Nothing could be more treacherous than divorcing and living in the same house.
It might make sense for you and your former spouse to stay in the same house even after you’ve made the decision to get a separation or a divorce. It might not be financially feasible for one or both of you to move out and find a new place; you might be making use of a nesting plan and trying to minimize the number of changes affecting your children at that current point in time.
Regardless of your reasoning, it is important to keep in mind survival tips if you intend to live in the same house as your former spouse.
The more you plan ahead, the easier living in the same house during divorce will be. Your own advanced consideration goes a long way.
1. Know the Reasons for Staying in The Same House
The first way to ensure that you can survive living in the same house together after the divorce is to have a major reason why. If there’s no specific reason why you’re keeping the same the residence and working with one another to establish a schedule or adhering to an existing custody and visitation arrangement, it will be difficult for you to keep up with the downsides associated with such a plan.
2. Define Your Own Space
Having occasional peace and quiet and ensuring that you have a place to go to get some privacy is extremely beneficial. It will be very difficult, for example, to share the bathroom with a spouse that you are getting a divorce from.
There’s no doubt that you’ll want to sleep in separate bedrooms, so it’s a good idea to have separate spaces to spend time away from one another and to sleep. It may be best to remove all of your belongings from the common area and into your individual spaces.
3. Protect Your Important Property and Your Documents
You might assume that your divorce is going to be amicable, but far too many people find out too late that they are not able to come to a civil divorce agreement with their spouse, especially when they’re living under the same roof. Many people assume that their divorce won’t get dirty. However, these situations can develop quickly and raw emotions are quite common. Make sure you have copies of all vital documents for your children, as well as the marital finances and assets.
You will want to keep these in a safe place that is inaccessible to the spouse. Other important things like pictures, jewelry or sensitive documents may need to be stored elsewhere.
4. Don’t Avoid Coming Home
Sometimes the stress inside the home or your own emotions of coping with the end of the marriage might encourage you to run away. Your absence, however, can send the wrong message to your children and can also hurt your case for child custody in court. If your children need you and this is the primary decision that you and your spouse have made to work in the home together, you need to avoid running away. This is why it is so important for you to have your own individual space inside the house.
5. Do Not Engage in Conflict Wherever Possible
You may be angry, trying to find ways to get your spouse’s attention if you wish to get back together or ready to move on. Fight-starting behaviors like name-calling, or pointing out particular triggers could be tempting. However, if both of you made the decision to divorce, then you need to find a way to stay focused on the future instead of the past. Remember that you need to be prepared for conflicts to arise, but also work as hard as possible to avoid starting it on your own.
6. Avoid Temptation
Avoid behaviors that could trigger emotional cues with your former spouse that could blur the lines for the two of you, as well as for your children. Trying to get back together in the midst of an ongoing divorce could make everybody confused and face additional emotional challenges. There are complications and consequences associated with getting physical with your former spouse again, and this should always be considered carefully before you engage in this behavior. Having clear boundaries within the house can help minimize the chances that you will run into each other on a regular basis. It can be particularly difficult if one or both of you begins dating someone else living outside of the house. Make sure you have clear boundaries and rules in place, and always act in the best interests of your children.
7. Try to Make Good Use of Your Time
One of the major reasons that people choose to stay under the same roof after a divorce is because they are trying to save money. Make sure you make good use of your time and the benefits of saving this money by making a plan for what will happen after you move out. For example, you could begin planning a visitation for your children. Furthermore, this is your chance to walk through the home and take inventory of everything. You might create a plan of distribution of the property that you deem to be fair.
It can be difficult to try to live together in the same house while you are going through a divorce, but it is not impossible when you have a clearly articulated plan, and are thoroughly prepared for the challenges and obstacles that may arise during this difficult but temporary time.
8. Keep Repeating “This Too Shall Pass”
This difficult chapter of your life will not last forever. If you there is a set date when one of you intends to move, or a court date that is set to determine what will happen to the house, you can keep focusing on this. If your primary goal is ultimately being apart, staying focused on this goal overall will help you during this challenging time.