The Hawkins Law Firm
256.571.2829

400 Gunter Avenue
Guntersville, AL 35976

256.705.3593

600 Boulevard South SW Suite 104
Huntsville, AL 35802

256.586.4510

942 N. Main Street
Arab, AL 35016

Making a Roommate out of a Former Spouse after an Alabama Divorce

A divorced couple that still remain roommates

Breaking up isn’t just hard to do—it’s expensive to do. Couples filing for divorce will find themselves facing court costs, attorneys’ fees, and support payments to their former spouse or for their child. On top of these costs come the expenses of living on your own, which could require you to purchase all-new furniture and cover a monthly rent or mortgage payment, all on a single income.

Some divorcing couples look at the expenses they’re facing due to their divorce and realize that they simply can’t afford them, or that their or their children’s quality of life would be severely impacted if they didn’t find some way to mitigate these costs. Some divorced couples who remain amicable have eliminated some expenses by choosing to live together as roommates post-split. While not for everyone, this arrangement can be beneficial to you and your children, provided that you exhibit respect and good communication along the way. You’ll find several suggestions on how to live with your ex in the same house while filing for a divorce. An Alabama divorce attorney can help to answer any questions you may have about your rights in a divorce.

Give one another plenty of space

Sharing a home with a roommate isn’t easy under the best of circumstances; for instance, it requires that both parties offer the other a fair share of time in the TV room or preparing meals in the kitchen. It might be difficult to be generous towards your ex at first, but try to allow them the same courtesy around the house that you’d want for yourself. If you want to limit your chances of bumping into one another as much as possible, consider establishing certain areas of the house that are just yours or your ex’s.

Communicate clearly about household responsibilities

When you’re living in the same place with the same person as before your divorce, it may be tempting to fall back into the same patterns for who cleans the house and who pays the bills. You might also find yourselves bickering about who is responsible for what every few days. Avoid both these outcomes by dividing household tasks and expenses fairly between yourselves, even putting the division in writing to eliminate as much confusion as possible.

Roommates with children

If you share kids with your ex, living together can make their lives much easier. They’ll know that, even though their parents aren’t together anymore, they don’t hate one another. They’ll also be saved from the stress of switching between homes and neighborhoods multiple times in a week or month. That said, if you and your ex continue to fight in front of your children, the arrangement could be even more stressful than if you lived apart. If fights are inevitable, prevent them from happening in front of your kids. You might also consider creating a schedule that determines when each parent has solo time with the kids, when parents have nights off from childcare duties, and which parent is responsible for school or activity drop-offs and pick-ups each day.

For seasoned, compassionate, and professional legal help with an Alabama divorce, contact the Guntersville offices of the Hawkins Law Firm at 256-571-2829, with additional offices in Huntsville at 256-705-3593, and in Arab at 256-586-4510.

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