In most modern marriages both spouses work to support their family and to move toward common goals such as children’s college expenses, a larger house or retirement. During a marriage, most costs associated with the housing, cars, and other resources are shared between husband and wife.
Aside from the emotional impact, divorce, whether it takes place in West Michigan or anywhere else, can create another layer of hardship when both partners suddenly find themselves house or apartment hunting, or in need of another car. The resulting financial challenges can add to the stress of an already difficult situation.
These days, many couples are choosing to live together after divorcing for several reasons. Children have the largest effect on strategic and financial decisions during, and after, a divorce. Staying close together, or even under the same roof, to provide parental continuity has led many couples to simply sleep in separate bedrooms in their existing home once divorce proceedings are finalized and avoid the potential for conflict regarding moving a child or a custody battle.
Real estate also plays a major role in the decisions made after separation. When a house or property has been purchased as an investment, or real estate has dramatically decreased in value, it may make more sense to live under the same roof until the market bounces back or a project home is completed.
Another reason couples will live together is to prevent upheaval. A single parent may not be able to carry the costs associated with the current family home. However, if both parents continue to shoulder the mortgage, utilities, and taxes together they can ensure their children stay in the same home and the same school with their established friends and teachers.
In many cases, custody or visitation arrangements mean the children are packed up and shipped between their parent’s separate houses. This can result in two sets of belongings, and even friends. When spouses choose to stay under the same roof, the effects of the divorce on the children may again be reduced by eliminating the need for children to shuffle back and forth.
This situation can also impact fighting over custody and over who gets to see the children on which night or weekend. When the children of divorced couples stay put and both parents come to them, the situation’s impact is less severe.
Cohabitation after divorce is by no means an easy solution. Aside from the agreements put in place by the spouses and their respective divorce lawyers, rules and boundaries must be set. This is not a simple roommate situation, especially when old emotions resurface or one former partner begins dating.
Like any other situation, cohabitation after a divorce has pros and cons. It may not be possible for everyone, but it could provide an easier solution to financially challenged partners and may allow parents to spend more time with their children.
Cohabitation may not be for everyone, but there are plenty of success stories about parents who have amicably divorced and made cohabitation work. The children of divorced parents appear to reap the most benefits, but it could provide a better financial and structural solution for the parents as well.
Options aside from litigation include mediation and Collaborative divorce. An experienced divorce attorney can help you find the best path forward, so please contact Johnsen Wikander for a free consultation today.