their divorce is finalized. This is mainly because the couple did not use the time during the divorce process to search for separate housing. Whether both parties or just one will be moving from the marital residence, engaging together in housing searches will keep you focused on the ultimate goal of separating.
If you and your spouse are contemplating divorce, please contact the attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum. We understand the emotional complexities involved, especially if you and your spouse are still living together during the divorce. Our experienced team will help guide you through this process and advocate for your best interests.