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Porter Ramsay Blog

Family law: Living together while apart challenging, but doable

When it’s over, it’s over — well, not entirely for some couples. British Columbia couples who have separated and have decided to divorce have things under family law to figure out — things like the division of property. But for some couples, living apart is not an option right away. Maybe people need to stay under one roof for financial reasons or perhaps they’ve made the decision to stay in the same home for the sake of the children.

Separation and divorce can be emotionally taxing, but living with a spouse during a separation can make things doubly difficult. With the right information on how to handle this limbo phase, living together while apart, can be doable. Even if soon-to-be former spouses are living in the same home, they should draw up a co-parenting plan that helps children get used to a scheduled time with each parent.

One of the downfalls of having to continue to share a space with an estranged partner is that things might actually get worse, experts say. If each person has clear guidelines of what is expected, along with boundaries in place, living together in this fashion could be manageable. For instance, it should be ironed out who will be responsible for paying the bills, doing the grocery shopping, cleaning, taking the kids to school, etc.

These kinds of situations can be tricky. But a British Columbia family law lawyer may be able to help with such things as offering advice on a co-parenting plan, drawing up a separation agreement and child custody and support, when the time comes. If two people make a concerted effort to remain civil while still living in the same home, it may be best for everyone involved, especially the children.