It is not uncommon to find yourself in the position of breaking up with your partner, but being unable to physically separate because you can’t afford to, have nowhere to go, or your attorney has advised you not to leave. How then do you make a difficult situation livable?
- Schedule parenting time. If you have children, it may be useful to start to divide your time, so you can have individual time with them. This may also help set the stage for a custody plan, so be sure to arrange things so you spend a lot of time with your kids.
- Designate areas. You may have to stay in the same home, but you can set up zones. You can create separate sleeping and living zones but may have to share a kitchen and bathroom. If necessary, set up a schedule for kitchen and bathroom use so you can minimize contact with each other.
- Decrease contact. The more you talk, the more you are likely to disagree. Silence is your friend. Refusing to get into arguments can make life a lot easier.
- Set up house rules. A list of agreed upon rules can decrease arguing and make sharing a residence a lot easier. They have to be rules you both agree to however. Put them in writing and post them.
- Separate finances. You each need your own bank account and credit cards and need to figure out how to pay rent/mortgage and utilities in a fair way. Try to talk through these decisions and come to a compromise if possible that will work for the time being. Food can be paid for separately. Children’s expenses should be shared.
- Know when to pull the plug. If things are getting too volatile or you are too uncomfortable, it’s time for someone to move out.
Contact DeTorres & DeGeorge for help with divorce or separation in New Jersey.