Co-Owning Your House and Cohabiting After Divorce

While it might sound completely nonsensical at first, many couples who get divorced in Michigan and across the country decide to continue co-owning their family home, while some even continue cohabitating for financial reasons. What are some of the issues to consider if you are thinking about continuing to co-own your home with your former spouse once your divorce is finalized? And on a more pressing note, what issues should you consider if you are thinking about cohabiting with your former spouse in your home as platonic roommates? According to an article in the Huffington Post, cohabiting after divorce is becoming more common due to financial circumstances, but is co-owning or cohabiting the right choice for you?

Co-Owning Your Home with Your Former Spouse But Living Apart

Why would anyone continue co-owning a home with a former spouse? There are actually many different reasons that this might make sense. In some situations, only one of the spouses lives in the home while the other lives elsewhere, and the spouse who still lives in the family home makes payments to the other spouse to slowly buy out his or her interest in the place. For example, say that Spouse A wants to stay in the family home with the kids, but Spouse A cannot afford to buy out Spouse B's interest in the home. Spouse B might think it makes a lot of sense for Spouse A to remain in that home with their children, and they might agree to a property settlement that involves Spouse A buying out Spouse B's interest in the house over a set period of time.

In other situations, the family home might be part of a three-home situation. What do we mean? When there are children from the marriage, higher earning couples might decide it makes the most sense to keep the kids in the home they have been accustomed to living in, and each of the spouses might get a separate apartment. During each spouse's parenting time, she or he will live in the family home with the children. When it is the other spouse's parenting time, that spouse will move into the family home.

More precisely, imagine Spouse A and Spouse B have two minor children from their marriage. Spouse A has parenting time from Saturday through Tuesday, while Spouse B has parenting time from Wednesday through Friday. From Saturday through Tuesday, Spouse A lives in the family home while Spouse B lives in his or her separate apartment. Then, from Wednesday through Friday, Spouse B lives in the family home while Spouse A lives in his or her separate apartment. In these scenarios, the spouses typically have separate bedrooms or spaces in the family home for when it is their time to be in the house.

Cohabiting with Your Former Spouse

Cohabiting with a former spouse, for obvious reasons, is much more complicated than simply co-owning a home with a former spouse. According to the article, it is important to develop some clear house rules that will make it less stressful to be cohabiting with your former spouse:

  • Have a set schedule for paying bills, and ensure that all costs are split fairly;

  • Respect one another's space and practice the best possible "roommate etiquette"; and

  • Have a rule that you will not bring romantic partners to the shared residence.

Contact a Divorce Attorney in Michigan

Divorce is complicated no matter what, but it can be even more complex when you co-own a home or cohabit with an ex. You should speak with a Michigan divorce lawyer about your case. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins today.