The real estate market, whether you’re buying or renting, has undergone a dramatic shift in the last few years. Housing costs have skyrocketed. Aside from all the other problems the issue has inspired, this broader housing issue has created new problems for divorcing couples. No matter how quickly you hope to get through the process, it takes at least six months to have a divorce finalized. In the interim, you may be obligated to keep up with the current household expenses – and that can make it impossible for you to afford a move.
Fortunately, California law doesn’t require couples to live “separate and apart” for any length of time before their divorce, so it’s perfectly acceptable if couples want to continue living together during (or even after) the end of their marriage.
Can you establish new ground rules?
Your cohabitation won’t be very easy unless you redefine the ground rules. Ideally, each person should have their own space that’s off-limits to the other, and you have to talk about how you’ll share the common spaces. You also have to discuss how the household bills will be split, whether food will be shared and other “house rules.” Essentially, everything you might discuss with a roommate has to be addressed.
When is your official date of separation?
You have to put a date of separation on your divorce petition, and that’s important because California is a community property state. Assets acquired after the date of separation generally only belong to the spouse that acquires them. You need to come to an agreement with your spouse on when your separation started – whether that was when one of you first asked for a divorce or when one of you moved into another bedroom.
Navigating the complexities of divorce isn’t easy, but the whole process can go much more smoothly when you seek experienced legal guidance. That way, no matter how you choose to approach the process, you can better ensure that your interests are safeguarded and that you’re in a position to make informed decisions.