Getting a Divorce While Living Under the Same Roof

If you can be amicable with your soon-to-be-ex, it’s possible to live together while the divorce process is underway.

Many couples choose to physically separate once they file for divorce in New York. One spouse often stays in the marital home while the other rents an apartment or home. Financial or logistical complications don’t always make separate residences possible.

Reasons a divorcing couple might choose to stay in the same home include the following:

  • Caring for minor children is less hectic when they are not being moved between two locations.
  • Children will feel more grounded by always being in familiar surroundings.
  • The children get to see both parents daily, easing the divorce process for them.
  • The couple cannot afford two separate residences.

If you have questions about divorce while living together, consult with one of our experienced attorneys. The Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC has helped countless clients through a divorce to restart their lives.

Tips for successfully cohabitating during your divorce:

  • Establish new house rules. The division of chores needs to be revisited.
  • Create a parenting schedule.
  • Don’t sleep in the same bedroom and do not be intimate with each other.
  • Don’t make any joint purchases.
  • Make sure children understand (age appropriate) that you are no longer a couple but still parents.
  • Spend separate time with your children.
  • Don’t pretend to still be a couple in social settings.
  • Don’t begin romances or date other people.
  • Give each other room to begin to create your lives separate from each other.
  • Determine how you will handle child care and discipline.
  • Spend more time outside of the home to reduce the chance of friction.
  • Be respectful of each other.
  • Keep your finances separate.
  • Begin preparation to live on your own.

Couples who cannot live by these new rules, with a history of domestic violence, or with one spouse who is manipulative are not suitable to live in the same house during the divorce.

Living Together and Legally Separated

Instead of starting divorce proceedings, some couples choose to legally separate but maintain the same residence. Living separate and apart according to a court-ordered judgment of separation for at least one year is grounds for a no-fault divorce. Separation agreements are enforceable, just like divorce orders.

The “separate and apart” but still living in the same home can be tricky. The court will need confirmation that you truly lived separate lives or else they will not accept separations as grounds for divorce later.

Many states do not allow couples to live together during a divorce:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Illinois
  • Louisiana
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

The separation period and other specifics vary from state to state. Some states will allow cohabitation but only if the couple ceases any romantic or sexual relations.

Filing for divorce on the grounds that the marriage has broken down irretrievably does not require any separation period. While you don’t have to live separately, you must allege that the marriage has been completely broken down for at least the past six months prior to the filing.

Understand How Cohabitation May Affect Your Divorce

If you are living with your spouse with the intention to file for divorce, understanding your rights and obligations is important. Divorce can be extremely nuanced, and small details can shift the balance. We’re here to answer your questions and offer potential next steps.

Schedule a consultation by calling (845) 605-4330 or reaching out online.

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