Once you or your spouse has filed for divorce, there will often be a question as to where each of you should live. Situations vary widely, so naturally, there are many different options available and worth considering. In some cases, the answer might be clear right away, while in other cases, a judge might have to get involved and grant one spouse temporary occupation of the home. Here are some potential solutions that could work for your circumstances.
Both Spouses Live in the Marital Home
If things are amicable between you and your spouse (or even if they aren’t but you don’t have any other financially feasible options), you might both choose to stay in the marital home. This is probably going to create at least some tension, but it has the benefit of not costing either of you more money, for the most part.
Divorcing couples have made this work in a variety of ways. One will generally move into a spare bedroom while the other keeps the master bedroom. They might have rules about who can bring company over on which days and the other will leave the premises for an agreed-upon period of time. There might be a “no girlfriends or boyfriends in the home” rule. When one spouse has stayed at home, they might even continue the arrangement, having the stay-at-home spouse continue to care for the house and children while the other goes to work and provides financially for the whole family.
If there is a situation of abuse, this type of arrangement will not work. Also, if there has been infidelity or a drug addiction, it is unlikely to be feasible. In many cases, however, at least for the period of time shortly after the divorce paperwork has been filed, this is a decent temporary solution.
Both Spouses Share the Home and a Small Apartment
If you have children, it is likely that it would be a financial impossibility for one spouse to move into an apartment big enough for the children to stay overnight comfortably. Any apartment that they could afford might be in a less desirable area, too far from the school, or otherwise not a good choice for visitation or shared custody. In this case, if the couple is amicable, they might choose to share both the marital home and a small, inexpensive apartment. This is a trend called bird nesting.
The divorcing couple would need to make a schedule of who is in the marital home at any given time. The children would stay with the home, which means that they’d go to sleep and wake up in the same place every night and would keep the same school transportation arrangements that they have had all along. This is a way to keep the children on their same schedule while minimizing the time that both spouses have to spend with each other.
One Spouse Moves In With Relatives or Friends
In some cases, one spouse might elect to move in with relatives or friends. This can be combined with the above approach: One spouse stays in the marital home some days and goes to stay with friends or relatives on the other days, while the other spouse does the same on alternate days (and with his or her own friends or relatives). This could work if the couple is not amicable enough to stay in the marital home together but cannot afford another apartment to share.
One Spouse Lives in a Vacation Home or Investment Property
If the couple shares not only the marital home but also a vacation home or an investment property, one spouse could move into that other home. Of course, the spouses could also switch off, much as they would if they shared an apartment on their “off” days. This would be a good solution to accommodate children’s school schedules. If the second property was in the same town and large enough, the couple could make this a permanent arrangement and each own one property once the divorce was finalized.
One Spouse Gets an Apartment
If finances are not an issue and there is a reasonable apartment near enough to allow the children to stay and attend school without a problem, one spouse might elect to move out of the shared home and rent their own apartment. In this instance, each spouse would have their own space and would not have to share a home at all.
One Spouse Buys a House
One spouse could purchase another home during the divorce process. One caveat is that a home purchased during the marriage, even if it’s purchased as the marriage is ending, could be seen as communal marital property. This depends on the state you live in and how the paperwork is done. It is something to look into carefully before purchasing any assets before the divorce is finalized.
It can be difficult to decide which spouse will take ownership of the marital home after the divorce, and this is why it is also difficult to decide who will live where during the divorce process itself. You will need to think about who can better afford the home, who will have primary custody of the children, whether there are homes available in the same area to make shared custody easier on everyone involved, and many other factors.
A legal resource group like Family Law Legal Group can work with you to help you determine what is in the best interest of your children and of your finances. We work with mothers, fathers, and grandparents who are trying to do the right thing by their children. We also work with divorcing couples who have no children. The best part is that our services cost a fraction of what a private attorney would cost. Contact us today to find out whether we can help you with your case. You do not have to face your divorce or make difficult decisions on your own. We are on your side, so call us now for a free consultation.