Living Together After Divorce: Can you live in the same house?

There could be various good reasons for couples to live in the same house even after divorce. However, there are some serious considerations to keep in mind while making this decision. So aside from whether they can handle it emotionally, can a divorced couple live in the same house?

As a general rule, a divorced couple can live in the same house legally. In the divorce decree, the couple would simply need to agree on ownership of the home as well as who is responsible for payments, repairs, and upkeep.

An addendum to the divorce decree setting boundaries on dating others, how holidays will be spent, vacations, and what happens in the event one spouse re-marries can help alleviate future conflict.

I know these basic points are not enough to answer all the complicated questions you might have about the issue. So, make sure to read the whole article carefully to get all the crucial answers.

Can a divorced couple still own a house together?

Can you co-own property with your ex-spouse after the divorce proceedings are complete and all the separate property and marital property have been distributed through proper asset division terms laid out in the divorce decree?

Yes, there’s no law barring you from owning a house with your former spouse, and in some cases co-owning the marital home can very well be the right decision.

You can also agree to own and co-habit the family home together and keep a special clause about joint ownership on the separation agreement itself.

On the other hand, if your fault divorce case was in one of the equitable distribution states, like New York, or community property states, like Arizona, and somehow the property got distributed between you two, then you have to make the necessary arrangements to turn the home into a joint ownership property again.

Property division often involves selling the house and distributing the money between the two spouses. However, you might also decide to hold on to the house as a future investment and sell when the prices are higher.

The best way to keep owning your home together with your former spouse is to go for an uncontested divorce with all the relevant terms specifically laid out in the divorce agreement with the help of divorce mediation.

Also, keep in mind that if mortgage payments are involved, both of your credit scores will take that mortgage into account.

In any case, if you want to get all the ins and outs of owning a house together even after divorce, it would be the best option to take legal advice from family lawyers.

The most important thing is forming a robust attorney-client relationship as early in the process as possible to keep things hassle-free, streamlined, and amicable. You wouldn’t normally want court proceedings on your deeply personal matters, would you? No matter what, amicable divorces are the best way to go.

Why do divorced couples continue to live together?

Although it might sound surprising, an increasing number of divorced couples are actually deciding to live together for various reasons.

Child support is among the top reasons why divorced or separated couples could continue to live together.

Divorce is undoubtedly disruptive for couples but even more so for children.

Many couples decide to take the hard way of living together in the same house so that the lives of their children are not upended. As a result, the children could continue their life almost as if nothing happened.

They can go to the same school, have the same friends and neighbors, and, most importantly, have both parents by their side.

In some cases, agreeing to share the same house could impact spousal support conditions. Such as, the spousal maintenance could be significantly reduced as you are sharing the house and will not need expenses for a separate home.

Also, when both spouses have legal rights to a house, and they can’t reach an agreement, they might want to own it together and continue living there.

Another good reason is when the financial conditions of both parties are not enough to get separate homes, they might have no other option but to live in the same house.

Divorced couples could also opt to continue living together as they might want to keep their divorce private and do not want other family members, friends, and colleagues to know yet.

On a few rare occasions, divorce couples continue living together, secretly hoping that they will get back together again. 

If you are among those couples and wondering how you can get your ex back, this recent article on my site is for you.

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Is it normal for divorced parents to live together?

As I have mentioned earlier, it’s an increasing trend for divorced parents to live together in the same house, especially given the volatile housing market.

However, whether you consider it a normal occurrence will depend on how you define “normal”?

To be honest, when it comes to relationships, depending on the definitions of what’s normal and what’s not often does not work.

Relationships are as complex as the humans involved in them. So, relying on what is most beneficial for all the parties should be the way to go.

So, if situations compel you to live together with your former spouse, I would say, sure, it’s very much normal to do so for the sake of your and your loved ones’ well-being.

Especially if children are involved, and you decide to share the same house until your minor children move out, spending a lot of time together as a divorced couple could very well be seen as better than normal.

Furthermore, there could be a court order that complicates child custody issues, and living together as an unmarried couple could make the most sense.

On another note, it is also fairly common for a divorcing couple to continue living together until after the divorce process fully completes.

So, whatever your reason for being together even after the divorce is, do not worry about what is considered normal. Try to make the situation as comfortable and happy for all family members around you.

If your marriage failed, then check out this quick video on the 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage that will help get yours back on track, even if you’ve already divorced.

Divorced but living together benefits

What could be the benefits of living together even after completing the divorce process?

Well, to look at it practically, there are a lot of benefits of living together after divorce.

  • Children – First of all, the major benefit of living together would be if child support is involved. Living with both parents does a great deal of good for the little ones. These benefits are not available for the kids even if you decide to remarry.
  • Saving money – If you can come to terms with your former spouse and live together in the same house, you can save a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on separate residences. You can even decide to divide and save that money for your pension plans.
  • Buys you time to get your life in order – Living together could also buy you the much-needed time to deal with all the changes that come after a divorce. It would be a good idea to use this time to look for a new job and eventually new living arrangements in a new place.
  • Avoid the stress of moving – If you eventually decide to live in the same house, you will not have to deal with the hectic process of a home sale, dealing with real estate agents, dividing the money, and all the anxious paperwork involved.
  • Staying on good terms with your ex – On top of everything, if you can manage to become good friends and live together as roommates, you get a lot of friendly support emotionally and financially from each other.
  • Makes dividing community property easier – And, if you are amicable with each other, you would also peacefully divide the household labor between each other, befitting both.

