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Tips for when you have to live with your spouse during divorce

You ask your spouse for a divorce. You file the papers. You want this relationship to end.

In an ideal world, you would also move out. However, that it is not financially possible. You decide that you'll keep living together through the divorce and perhaps for a time afterward. It's the only thing that is affordable.

While you hope it does not become a permanent situation, here are some tips to help you get through the temporary living arrangement:

  • Be a good roommate. Remember how you felt in college when your roommates did not clean up after themselves or stayed up late making noise when you had to wake up early for work. Practice good roommate etiquette and ask your ex to do the same.
  • Make a financial plan. Talk about whether or not you will still share the food in the refrigerator. Who has to pay for the utilities? How do you divide the house payments? Make a plan in advance and stick to it.
  • Do not lead your spouse on. You asked for the divorce, after all. Your spouse may hope that you'll change your mind. Do not give him or her any ideas if that is not your plan.
  • Keep your new dating life out of the home. Even if you go through with the divorce and keep living together, agree not to bring any boyfriends or girlfriends back to the house until you live separately.

To help the divorce process go smoothly and quickly, make sure you fully understand all of your legal rights and the steps you need to take.

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