Continued Cohabitation During Divorce

Going through a divorce means drastic changes for everyone involved. Whereas you have previously spent your days planning for an emotional and financial future attached to your spouse, divorce means having to shift your point of view and plans. Although divorce will ultimately mean that you and your spouse will no longer be living together, not all divorce parties choose to immediately separate households. There can be some cases where spouses choose to continue to cohabitate despite ongoing divorce proceedings.

One of the main reasons that people do this is because of very small minor children. Children thrive on stability, and continuing to cohabitate with your spouse will allow your children to adapt to the idea of the divorce while still having the benefit of both the parents present for emotional support.

Another reason is that the parties to the divorce may not yet have the financial means to obtain two separate households with two separate sets of bills. Especially where one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent, continued cohabitation will allow that parent to have some time to obtain a new job before trying to obtain independent housing. This could also reduce the spousal support liability for the bread winning spouse, as if the parties continue to cohabitate, as this would mean the spouse with a smaller earning capacity has no current need for spousal support. Even if both parties work outside of the home, the parties will continue to have only one set of bills, which could provide an important opportunity for them to securely establish their plan for their financial future while still both contributing to just one household.

Although continued cohabitation during the divorce can have distinct advantages, it is not right for every case. If you and your spouse have a highly acrimonious relationship, remaining in your current home and continuing to live with your spouse may only serve to aggravate already frayed nerves. If you and your spouse share children, they will not benefit from an atmosphere full of fighting between you and your spouse. Similarly, if there is a history of controlling or abusive behavior from your spouse, the advantages of leaving clearly far outweigh potential advantages of staying.

If you have questions about the best strategy for your divorce and whether cohabitation is right for you, contact us today at (732) 529-6937. We can talk about your divorce and what we can do to help you meet your goals.

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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