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Orange County Family Law Attorney

How to Share a Residence During a Divorce

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If you are getting divorced, hopefully, you have been advised that it is usually a bad idea to move out of the marital residence. Once a California couple decides to divorce, many will need to figure out how to continue living together until the divorce is final; which is not easy. Couples who have no trouble getting along are usually not seeking a divorce. The situation frequently becomes stressful and, in some cases, can feel like living in a war zone. If you have decided that you need to continue living in your home with your soon-to-be-ex to protect your rights or avoid additional financial pressure, it is vital that you discover a way to get along.

3 Tips to Help Make Living with Your Ex Easier:

1.    Respect Personal Space: Many couples in this situation find it essential to designate certain areas of the home for each party. While some household spaces remain public, boundaries should be put in place so that each spouse feels they have their own space within the home where they can feel safe retreating to be alone. For instance, in a larger home, a couple may designate the basement as “yours” and the upstairs as “mine” with the floor level being shared space. In a smaller home, it may be shared space in the open rooms and each party having a designated bedroom. Setting boundaries and respecting what that means can avoid resentment during the transition.

2.    Cautious Communication: Every relationship has arguments, but during a divorce, it can seem as if arguing is the only form of communication left. When living with your spouse during a divorce, it is crucial to keep lines of communication open, but also to approach communicating cautiously. In some situations, the transition from divorcing to divorced could take months or even over a year. Keep things civil by making a concerted effort to communicate effectively and purposefully avoid devolving into a fight. If you aren’t sure how to avoid fighting, focus on being overly courteous, purposefully civil, and respectful. Admit when you are wrong and try not to make your spouse feel guilty about past deeds. Avoid the blame game. You will find it goes a long way towards improving overall communication.

3.    Be Transparent with Finances: During the divorce process, be transparent with your finances. It is normal for divorcing couples to suspect their spouse is hiding money or slowly siphoning marital funds, but in most cases, this is not the case. Making this type of accusation or even moving forward with these fears guiding your thought process can be detrimental to healthy home life when you are attempting to share a home while divorcing. Keep these fears at bay for both parties by creating a realistic living budget. It should account for all the shared household spending and state who pays for what. Take on bills proportionate to your incomes. For example, if one spouse earns 70% of the household income, they should take on 70% of the household bills with the other spouse covering the remaining 30%.

Living together while getting divorced can be difficult, but in some cases, it is necessary as it is usually the most cost-effective solution and helps ensure neither party misses out on any of their rights during the distribution of assets or custody negotiations.

If you need assistance with your California divorce or if you have questions about why it may be beneficial for you and your spouse to continue living together in the marital home during your divorce, please get in touch with one of the experienced divorce attorneys at The Maggio Law Firm today.



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