The idea of living together after a divorce seems ludicrous to most people, even if the exes are on good terms. After all, most divorcing couples look forward to moving on with their new lives, which could very possibly include new partners. Along with the awkwardness of living together while dating other people, the day-to-day routines involved in sharing the same space will probably feel like a burden, as opposed to a mutual partnership. Yet there are quite a few couples who choose to continue living together after their divorce is finalized. Exes with children, for example, may find it easier to keep everyone in the same household, especially if the parents are used to sharing childcare responsibilities. They may also feel that it's in the children's best interest to change their lives as little as possible.
Most divorced parents, however, agree that it's better to establish separate households in the long-run. Staying together in the same house may be confusing to the children, who are not yet mature enough to understand the difference between being married and just living together. Even for adults, the line between life before, and after divorce sometimes gets blurred when they are tied to a residence associated with one of one of the most important commitments of their lives. Thus, it's not surprising that divorce-related professionals such as lawyers and therapists generally advise couples to live separately after, or sometimes even before the divorce.
So why are some couples choosing not to sell the home and split the proceeds, or sign over the house to one spouse? The answers generally have to do with finances, or more specifically, what each person's finances will be like after the divorce. Let's first examine the issue of one spouse taking over the house in his or her own name. In order to do so, that spouse would need to refinance the mortgage in his or her name only. Being approved for a mortgage, however, is extremely unlikely if he or she has anything less than a stellar credit score. That would leave the option of selling the house, which seems like a sensible plan. Unfortunately, some couples would still end up owing on the mortgage after they sell, which is no benefit to either party. Or, they could end up with a profit, but the amount would be so small that it doesn't seem worth it to go through the trouble of selling.
These are just some of the factors that can affect a couple's living arrangements after the divorce. Each couple's marriage is different, so it's important to get advice for your specific situation from an experienced divorce attorney. If you need advice on what to do with the marital home, or any other divorce-related issues such as custody, alimony and child support, please speak with attorneys of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. Our attorneys look forward to advising you of your rights and options during a free initial consultation.