6/29/2017

Weathering the Storm: What to Do About Your Living Arrangements During the Divorce Process

In New Jersey, spouses are not required to live separately prior to filing for divorce or during the divorce process. The Complaint for Divorce can be filed based on irreconcilable differences, meaning that the parties have been incompatible for six months prior to the filing and have no reasonable prospect of reconciliation. Notwithstanding, it can certainly be difficult for spouses to live together while going through a divorce. A few of the issues that should be considered prior to remaining in the same home during divorce proceedings will be discussed here.

It is worth noting that neither spouse can be forced to leave the marital residence unless there is a situation that involves domestic violence or a situation where the children would be subjected to irreparable harm.  Otherwise, both parties have an equal right to remain in the home.

Divorcing spouses might decide to remain in the same house for financial reasons.  It goes without saying that it’s much more expensive to live in two separate households than it is to live in one.  In addition to financial circumstances, spouses might remain in the marital residence to provide stability for the children. Divorce can be stressful for the children as well as the parents, and keeping the children in one household as opposed to two households may maintain a level of stability and continuity while the parties navigate their divorce. However, if the parties are unable to maintain an amicable atmosphere in the presence of the children, it’s possible that remaining in the same household could be more damaging than helpful.

When deciding whether you should remain in the same home as your spouse, you must consider whether you and your spouse can cordially co-exist.  A good indicator of this is to evaluate the toxicity of the environment prior to your decision to divorce.  You also must consider the possibility that one or both of you will begin to date. This may cause some difficulties be another reason to consider living in separate households.

Living arrangements during the divorce process should be VERY carefully discussed with your divorce attorney. Should you decide to remain in the marital home together, be sure to set guidelines and boundaries that will make the living arrangements as comfortable as possible and protect any minor children. Contact an experienced North Jersey divorce attorney at Ruvolo Law with any questions.