Some couples who decide to divorce never really “separate” as far as one spouse moving out of the family home. If the relationship is amicable, you have kids and your home is large enough to give each of you privacy, it can be a workable arrangement. That’s particularly true if one spouse is away from home on business a good portion of the time or if you have a guest house or mother-in-law suite with a separate entrance.
Continuing to live in the same home for a time can make things easier on the kids – as long as they understand that this doesn’t mean you’re still together. Otherwise, it can be very confusing and ultimately more difficult for them. This arrangement can also save you the money of paying for a second residence while you still have the first one.
How to live separately in the same house
If you’re going to live at the same address during the separation, you’ll still need to establish an official date of legal separation. Under Kentucky law, a couple must “live apart” for 60 days before a divorce can be granted. However, that includes “living under the same roof without sexual cohabitation.”
So that’s the first rule of being separated in the same house. Having separate bedrooms is crucial to making this situation work, both legally and to help make things less complicated for everyone.
Let’s look at some other important guidelines for maintaining this type of living arrangement as you prepare to end your marriage:
- Take off your wedding rings.
- Use separate entrances if possible.
- Don’t share household duties like grocery shopping, laundry or cleaning.
- Don’t eat meals together, except for special occasions like your children’s birthdays.
- Don’t share computers or other electronic devices.
- Don’t socialize together.
Make sure you let family, friends, neighbors and whomever you feel like sharing your separation with that you are indeed separated but sharing the home for the time being. You should let a few people see the living (and sleeping) arrangements. These things might prove useful if there’s a question or dispute later about your separation date.
If you decide to continue cohabiting during your separation, it’s wise to get some legal advice on how to protect your rights and prevent issues that could complicate your divorce.