Most couples going through a divorce do not want to live together during the process, but this isn't always realistic for some couples. For different reasons, numerous couples keep living under the same roof while they are waiting for their divorce to be finalized.
California’s Laws on Divorce While Living Together
While some states require couples to live separately before the court will grant a divorce, California doesn’t have rules against this. This means that technically couples can continue to live together during the divorce.
Couples who choose to live together during this time often have important reasons for doing so. For example, if one party is the primary person responsible for bringing in a paycheck, it may be easier to continue to live in the same household than to move the other spouse out or to pay for an apartment or other living arrangements while the divorce is pending. If the family home is large enough or there is a spare room, it may be simpler to “move out” of a shared bedroom, and continue living together, especially if there are shared children in the household.
Should I Live With My Spouse During Divorce?
Staying in the same house during and after a divorce can be complicated. This is a very emotionally-charged time, and it may not be advisable to continue to live together in many cases.
If you and your spouse cannot get along or if your spouse is emotionally or physically abusive, you should immediately cease living together. There are options for restraining orders for protection from abuse which could kick the abusive spouse out of the house, and orders for alimony could help support you in their absence instead of requiring you to stay in a bad situation for the sake of financial stability.
For couples that choose to live together, try to focus on making your living arrangement as comfortable as possible for you and your ex-spouse.
Here are some tips to live with your soon to be ex:
- Be discreet about new relationships in your life. Don’t bring home a new partner while still living with your spouse.
- Create guidelines. Compromise with your ex to create living arrangements that work for both of you. Discuss who will pay which bills, how mealtimes will work, who will clean what parts of the house, etc.
- Get help from a neutral third party. If you and your ex cannot agree on something within your living arrangement, get an objective party to come in and assist.
When in doubt about your legal separation or living arrangement, speak to a family law attorney. There are many considerations you’ll need to think about in this situation. The San Diego divorce lawyers at Embry Family Law P.C. can help you protect your best interests.