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Cohabiting After Divorce

Some couples continue to live together in the same house after a divorce. Such cohabitation is not entirely unheard of, and, very often, is born out of practical considerations.

For instance, the couple may choose to continue to live together because it is cheaper to run one household. Divorce can be expensive, and one of the costs that can break people financially is the cost of running separate households, on reduced income. The spouses may want to live together and save resources, so that they can pay off the mortgage on the house, sell it off, and divide the proceeds.

Cohabiting can make it easier for the couple to care for their children. Divorce may be less dramatic change for the children when the parents continue to live together in the same house.

It isn’t easy to continue to live in the same house with an ex-spouse after divorce. It isn’t easy even if you have had a very amicable divorce, with no bad feelings on either side. The fact is that you are both free to see other people after the divorce, and eventually one or both of you will get back on the dating scene. That may raise feelings of jealousy in the ex, not to mention the fact that it is likely to confuse your children.

The other reason why cohabitation after divorce may not be a good idea is that children are more likely to remain in denial about their parents’ divorce, when they see their parents living together in the same house and behaving normally with each other even after the divorce.

Ultimately, divorce experts agree -living together is fraught with emotional risks. If however, you have no other choice but to cohabit, it may be helpful to have an agreement in place in which you will decide how long you will live together, and define the rules that will be place for dating during the cohabitation.