In NJ circumstances often cause divorcing spouses to live together
In New Jersey, it’s common for divorcing spouses to continue to live together under the same roof. A spouse who leaves the family house during divorce proceedings may be at a disadvantage in divorce court when it comes to equitable distribution, visitation and child custody. Technically, you cannot force your spouse to leave the home during your divorce unless your spouse commits an act of domestic violence that results in a restraining order.
If you and your spouse are able to get along and communicate for the sake of the children, then living together during the divorce may help your divorce move through the process more quickly. Living separately in the same residence is the best, least costly, and efficient arrangement while you are divorcing. But it is not easy to do.
Civility is not always easy in these situations. There are few things more stressful than having to live with an openly hostile, hurt spouse while you are divorcing. The negative emotions in this arrangement can be very damaging to you and your children. In some cases, spouses spend too much time collecting what they believe to be evidence for the divorce proceedings. They might record your every move, misinterpret everything you say, and try to incite conflict with you and your children. This is both obnoxious and annoying. If you cannot stick it out, contact a divorce attorney to be sure that you protect your rights as a homeowner and as a parent.
How to cope with living together while divorcing
If you decide you can continue to live together while divorcing, try to agree on some ground rules with your spouse that will make the situation less toxic. It’s best to do this as early as you can in the process because hostility tends to increase as time passes during divorce proceedings Here are some suggested ground rules that can make it more bearable to live with your spouse during a divorce:
- Define your own space. When emotions flare up, it helps for each spouse to have a space where they can be alone to calm down. Having your own space allows you to begin to live a separate life.
- Allocate parenting duties. Maintaining civility is the healthiest way to co-parent. Your children are already feeling stress from the impending divorce. Working out how you will share parenting duties is helpful to you and your kids.
- Figure out finances. Though you are getting divorced, you are both still responsible for household expenses and managing your finances. You should discuss how you will handle finances. This can help you start to work out your separation agreement.
- Respect each other. Above all, try to show respect for each other. Your divorce doesn’t necessarily mean your spouse is a terrible person; it means your spouse is no longer a person you should be married to. While you are living together, you might be emotionally wounded, but it’s important that you demonstrate respect for your child’s parent.
There are other little things you can do to make life better when you are still living together during your divorce. Even though it’s the right thing to do and the mature thing to do, It’s very difficult to live by these ground rules or to get your divorcing spouse to agree on them. But it’s worth trying.
If your situation becomes unbearable, discuss alternatives with your New Jersey divorce attorney and/or get advice from a support group.
Our New Brunswick law firm can support you throughout the divorce process
With many years of experience in divorce law, Attorney Steven Cytryn helps Central New Jersey families dealing with the impacts of divorce. We handle a wide variety of divorces involving a variety of issues, including custody disputes, hidden assets, domestic violence, and many other factors that can impact your rights in divorce proceedings. Call us now to schedule time to discuss your case. Contactt he Law Offices of Steven M. Cytryn online or at (732) 214-1103.