5 Tips For Sharing a Home During Divorce
When a relationship devolves to the point of divorce, a great deal of emotional and physical stress comes with it. The entire scenario is altogether draining and when a decision is finally reached to move forward with divorce, many couples think the worst is over.
Alas, another quandary looms when the couple steps back and realizes they’re still living in the same house. Even if they’ve reached an agreement as to which party will leave, moving from your family home can be an incredibly difficult experience and very difficult to even get started.
To that end, some couples decide to live together in the home during the divorce process. That, of course, brings another level of challenges for the entire family, especially children. To shed some light on this relationship dynamic, here are 5 helpful tips for sharing a residence during a pending divorce.
That’s Your Side and this is Mine
One of the first issues to arise in these situations is personal space and it can be very awkward. After all, you potentially spent many years together sharing everything. It is difficult to suddenly have to agree to stay away from certain areas of the house and give up that freedom.
However, it makes life much more tolerable if you establish some general boundaries. Who will stay in which room? Do both of you have access to the kitchen any time or specific times of the day? What about other common areas like a TV or rec room? Decide on times or days when each party has the house to themselves.
Divide and Conquer the Chores
You might not get along anymore but household chores still have to get done. Work together and devise a plan to tackle the usual tasks such as laundry, cleaning, cooking, outdoor chores, and general maintenance. It’s never fair and leads to further consternation if only one of you does all the work.
If You Do It for the Kids, Do it Well
Divorce is always hardest on the kids and to alleviate some of the hurt, couples may choose to remain living together through the divorce process. Approach this wisely and understand that your roles will change. Share parenting duties when appropriate, select specific hours or days for kid time, and agree on when, where, and what to do with your kids away from the home.
One positive aspect of this scenario is it can be a good “practice round” for getting along and avoid volatile custody disputes later on.
It’s never an enjoyable activity, but don’t wait to flesh out financial arrangements for a shared home. Decide who will pay which bill and if needed, move certain accounts into one party’s name to keep it clear.
Keep it Cordial
This is arguably the most important point in your relationship to “act like adults” and show respect for one another. Unless you live in an enormous estate, you will cross paths and bump elbows with your partner. Refrain from trivial bickering and play nice; it will benefit you both tremendously in the long run.
For more advice on sharing a residence during divorce, contact Gucciardo Family Law today at (248) 723-5190.
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