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Living Arrangements During Divorce: Where Do I Live While My Divorce is Pending?

While spouses may arrive at the decision to terminate their marriage in various ways, divorcing couples face a number of the same general issues when it comes to navigating the process. While this can include things like spousal support (alimony), property division, and child custody, it can also include more immediate and practical matters – like where you’ll live during the divorce.

Whether living arrangement issues arise before or after a divorce petition is filed, spouses must evaluate their options and decide what they wish to achieve moving forward. This decision can be influenced by a number of factors, including the available financial means spouses have, their ability to communicate and compromise, their personal desires, and whether or not they have children.

Before you make any decision, understanding your options is important. Below, our New Jersey divorce attorneys discuss some of the most common living arrangements of divorcing spouses:

  • One spouse remains in the family home – Many divorcing spouses, and particularly those who have minor children, choose to have at least one spouse remain in the marital home while a divorce is pending. While this can help ensure some continuity in the lives of children during a time of great change, it can also entail from important legal issues. It is also important to remember that while one spouse may remain in the family home during divorce, arrangements are not final until property division agreements have been reached through agreements in a divorce settlement, or in trial. Additionally, spouses who choose this option will need to decide who remains in the home, which may be impacted by whether or not it was purchased by one spouse before the marriage or purchased by both spouses after. Other arrangements for temporary support and who pays the bills must also be made and, in cases involving domestic violence, whether a restraining / protective order is needed.
  • Moving out – Spouses who move out of the family home while the divorce is pending may face a lot of changes, but those changes can provide a new slate from which they can move forward. Additionally, these spouses will also need to evaluate their finances and any obligations they have to pay the mortgage and other bills.
  • Staying in the home together – While this isn’t the most common option, it can and does happen. Couples who are able to remain amicable, want to save money, or want to continue co-parenting their children may choose to live together while a divorce is pending. Communication is key in this arrangement, as is continuing to uphold one’s responsibilities in relation to the family home.
  • Bills and living expenses – Family homes are typically the largest asset owned by spouses, which means that there are certainly financial concerns associated with them. Regardless of the arrangement chosen and who lives in the home, both spouses will usually be expected to continue paying for the home, utilities, bills, and other related expenses. Higher earning spouses may also be required to contribute financially to the other with temporary spousal support, which can be accounted for in a final divorce decree and alimony arrangement.

Every relationship and divorce is different, which is why it becomes crucially important to seek personalized counsel and advice from experienced divorce lawyers like those at Moskowitz Law Group, LLC. Our divorce attorneys have over 50 years of collective experience guiding clients step-by-step through the divorce process, and can help you navigate all aspects of your case while it is pending, including living arrangements and temporary orders.

To discuss a potential divorce case with a member of our team, contact us for a free consultation. Moskowitz Law Group, LLC proudly serves residents throughout New Jersey and New York.