In these difficult economic times, many couples are trying to reduce expenses by continuing to live together after separation.
While there’s a lot that can go wrong with this configuration, with a little forethought and a straightforward conversation, even the most contentious couples can reach agreement and making living together while separated possible.
Here are seven tips to set up or survive your cohabitation while separated.
This takes different forms depending on house size, and configuration. If one or other of the couple are on shift work, or work away, this can lend itself to an easier sharing of space and domestic responsibilities, without having two homes.
Tips to survive this:
Assume it is short term – until you both resolve if the separation is to be permanent or if you are likely to reconcile.
Have an initial discussion - to define the ground rules. and what and how will you share domestic and parenting responsibilities.
Consider your answers to the following questions and ask your ex to consider the same before you sit down and chat.
What will the financial arrangements look like?
What are the sleeping arrangements?
Can we date?
What do we tell the children and others?
Who does what jobs in the house and when?
Do we do activities with the children together at all or only apart?
4. Consider how to handle others - Boundaries around information shared, who is invited to the house, and whether the children are involved or not, are all very important to set beforehand.
5. Keep it peaceful - The goal always must be to reduce any conflict, in particular any expressed in front of the children.
6. Seek Support - Make sure you’ve got one or more supports you can access out of the house or when you have privacy.
7. Make a plan - If the separation under one roof is temporary, start working on making a plan to move. Consider how much money you’ll need, who will take what and any boundaries around distance or anything that could impact the children.