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Rules for sharing a home after your divorce

 Posted on September 20, 2021 in Divorce

If you want out of your marriage, why on earth would consider living with your ex-spouse after your marriage is over?

Well, mostly for the sake of convenience. Maybe you have young children, and neither you nor your ex-spouse wants to disrupt their lives until they’re old enough to understand the concept of two different homes. Maybe your teenager is close to graduating high school, and you don’t want them to have to finish at a new school. Maybe you both just like where you live and can’t afford a similar lifestyle on your own.

Whatever your reasons, living with an ex-spouse can work — as long as you follow some basic guidelines:

No new partners get to come to the home

You and your ex-spouse both need to be free to move on — but neither of you should shove a new partner in the other’s face.

Make an agreement that you will both keep your new relationships away from the home. (If one of those relationships turns serious, then it’s time to end the post-divorce cohabitation.)

Everybody is responsible for their own mess

You’re no longer married, so you can’t expect your spouse to do the dishes after your dinner — and your ex-husband or wife can’t expect you to automatically cut the grass.

Each of you needs to be responsible for your own cooking, cleaning, laundry and grocery shopping. In addition, you need to come up with a list of “household” chores (like cutting the grass or shoveling the walks) and decide how you will divide those.

You need an escape clause

What if living together just doesn’t work out? What if you do find the love of your life out there? What if your ex-spouse finds a job across town and wants to lessen their commute? You need to agree — in advance — that you will each give the other sufficient notice that the arrangement needs to end.

Decide how much warning is acceptable and what will happen to the house when the time comes.

When you’re going through a divorce, there’s no one right solution for every situation. Learning more about what others have been able to do — and where your rights lie — can help you make an informed decision.

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