How to “Play House” when You’re Getting Divorced or Separated

If you are planning a divorce or legal separation in Connecticut, one important questions need to be resolved. In this post, we’ll address a couple of common questions we get about the practicalities of divorce.

 “We want a divorce but we can’t afford two homes. What can we do?” 

In today’s cash-strapped world, many couples are willing to find creative ways to legally separate—even divorce—but still temporarily live together. 

Although the economic climate has improved, for divorcing families, it can still be cost prohibitive to maintain two households. If you are planning a legal separation, the idea is that the two of you will lead separate lives. That said, the housing situation is not closely monitored. That means, if you are still getting along with your spouse, you can keep conflict to a minimum, and you can live together without putting undue stress on your children, you might be able to creatively share space. 

For some couples, converting a detached garage or basement space into a small apartment is a workable solution. Because this is mom or dad’s “new” apartment (and a place where your children will spend time), make it as nice as possible. Furniture, appliances, cozy comforts from the main home, should all be included. 

If this move is used to bridge the time between separation and divorce, it can work well for all involved, especially if you are striving for a friendly, or amicable, divorce.

That’s because it removes the fear of “Where am I going to live! How am I going to afford it?” and instead encourages both parties to make well-planned decisions concerning their individual and family’s future.

If you have children, be aware that living separate lives under the same roof will be confusing to them. As adults, you understand the concept of sharing space. Your children, however, will think that proximity equals family. 

You will need to set clear boundaries:

  • Where are private spaces?
  • Where are shared spaces?
  • When can children visit each parent? 

Awkward as it will be at first, your children might make the post-divorce transition more easily because they spent time with mom and dad in separate spaces before one parent moved out. 

Clearly, shared housing will not work for every couple or every family, especially in a high-conflict relationship. If one partner is dealing with substance abuse, or there is a history of domestic violence, the couple should consider establishing two households.

“My husband and I are separating. Can he kick me out of our apartment?”

Now would be a good time to speak with a family law attorney in Connecticut. Whether you are considering a divorce, legal separation, or an amicable (friendly) divorce, your first step is to get child custody and support established. When it comes to your apartment and who gets to stay in it, the situation depends on whose name is on the lease. If the apartment is in both your names, you both have an equal right to be there. If it is in one person’s name only, that individual has the right to determine who lives there. 

Even if your spouse is the only one listed on the lease, it doesn’t necessarily mean they can kick you out today. If you have been living there ― and can prove it ― your spouse will need to go through the formal eviction process to get you out.

Worrying over questions like these is what makes separation and divorce so stressful. If you have questions about the divorce process, our lawyers can help you find the answers. Call our office today at (860) 986-1141 for a free consultation.

 

Collaborative Divorce Attorney and Divorce Mediator Angela Green

Attorney Green works exclusively with couples or parties who would rather spend their energies and resources working constructively to resolve their differences rather than "winning the fight." She helps spouses and litigants reach comprehensive, well informed agreements without the emotional and financial toll of court-based litigation. She has mediated hundreds of cases ranging from simple to complex financial matters, businesses, and high net worth cases.