Separated but living together, an oxymoron?
Many couples on the journey of separation/divorce find themselves in the unenviable position of having to continue to live together because they cannot afford two separate residences. You might be thinking that this sounds absurd but it is reality for many couples. In today’s depressed real estate market couples often find that they simply cannot sell their home. Having your ex-spouse become your roommate should not be excluded as a temporary solution to the cash crunch. Sometimes it is just not affordable for a couple to finance another residence while they wait for their matrimonial home to sell.
So, you and your ex have decided to live under the same roof; how can you make it work? You must have rules!
- Decide with your real estate professional, when and by how much you will continue to decrease the sale price of your home.
- Decide how the net sale proceeds of the home will be shared, even if it takes a very long time to sell your home.
- Decide how all household expenses will be shared (create a budget so it is clear from the start).
- Decide on a parenting plan so that both parties understand when each is responsible for the children.
- Come up with a system to inform each other of day-to-day schedules.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY, ensure you are both committed to keeping the atmosphere civil, respectful and co-operative.
Even if you and your ex-partner decide to stay in the house for a period of time, you can still go ahead and formalize a legal agreement with respect to your separation which includes all of your financial and parenting decisions.
Remember, the right decision is the one that works for the two of you and your children!