Your divorce has been filed. Now, where do we live while our divorce is pending? Do we stay together, or do we live apart?
For most couples, it may not financially viable to maintain two homes until the parties have reached an agreement on the financial issues (division of assets/debts, who will retain the marital home, amount and timing of equity payout). That leads to parties remaining in the marital home while the divorce in pending, living in separate bedrooms or locations of the home.
Before you agree to continue living in the marital home with your spouse ask yourself the following questions:
- Are you willing and able to maintain a civil relationship while living in the same home?
- Are you willing and able to refrain from fighting in front of the children?
- Are you willing and able to refrain from talking about the divorce with the children?
- How will the children react when they see you sleeping in separate places in the home?
- Are you willing and able to respect the other’s personal space and boundaries?
If you intend to live with your spouse while the divorce is pending, you should discuss the following:
- Will there be any ground rules such as how, when, and how frequently you and your spouse will talk about the divorce, are visitors allowed, who will be responsible for the household chores, and other issues related to running the marital home.
- What will the division of debt look like? Will it remain status quo, or will there be a new division of debt? In an effort to avoid unnecessary disagreements, it’s best to have an agreement regarding finances at the beginning of the divorce action.
- Will each party be afforded private parenting time with the children? If you have been living together (but essentially apart) for some time, it is not unusual for parties to want individual time with the children. Once again, an agreement between the parties can avoid much disagreement later.
- Will the responsibilities of the children remain the same, or should there be a new division of responsibilities? Now that the divorce has been filed, parties may want to revisit “how things have always been done”, allowing both parties equal responsibility for the children.
- Where will each of you sleep while sharing the marital home? If you are in separate bedrooms (or someone is residing in the basement), it is best to discuss privacy issues such as not entering into the other’s sleeping quarters, respecting the other’s personal items, and whether locks should be installed to ensure privacy.
For many couples, living together is a necessary arrangement until the completion of the divorce. Although it may seem smart to maintain financial status quo during the divorce, living together while the divorce is pending may not be best for some parties, nor the children. This is an issue best discussed with your family law attorney.
Contact the Knowledgeable Michigan Divorce Attorney at Schmitt Law, PLLC for Immediate Assistance
If you filed for divorce, or are considering filing in the near future, contact the Michigan family law attorney at Schmitt Law, PLLC. We have extensive experience handling all types of Michigan divorce cases and the related issues that frequently come up in the divorce process, including spousal support, child custody, and child support. We provide custom-tailored legal advice and solutions for clients. To learn more about how we can help you through the divorce process, contact Schmitt Law, PLLC today by completing our online contact form, or calling us at (616) 608-4634 to schedule a consultation.