It’s your wedding day. You’re so happy and in love with your future life partner that the last thing you can imagine is divorce. Yet, more than 50 percent of all first marriages will end in divorce, while about 75 percent of all second marriages will end up in Splitsville. Sadly, legally separating forever from the person you once thought you’d spend all eternity with can be a nasty business.
Says divorce lawyer, Cohen & Winters, in the case of divorce, both partners will want things to go as smoothly as possibly, especially when there are lots of assets and considerations involved. Without the proper legal counsel however, what could be a fairly straightforward and uncomplicated process could become drawn out and far more expensive than either partner anticipated.
But what do you do in the case of both partners having to live under the same roof, either due to their financial situation and/or a stubborn refusal to abandon the family home? According to a recent article, when you are forced into a situation where you are living with the ultimate “roommate from hell,” you need to keep cool, especially if children are involved. That means you also need to practice patience.
Here’s what else you need to know about living with your ex-spouse while you’re going through a divorce.
Create Your Own Space for Privacy and Peace
Now that your spouse has become your ex, even simple things like sharing the same bathroom mirror in the morning while getting ready for work will be an impossible task. You also won’t be sharing the same master bedroom anymore which means you both need to agree on separate sleeping arrangements.
Having enough living space for the both of you is the ideal situation. That way you both can move all of your belongings into your private space, eliminating the need to run into one another as often. This minimizes arguments and/or bitter fights.
Don’t Run from the Family Residence if You Have Kids
You might dread even the thought of driving home on a Friday knowing you’re going to have to spend the entire weekend with your ex, front and center. But if you have children, they are going to need you. The children need to feel as if there is still some normalcy and stability in the family home.
Your absence due to “running away” will not only hurt the children, but it will also jeopardize your custody case when it comes to divorce court.
Protect Vital Documents and Property
All too often, couples who agree to divorce believe their case will be civil and even amicable. After all, you used to be friends prior to becoming lovers and spouses. It’s common for a spouse to believe there’s no real reason not to trust their ex and that things will get nasty.
But as the time passes and opposing legal counsels dig in their bootheels, all too often the situation deteriorates, and the fighting begins. That’s because divorce has a nasty habit of bringing out raw and tender emotions for both parties involved. This can lead for one or both parties wanting to seek retribution and/or revenge for being cheating out of something.
This is why it’s important to have all vital documentation pertaining to marital assets, finances, and the kids stored somewhere safe and preferably in a place where your spouse can’t get at them. You might consider locking them in the trunk of your car, or in a safety deposit box at the bank, or even at a friend’s house. The same goes for important keepsakes, jewelry, cash, and more.
Don’t Start Trouble
You’re all too ready and anxious to move forward with your life. But doing something like trying to make your ex jealous by openly ridiculing him, or even showing off a new relationship, will only start unwanted trouble. If you are both on the same page about the need for a legal divorce, then you should be focused on the future and not dwelling on the misdeeds of the past.
While a divorce is happening and you have no choice but to cohabitate until it’s over, you are not going to be at your best simply because you are hurting inside. If he acts terribly, just remind yourself this is why you are divorcing him in the first place.
This Won’t Last
No matter how bad things get while divorcing and living together, keep in mind that one day, sooner than later, you are going to wake up on a nice sunny morning in your own place. You will make the coffee, bring it outside, and breathe in the fresh air, knowing you are free to do whatever you want, when you want, without the burden of an abusive spouse. It will be the first day of the rest of your wonderful life.