Living Together While You Are Waiting for a Divorce
When divorce enters the picture and clearly becomes the desired outcome, the standard response in most households is for one spouse to move out until everything is finalized. This move is usually intended to preserve some measure of peace and harmony, but not all couples automatically go their separate ways once the divorce petition is filed. Financial issues, not wanting to relinquish the family home, and a desire to have daily contact with one’s children are just a few of the reasons a couple may find themselves still living together while in the middle of divorce. Couples facing this situation may reasonably ask if it is possible to maintain this arrangement and not devolve into heated arguments during every encounter.
If a person is in the process of divorce, the other spouse is not particularly beloved, and avoiding the tendency to argue at every turn is hard. However, if living together during this period has any hope of working, the spouses must find a way to coexist in peace. For most, this means trying to avoid one another as much as reasonably possible. If children are present, civility is even more important, as hearing parents regularly argue is not good for the child’s wellbeing. It is important to keep in mind that this situation is temporary and to avoid making statements that will inflame an already delicate truce.
Each spouse needs their own space, which could mean simply moving into separate bedrooms, or it could require making a schedule to plan when each spouse will use the common areas to limit contact. If possible, it may be better to divide the home so that each person has his/her own defined space with minimal overlap. This arrangement will give each spouse a refuge and hopefully cut down the opportunities for heated encounters.
Even though parents may still be living together, it is still possible, and probably wise, to put together a parenting schedule from the beginning. This will allow the parent and child to spend dedicated time together before the arrangement is formalized. Doing so will give the child an opportunity to get used to splitting time between the parents, and for the parents to get used to following a schedule and caring for the child alone. Splitting responsibilities early on will also allow the parents to ascertain if a particular arrangement will work, or if adjustments need to be made before things are finalized.
Finally, regardless of who handled finances during the marriage, each spouse now needs to take individual responsibility for his/her own affairs. Household expenses will need to be divided until one spouse moves out, and a budget should be created so the allocation of money and expenses is fair and balanced. If one spouse does not work, a court order for temporary alimony and child support may be necessary to bridge the time until he/she gets employed or the divorce is finalized. Money is always a big issue in divorce, and should be addressed early on to make it easier to identify and resolve points of contention.
Talk to a Florida Divorce Attorney
Living together during a divorce is not easy, but it can be done. Boundaries need to be put in place to make it workable, and an experienced divorce attorney can assist with figuring out what your situation needs. The Orlando divorce attorneys at the Donna Hung Law Group have the experience you need to get through this process as smoothly as possible. Contact the Orlando divorce firm at (407) 999-0099 for a consultation.