Carroll L. McCauley III

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Should a divorcing couple continue to live together?

On Behalf of | Dec 1, 2017 | Divorce

When it comes to divorce, Florida has one of the largest rates in the country. Panama City, Deltona and Palm Bay had some of the largest populations of divorced people in the United States according to data from 2010.

There are many things to sort out during the actual divorce process. While one would assume one of those things would be for one spouse to make other living accommodations, many couples decide to share a living space until the divorce is final. Every situation is different, and a divorcing couple really needs to weigh the pros and cons of such an arrangement before agreeing to it.

Money vs. emotional stress

The primary reason couples pursue this path is to save money. Divorce can be costly, but its true price comes down to how willing each spouse is to compromise. This is why many couples go into mediation before involving lawyers. Through mediation, the couple can talk with an objective third party and decide together how to divide assets. By figuring out details through mediation first, the couple can save a lot of money on the actual divorce, which may make the need for cohabitation obsolete.

However, even if both spouses know the divorce will cost a lot, they both need to take into account their emotional well-being. In cases where one spouse is abusive, the other partner should get out of that environment as soon as possible. In a lot of cases, abuse is not in play, so both partners simply need to decide whether they can remain happy while seeing their former spouse every day.

This is why it is so crucial for cohabitating spouses to make ground rules before pursuing this path in earnest. This should include what rooms each spouse will sleep in. The plan should also lay down rules for dating.

Any couple should weigh the benefits and disadvantages of such an arrangement, but it becomes more critical when the couple has children together. In this situation, the couple needs to determine what would be in the best interest of the child, and cohabitation can become confusing.