Does living together after divorce increases the chances of regretting the divorce and getting back together?

If you are wondering whether your wife would regret the divorce, read this recent article on my site, where I talk about all the aspects of regretting a divorce. The percentage of reconciliation might surprise you!

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Divorced but living together cons

Do not get carried away by the wonderful benefits mentioned above, as the cons of living together after legal separation could be daunting.

Here are the major cons of living together after divorce:

  • Keeps you stuck emotionally – While you are living with your former spouse, it would be much more difficult to get over any emotional baggage you might have from the relationship.
  • Martial issues will still be there – The old triggers that used to hamper your everyday peace could still have their way of creeping into your life. Things could become emotionally painful and even volatile if domestic violence or a restraining order was involved.
  • Dating can be awkward – Having a new partner home with you while you are still living with your former spouse could be challenging beyond just being awkward. We will talk about this more in a bit.
  • Having to split and agree on expenses – Living together inevitably brings a lot of other strings bound together, such as your finances, sharing other resources that come with the house, household expenses, property taxes, and a myriad of other factors. In these cases, finding common ground is not always easy, especially with your former spouse.
  • Arguments if someone doesn’t contribute equally – Disagreements could also break out about the division of labor between the two former spouses.
  • Hard to find alone time – Having some peaceful alone time might not always be available. Sometimes just their presence in the living room can feel too much for your nerves.

If the cons of living together seem too much, it would be in your best interest to avoid this. But if you have no other way but to live together, the best option would be to have detailed ground rules for each and every aspect involved, from sharing rooms and resources to inviting friends or new partners over.

It might be helpful to remember that if things ever get out of hand, do not shy away from taking help from the law and getting an order of protection.

If your marriage failed, then check out this quick video on the 7 Steps to Fixing Your Marriage that will help get yours back on track, even if you’ve already divorced.

How do you date if you live with your ex?

Having separate lives while living with your ex requires some high-level skills. The most difficult time would be dating a new partner while still living with your ex.

Firstly, it would be greatly awkward for your new partner to be with you when your former spouse is lurking around.

And for your former spouse, it could be anything from an awkward to an emotionally painful situation.

You, too, will have to be prepared to do a lot of explaining about your living arrangements to your new partner and deal with the tantrums that your ex-spouse might throw at you.

So, what would be the best way to date if you live with your ex?

Having separate bedrooms won’t be enough. The first thing you have to do is prepare a set of rules and come to an agreement about this with your ex.

Consider these questions while coming up with the ground rules: 

  • When and for how long can you have your new partner over?
  • Can you have them over even if your ex is in the house or only when they are not around?
  • How to minimize the exposure between your new partner and ex-spouse?

Try out different strategies to reach a satisfactory status quo, such as allocating certain days of the month when you or the other can bring a date over, and the ex will stay with the best friend or somewhere else.

Sexual relations of ex-partners can also trigger different sorts of emotional triggers, like jealousy, anger, and hatred. Prepare each other to deal with these negative emotions in the best way possible.

Taking help from professional counselors at these challenging times could also immensely help both of you.

How do you stop thinking about your ex when you live together?

It could be difficult to stop thinking about your ex when you are still living together from the date of separation.

How can you not think of someone when they are just there in front of you?

Well, it can be hard, but follow these guidelines to make it happen:

  • Limit seeing and talking to each other as much as possible.
  • When communication is required, keep it limited to texts or even emails.
  • Plan and create a workflow of essential exchanges, such as a parenting schedule, in such a way that very limited contact happens for a minimal amount of time.
  • Have a stringent division of space and resource sharing in place and enforce that nobody violates those rules.
  • Focus on yourself and your life as much as possible. Be more involved with your work and professional life. Do all the things that your marriage was holding you back from.
  • Take up new hobbies like crafting or painting. Or even simply start to spend more time only with yourself. It could be having more frequent walks in the park.
  • Take up mindfulness and meditation practices to gain greater control over your mind and mental health.

On the off chance that you might reconsider getting your ex back instead of forgetting about them, the law of attraction could come in handy.

The power of manifestation techniques is no secret anymore. 

However, there are ways that can make manifestation faster and stronger. Learn about the potent ways of the law of attraction in this recent article on my site. Some people claim that the law of attraction and manifestation are just hippie nonsense. But there’s 1 clear example that proves this can work!

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Divorced But Living Under The Same Roof... Happily | TODAY

Conclusion

Living together with your ex-spouse in the same house even after the divorce is both a personal and a legal issue.

There are pros and cons to this living arrangement, but the potential benefits could outweigh the problems in some situations.

Some couples might find it unavoidable due to financial aspects or child support requirements.

No matter what led you to this, it’s important to accept your situation and take all the measures to turn it into a happy cohabitation.

And most importantly, try to come to an agreement on all the aspects discussed in this article before filing the divorce application to make the whole situation as peaceful as possible.


Image by sonywisnup from Pixabay

Jeff Campbell

Hi! I'm Jeff Campbell. I am a father and blogger and recently divorced. I love spending time with my 3 daughters and am still learning how to navigate life as a single dad and ex-husband; a life I didn't choose but have accepted.

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