Living Together During Divorce
No one enjoys the thought of interacting with their soon-to-be ex-spouse on a daily basis, which leads to people often living apart during the divorce process. In fact, Illinois law even allows one spouse to temporarily remove the other from the home under certain, limited circumstances.
However, for a variety of reasons, many couples do continue to live together through at least part of the divorce process. Many people face financial constraints that make living apart difficult in the short-term, and strategic considerations surrounding the divorce may also make staying in the marital house advantageous. Consequently, many people need to develop strategies for peaceful cohabitation until they finalize the divorce.
Techniques for Civil Cohabitation
One simple strategy involves making sure that both parties have their own private space in the house. This does not mean dividing up the home room by room, but instead making sure that both spouses have a place they can go to be alone. Divorce can be a stressful experience, and it may become easier for everyone if the two spouses each have somewhere they can go to process that stress, without worrying about dealing with the other spouse. Dividing up bathrooms can also be a good strategy so that the spouses can each prepare for their days separately, for those cases in which they find it easier to minimize interaction.
One of the best things that separating spouses can do if they have children is to develop a parenting routine. This involves agreeing ahead of time which parent is responsible for handling the children’s needs, and when they are responsible. Common ways to divide the time include having a certain parent handle all of the needs on a certain day, or splitting up routines by time of day so that one parent handles the morning while the other handles the afternoon. This routine allows both parents to fairly spread the responsibility of raising the kids, and it allows the kids to begin getting used to the idea of relying on certain parents at certain times.
Spouses should also make sure to practice clear, calm, and civil communication during the cohabitation period. Living together while divorcing may cause some uncomfortable situations, but the potential for this can be reduced if each spouse is clear about their own needs, and deals respectfully with the other spouse. The separating couple will have a relationship that continues long past the official divorce’s end, especially if there are children involved. Maintaining civility and respect can go a long way towards making future interactions with each other much easier.
If you are considering divorce and are looking for more information on the specifics of the process, or even what steps you should take, get in touch with a DuPage County divorce attorney. They can explain the divorce process and help guide you through it from beginning to end.