People tend to assume that once a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is filed, one of the parties is required to move out of the marital residence. Not so. In fact, unless a spouse voluntarily moves out of the marital residence or a court order grants exclusive possession to either spouse, both the Husband and Wife can remain in the home, with one caveat: If the ground for dissolution is irreconcilable differences (no-fault), they must live separate and apart even if under the same roof.
Living together with your soon-to-be ex during the divorce process may be a financial necessity for the family. However, if domestic violence is involved or if the living arrangement jeopardizes you or your children’s mental or emotional well-being then you should speak with an attorney about the available legal options to protect yourself and your children.
Though not ideal, there are a few steps you can take in order to make living in the same house bearable for you, your spouse and children, but still qualify for a no-fault divorce.
- Separate Living Space. Create a physical separation between you and your spouse by establishing your own personal living space.
- Maintain Household Expenses. The household expenses must be maintained. Allocate the monthly expenses by agreement or seek the entry of a Court Order.
- Personal Living Expenses. Each person should pay for his or her own personal expenses. If you (or your spouse) do not earn an income then you (or your attorney) may seek the entry of a Temporary Support Order to obtain funds to cover your personal expenses during the divorce.
- Parenting Time. Establish a schedule that allows you and your spouse to each spend time alone with the children.
- Household Tasks. If the grounds for the dissolution are irreconcilable differences, disengage from performing household tasks for the other party, such as laundry, housecleaning, cooking or eating together, unless necessary to maintain a semblance of normality for the sake of the children.
Living with your spouse during a divorce is difficult but it may be the only option for your family.