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When a married couple is contemplating divorce, there is usually a discussion regarding the house and who will continue living there until the divorce is finalized. Some couples have little resources to move out and find a separate place to live. Others wish to keep the impact on the children’s lives minimal until the divorce is finalized. Particularly, if parents can cohabit without excessive fighting or any type of violence, it can be a positive for the children, until a new parenting plan can be finalized.

Whether the home is rented or owned, couples may decide that they wish to remain living in the same household during the legal process of their divorce. The more the plan in discussed a head of time, it may be easier to cohabit during the divorce process. In Illinois, there is no longer a “fault” requirement to obtain a divorce. Therefore, couples are still able to be living together in the same household, but still be separated from each other.

If planning to cohabit during the divorce, it is important to define space for each of you in the home. This allows each person to keep their own belongings in their own private space and can prevent future arguments. Additionally, this helps to set boundaries. If needed, you can schedule the use of the kitchen, living room, bathroom, etc. to have less contact with each other. Allocation of household responsibilities can create more harmony for the situation, as well.

Creating a new budget can also be helpful, depending on how long you think the divorce may take. This can be structured similar to living with a roommate, and how you would divide expenses for household necessities, bills, and the children. Having separate bank accounts for personal usage can also be helpful in maintaining the peace and to start building financial independence for when the divorce is finalized. Avoid making expensive or unnecessary purchases or sales, as well.

Things can get particularly stressful and argumentative between you and your spouse if you, especially if you can’t stand living with each other. However, avoiding conflicts as much as possible is crucial, especially if you have children in the household with you. If needed, limiting conversations to facts pertaining to living together and the children and removing opinions and judgmental comments can make a positive impact on the living situation. You are no longer a couple or the same family unit, so it is important to understand that each of you has to abandon old habits and start an individual new life. And remember, living in the same house will not last forever, but practicing being amicable with one another will go along way with co-parenting in the future. If you have additional questions about grandparent visitation or custody rights, contact the Law Offices of Allison and Mosby-Scott.