Divorce can impose a number of heavy financial burdens on splitting spouses. There is the cost of filing a divorce with the court, the cost of hiring an attorney you can trust to walk you through the process, the cost of child support and alimony while the divorce is ongoing, and, on top of it all, the cost of establishing a new home after moving out of the house you shared with your ex, all on a single income.
When these expenses prove too overwhelming, some couples who have split into relatively good terms have found success in living together as roommates even after their marriage has ended. If you think you and your ex may be good candidates to save money by living together during or after a New Jersey divorce, read on for some tips on how to make a roommate arrangement successful. Contact an Englewood divorce attorney for more help in Bergen County family law.
Establish how household expenses will be paid and chores handled
When living with an ex, it’s very important to establish rules on how your household will operate now that you’re no longer married—and how that operation will be different from when you were married. For example, if you handled all the bill-paying or cleaning while you were married, don’t simply fall back into that pattern out of habit after you split. You’ll need to create clear rules on which spouse will cover each given household expense or maintenance task. This will also help you avoid having the same conversation over and over about whose turn it is to clean the bathroom or pay the electricity bill.
Show respect for one another
We all know how hard it can be to see an ex after a split, and how miserable it can be to live with a bad roommate. By being compassionate and respectful towards your ex while living together, you’ll encourage the same behavior in them. Follow simple rules of civility such as keeping noise to a minimum and sharing TV or kitchen time and, above all else, don’t bring dates home.
Consider the effects on your kids
If you have children, living together after a divorce can be either a blessing or a curse for your kids. On the one hand, your children won’t need to switch homes as they would if you lived separately. On the other hand, it would be unfair to subject your children to the stress of watching their parents fight even more if you can’t be around your ex without ending up in a screaming match. Keep in mind how discord between you and your ex affects your children even after you’re no longer together. You might also consider establishing a schedule for solo parenting time with your children, even though it won’t involve pickups and drop-offs.
If you’re considering filing for divorce in New Jersey, get experienced, trustworthy and compassionate legal help to guide you through the process by contacting the Englewood family law attorneys at Herbert & Weiss for free telephone consultation at (201) 500-2151.