Living under the same roof with your spouse while you are going through a divorce is not an easy choice, but it is a choice more and more couples are making. In 2017, the cost of an average apartment in Fresno rose by 6.1 percent over the previous year, making it financially difficult for one spouse to move out. While economic reasons are the most commonly cited, couples sometimes choose to stay living together to give their children a chance to adjust to their parents’ separation. Whatever your reasons for sharing a living space while divorcing, there are some ground-rules that can help make it as workable as possible:
1. Define your own space
Separate sleeping spaces are important, even if somebody has to use the couch as a bed. In a smaller house or apartment, it may be difficult to work out defined areas for sleeping, bathing, working and eating. Sometimes, this means setting a schedule as to who showers when and at what time each of you will prepare meals. When children are involved, it can be even more complicated. Explain the situation to them in a way that is sensitive and age-appropriate.
2. Allocate parenting duties
Decide who will be responsible for parenting duties. For instance, who will pick up the children from school on a given day, who will read bedtime stories, who will take them to dentist or doctor’s appointments or school events, and who will help with homework. Stick to the schedule as much as possible: it helps your children feel more secure when they know what to expect. When a change needs to be made, make sure they know in advance whenever possible and understand that they will always be able to count on both parents to take care of them.
3. Figure out finances
Disagreements over money are one of the most common reasons for divorce, but when you’re living under the same roof while going through a divorce, it’s more important than ever to make a plan. Make a list of all the household expenses and decide who will pay for what. Make sure that expectations are realistic and can be met, and that each spouse has enough money left for personal expenses.
4. Respect each other
Put blame and anger behind you and avoid arguments and accusations. Hopefully, living together while going through a divorce won’t last long, so keeping the peace can help you make the best of a difficult situation. Remember, too, that your children are watching. As parents, you are the most important models of respect your children will ever have.
Discuss your divorce situation with an experienced Fresno attorney
Living together while divorcing can bring many challenges. As your legal advocate, we can get you through the process and help ensure that your goals are met. To schedule a confidential consultation with our Fresno divorce attorney , please call us at (559) 785-3295 or contact us online.