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Divorced Yet Still Living Together: Can It Work?

A Canadian couple has found a way to make their divorce work — and it involves continuing to live under the same roof. Following a new trend in post-divorce living arrangements designed to ease the transition for children, many couples are adapting the concept of bird’s nest parenting and extending it to include the divorced couple among the nest’s residents. The Kirkland-McGraths have two small children together and say their arrangement works wonders for them. The divorced couple and their children share a large home which is divided by a hallway, and includes separate bedrooms, kitchens and dining areas for each parent. The children go about their lives fairly normally, say the couple, and the parents maintain some degree of privacy.

Potential issues in continuing to co-habit

Many couples continue to live together during and after divorce simply because they are not able to financially sustain two households, or because they have not yet sold the family home. While that might be a good reason to do so, there are a multitude of reasons why living together after divorce might not be a good idea:

  • There are tax implications. The IRS considers alimony tax deductible only for couples who are not sharing a household.
  • There is a lack of privacy. Individuals who are processing the emotion and realities of divorce may feel uncomfortable doing so in close proximity to their ex.
  • It can be harder to move on. Living together enables the emotional connection between former partners to continue, making it more difficult to pursue a new relationship.
  • It may perpetuate conflict. Close quarters give the divorcing couple more opportunities to fight, creating a hostile environment for children.

Possible benefits to living with your ex

That said, living together can work for some couples, especially those with small children. If you are both clear that continuing to share a home is the best choice for your family, there may be advantages:

  • Living together can be less disruptive for children, and can offer couples a longer period of transition to adjust to the idea of life after divorce.
  • Sharing a home can represent the difference between financial survival and poverty.

Additionally, some divorced parents suffer from terrible loneliness when they no longer see their children every day. This arrangement eliminates that scenario for a while.

A peaceful divorce begins with the help of a dedicated divorce attorney. A Rhode Island divorce attorney is available to advise you on the best living situation for your family’s unique needs.

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