October 15, 2023, In Divorce
Our Los Angeles family law attorney at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, knows that, unlike many other states, California does not require spouses to live separately for a specific period before they can pursue a divorce.
When spouses decide to live together during their California divorce, this arrangement is sometimes called “in-house separation” or “nesting.” Our Los Angeles County divorce lawyer knows cohabitation does not prevent our clients from divorcing, but it can complicate their cases.
Knowing the potential personal and legal implications and considerations associated with this living arrangement is essential.
How Does Living with Your Spouse During a California Divorce Impact Your Wellness?
In-house separation often involves creating separate living spaces within the same residence. This may require separate bedrooms or even separate sections of the home, which requires establishing significant boundaries that can be difficult to maintain.
While living together can reduce expenses, it can also present financial challenges. Determining how costs will be shared, such as mortgage/rent, utilities, and groceries, is essential.
In addition, living together during a divorce can be emotionally challenging. It may be difficult to fully disengage from the marriage and adjust to the idea of a future apart. This can lead to disagreements that impact the psychological and emotional well-being of spouses and their children when applicable.
Living together during a divorce may be more feasible if both spouses are amicable and can maintain a civil and respectful coexistence. It can help reduce conflict and tension during the divorce process.
Living with Your Spouse During a California Divorce Can Impact Your Children’s Emotional Stability
If you and your spouse share minor children, this arrangement can provide them stability and a sense of continuity in their living environment during the divorce proceedings so they know their best interests are the priority.
However, it may not be the best option if the relationship between you and your spouse is highly contentious, as it could negatively affect the children.
Likewise, maintaining cohabitation may result in children struggling to grasp that you are divorcing entirely. These unique arrangements must be evaluated based on each family’s dynamics, the children’s ages, and emotional maturity.
Living with Your Spouse During a California Divorce Can Impact Future Relationships
In-house separation is usually temporary to ease the transition during the divorce process. While living together, it is essential to maintain as separate lives as possible.
Both spouses should agree on a timeframe for this living situation and understand how this arrangement might affect their ability to establish an independent identity and pursue new relationships.
The Legal Implications of Spouses Living Together During a California Divorce
Legally, living together during a divorce does not preclude the divorce process, but it can impact specific aspects, like property division and spousal support.
Most divorcing spouses in California do not understand that the official date of separation impacts both.
The date of separation is the official “break” in the marital relationship. California courts use this information to establish a concrete date of one or both spouses’ intent to discontinue the marriage.
The date of separation in a California divorce is important because it determines when property acquired by either spouse becomes separate. Property acquired before the date of separation is considered community property.
The date of separation can also determine the length of the marriage — and whether it is considered short- or long-term — which may substantially impact one spouse’s ability to obtain spousal support.
Living together does not negate the need to go through the legal divorce process in California. You must still file the necessary divorce paperwork and agree on property division, child custody, and child support issues.
Contact Our Family Law Attorney in Los Angeles, California Today
If you have questions about cohabitating during a divorce in California and how it will impact your legal standing, contact our skilled family law attorneys in Los Angeles County at WHITMARSH FAMILY LAW, PC, by calling (310) 552-3505 to schedule a free consultation today. We can help provide solutions that produce results.