In these tough economic times, many couples must continue to live together while they are negotiating their divorce. Such living arrangements can be quite toxic for the entire household creating lasting harm for each member of the household for years or decades to come. In order to deescalate the level of conflict I recommend to all my clients to consider alternative separate living arrangements preferably with one spouse moving out of the marital home or if that is not possible to create separate living arrangements within the home. In either case, an interim agreement or move-out agreement is then negotiated outlining a temporary parenting and access schedule if they have children and also acceptable standards of behavior both parties agree to provide each other and their children during this period.
When there are children involved, this agreement provides each parent meaningful and consistent access to their children and creates a sense of routine, predictability and continuity for their children which is so urgently needed when a couple decides to separate. Even if the parties are living in the same home they each are given separate access times to the children and home. This allows for each spouse to practice how parenting will be living apart, which is helpful while negotiating a more permanent access and time sharing schedule.
Living together during divorce requires the creativity and flexibility of both parties to negotiate a living arrangement that give each other and their children a healthy living environment needed in this challenging time of their lives.