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Living Arrangements During And After Divorce: 10 Things To Know

— June 28, 2023

Having a roommate post-divorce can lessen financial burdens and offer companionship during a potentially isolating time.

Have you found yourself in the uncharted waters of divorce proceedings? Are you unsure about the numerous decisions related to your living arrangements during and after this transformational phase? These are valid questions many divorcees grapple with at the start.

An article by Healthline highlights the possibility of having fluctuating emotions throughout. For some, this could cause more of an upheaval and leave them struggling to comprehend the best solution for their living arrangements.

Here, you can delve into the top ten things you should know about navigating the road ahead during and after divorce—providing much-needed guidance to navigate this turbulent time:

  1. Understanding your rights

Your first step is grasping the legalities surrounding divorce proceedings and your rights concerning the marital property. Furthermore, the laws and rules can vary significantly. But generally, both partners have equal rights to the marital home. 

Whether you are living together during divorce or moving out can have far-reaching consequences on the final settlement. Therefore, consulting with a seasoned divorce lawyer can provide clear insight into your rights and the possible ramifications of your choices.

  1. Temporary living arrangements

During the divorce process, many people choose to create temporary living arrangements. One partner might move out of the shared home, or they might establish separate living quarters within the house. 

While this might seem inconvenient, these temporary measures often lessen the emotional stress and provide breathing room for both parties. Making hasty decisions may not be the best, hence keeping some normalcy to figure out the best route forward.

  1. Children’s well-being

When children are involved, their well-being and stability should be a priority. Courts typically seek to minimize disruption to the children’s lives, so they will likely stay in the marital home.

According to Forbes Advisor, while 70% of children live with both parents who are married, the number of children living solely with their mothers has seen a significant increase. As of 2020, 21% of children lived only with their mother, compared to just 11% in 1968.

This could reflect how living arrangements may evolve post-divorce, though it’s important to remember that every situation is unique and depends on multiple factors, including the best interests of the children.

Another option could be to co-parent, also called nesting. It is where parents rotate in and out of the house while the children remain. More importantly, it can be a practical arrangement during the divorce.

  1. Financial stability

Divorce, while emotionally draining, also has a considerable financial impact. Thus, carefully evaluate your financial situation and living expenses before making any decisions. Can you afford to keep the marital home, or is selling or renting a better option? 

If your spouse was the sole provider or primary breadwinner, you might need to consider downsizing or finding additional income sources. Affordability could ultimately be the deciding factor for new living arrangements.

  1. Property division

A crucial part of divorce proceedings is property division. Moreover, it isn’t limited to physical property; it includes assets like savings accounts, retirement plans, and investments. In addition, being aware of your resources and understanding how division works can help you plan your future.

Some of these assets can immediately translate into a more financially stable situation for each, meaning they can effectively evaluate all their housing options. As a result, they can choose to rent or buy, depending on the outcome of the division.

  1. Emotional considerations

While practical considerations are vital, don’t overlook your emotional well-being. The home you shared with your partner can hold many memories, and staying might be more painful than moving on. 

Furthermore, SpringerLink notes that there are many emotions divorcees can go through, including:

  • Sadness
  • Relief
  • Personal growth
  • Fear
  • Hope
  • Anger

Moving to a new home or city, starting a new job, or building new relationships can all provide emotional healing and help you enter your new life. Each person deals with emotional distress in their way, making it essential to remember what would be best for you.

  1. Buying a new home

    Man and woman being handed keys to a new home; image by Rawpixel, via
    Man and woman being handed keys to a new home; image by Rawpixel, via

If you decide to buy a new home after divorce, ensure you’re financially stable and emotionally ready for the commitment. Working with a financial advisor may help you create a realistic budget, whereas a reliable real estate agent can guide you to find the best property.

  1. Renting after divorce

Renting can be an excellent interim solution after divorce. Additionally, it provides flexibility and less financial strain. Consider factors such as the location’s safety, proximity to work or school, and the affordability of the rent before signing any agreements.

  1. Post-divorce roommates

Having a roommate post-divorce can lessen financial burdens and offer companionship during a potentially isolating time. Of course, ensure you’re comfortable with the arrangement and that your roommate is someone you can trust and get along with.

  1. Legal documentation

Finally, ensure to adequately document all decisions regarding living arrangements in your divorce agreement. Doing so provides both parties are legally protected, and there are clear guidelines regarding the shared property, living arrangements, and related expenses.

Finalizing the discussion

Navigating living arrangements during and after divorce can be daunting. But you can transition into this new phase with resilience and hope by understanding the process. Remember, the journey might sometimes seem overwhelming, but you are not alone. 

Professional advice from divorce and custody lawyers, financial advisors, and therapists can make the process more manageable. So, enlist their help to make the best decisions today and set the foundation for a brighter, happier future.

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