Divorce is never easy. It’s a process that always wears out the two parties involved. According to USA Today, Michigan’s divorced population is 11.6%, with Greenville as the divorce capital, having a divorced population of 20.1%.
Hard as it may be to go through it, some circumstances help make it a bit easier. Some people move out (if they haven’t already) because it helps them cope with the divorce and process the change that’s happening. For others, they want to keep living with their spouse just a bit longer.
Michigan has a no-fault divorce, which means that the couple doesn’t have to be separated or living apart just to file for it. You can file for a divorce even without reason like abandonment, cheating, or assault. One of the two just need to testify that the marriage can’t be preserved anymore, and the marriage relationship has broken down.
Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to continue living together during the waiting period before the divorce becomes final. There is the general assumption that one must leave the marital residence immediately, but that’s not always the case. However, if domestic violence is involved, it is essential to ensure your safety first.
5 Things to Remember When Living With Your Spouse during Divorce
Living with your spouse doesn’t necessarily have to be a struggle. You may have your reason to do so, perhaps financial restraint, or to keep the sense of normalcy for the kids. If you do choose to continue living together, make sure that it won’t harm your case, and it will make the process easier.
Here are five things to keep in mind when you’re living your spouse during this period.
- Don’t bring the children into the conflict.
Since you are still sharing a home with your spouse, you have taken the decision to put the kids through the divorce too. It is vital to get along, not only for the children’s sake but to show that sharing custody will work and is suitable for everyone.
Saying negative things about your spouse isn’t in the best interest of the family. If you still argue, never put the kids in the middle as this affects your relationship with them. Living together can help the kids be more stable and allows them to adjust better for you and your spouse’s co-parenting after the divorce. Always keep this in mind.
- Create a physical separation.
You may be living under the same roof, but you don’t have to keep sleeping in the same bed. This may be suffocating for either or both of you, so establish your personal living space. That means moving into separate rooms and creating a routine that isn’t dependent on each other.
Amicable separations are good, but it’s time to get used to spending less time together. Living together makes that transition easier to make. It can be tempting to do to the usual routines but don’t go back to that just because it’s familiar. Establish a clear space between you and your spouse.
- Divide the finances.
Make use of the time to review your finances and decide what to do about the bills. If you have children, discuss the division of costs. Don’t make sudden decisions like getting a loan or having new debts because it will not help your case. It’s good sense to separate your expenditures already now, rather than when the divorce becomes final. However, you are saving some money by continuing to live together, and there may be other advantages.
Discuss how the two of you feel about paying for your personal expenses and sharing some costs like utilities and groceries in the meantime. Protect your assets and make sound financial decisions.
- Don’t pick fights.
If you chose to keep living together, you must have had your reason to believe that the two of you can manage it. That means that you two can stay around each other for long periods.
Disagreements are bound to come up, but keep it civil to avoid complications in the case. Many factors caused the separation, but don’t let living together make it worse. Your spouse might refuse to cooperate peacefully in the divorce, and that’s the last thing you want. Living together might not be ideal, but it’s not impossible to make it bearable.
- Always remember that you can still leave.
If you realize that trying to keep living together was a mistake after all, you can choose to move out or have your spouse find another place. The divorce process takes months, and it is understandable if you decide to back out and live separately instead. Perhaps knowing that you can always leave will make you feel more comfortable to take the chance of continuing to live together.
Contact the Leading Okemos Divorce Law Firm
Should you need to be represented by the best divorce attorneys in the Okemos, East Lansing, or Lansing, reach out to us. Be assured of the expertise and experience that will handle your case. All concerns will be attended to, and you don’t have to bear the stress alone. With case results that speak for themselves, ease your worries, and get a free legal consultation regarding your situation.