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Dec 7, 2022

How to Survive when you are separated from your spouse and living together

Divorce and General Articles

Separation is part of what comes with deciding to divorce your spouse. However, in some cases there may be many reasons why you and your spouse remain in the marital residence for an extended period of time. Some but not all of the reasons are maintaining a consistency for the children through the transition of the divorce, financial concerns of one or both parties and a dispute over who wants to maintain the marital residence.

Michael Hughes, Esq., an attorney-mediator at Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation, discusses tips on cohabitating in a residence while separated or divorcing.

In these type of situations, you and your spouse need to remain civil with each other, avoid arguments in front of the children and set basic ground rules on the living situation.

As was stated previously, couples have many reasons to remain together after separating from their spouse. One of the main reasons for staying together is the financial hardship or the financial unknown of what to expect as you are going through a divorce. In these type of cases, it can make sense to stay together for a period of time until you and your spouse get a better picture of what the distribution of the marital estate will be and what child support and/or alimony will be paid by one spouse to the other. Essentially, the financial picture becomes clearer for both parties and both parties will see how they will have to manage their finances.

The other benefit that parties can see by living together for a period of time is maintaining their current lifestyle because they are still maintaining the same income and bills as prior to separation. If there are two incomes, they can split bills on an even basis or on their percentage of total income and maintain a level of stability for them and their children.

Stability of children is also an important reason that a separated couple may remain in the same residence. While divorce may be difficult for the parties going through it, it is well known that children are definitely impacted when their parents go through a divorce. Staying in the same residence for a period of time to assure the children that you and your spouse can remain civil and/or friendly while going through the divorce and demonstrate that things will be okay as you, your spouse and your children transition through the divorce process.

In addition to some of the reasons why couples may stay together, it is important to make some basic guidelines or rules to follow when you are living with your spouse after separation. As stated, they are simple and mostly common-sense items to follow.

First, you and your spouse need to agree that there will be a set of rules or guidelines that you will follow. Agree to the rules and stick to them!

Second, remain civil with each other. There should be no arguments in the house and, especially, not in front of the children.

Third, set a time for discussion with your spouse, weekly if possible. Keep the meeting time. Bring your concerns or disagreements and keep your cool. It may even be a good idea to set an agenda so that you and your spouse know the topics to be discussed and can be prepared.

Fourth, with people working remotely, try and set a schedule where only one person will be in the house during the week. Additionally, if you can schedule independent time with your children during the week and/or on the weekend that can be beneficial for the children. Also, this type of schedule can reduce possible confrontation and conflict in the home.

Finally, you are now single and can date. However, you must be discrete and respectful for your ex-spouse and children. It will not benefit you to flaunt a new relationship in the face of your ex-spouse.

If you have any questions or would just like information about how Alpha’s mediation program may work for you, please reach out to use at Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation.

Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation
Email: alphacares@alpha-divorce.com
Phone: 1-800-310-9085

About the author

Michael E. Hughes, Esquire

Mr. Michael Hughes graduated from Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1994. He received his Bachelors of Science from St. Joseph’s University in 1988. After graduating from law school, Mr. Hughes worked as a law clerk for almost two years for two Montgomery County Common Pleas Judges. He gained significant experience in civil matters which included divorce, equitable distribution, custody, alimony and child support..