Divorce is a process. A stressful process. Something that inevitably adds to that stress is your living situation. If, for whatever reason, you and your soon to be ex need to cohabitate while you move through your divorce, how can you do that as peacefully as possible? If you are using mediation to navigate your divorce, the skills you use there can help you while you still live under the same roof. Here are a few specific ways that you can create a non-hostile environment during this time.
By the time your divorce is settled, the finances for each individual spouse will be separated. Until then, however, it is important that you do not alter how your shared finances are dealt with. Make sure to keep paying bills and handling child related expenses in the same way you have been. This will prevent unnecessary power struggles over money.
It is also important that you do not make any major parental decisions or changes during this time. It is common for soon to be exes to feel some animosity towards one another when going through a divorce. And it is common for one or both parents to use their children and the decisions regarding them in relation to that. To keep the peace between spouses during this time and to create a stable environment for your children, avoid things like withholding access to children, changing their address, or anything similar to that. Additionally, avoid making children be the liaisons between you and your spouse. Just speak to your spouse directly.
While you are speaking to your spouse, avoid making derisive or cutting remarks. Behaviors like these will only contribute to a hostile environment. And in relation to your mediation sessions, it is a good idea to institute a cool off period. Before and after your sessions, agree to refrain from questioning and pestering one another. This will help you both to remain calm when engaging with each other under the same roof and it will help you to have meaningful and productive mediation sessions.
Going through a divorce while still living in the same home can be painful. But if you respect each other's boundaries, endeavor to keep a neutral environment for your children, and hold back from engaging in derisive behaviors, you can get through this period and set the tone for your relationship going forward.
And of course, if you need help mediating your divorce, our Solutions & Resolutions team would be happy to help you through this time with compassion.