Living Together After Divorce – What Does the Law Say?

Living Together After Divorce - What Does the Law Say?

It is not uncommon for a divorced couple to reconsider their decision and reconcile.  In these cases, a couple may decide to live together after their divorce. Questions often arise regarding whether there are any legal effects for a divorced couple to live together post-divorce.  

Firstly, it is important to state that it is not uncommon for divorced couples to decide to live together after divorce for a number of reasons including minimizing disruption to the lives of the couple’s children or financial conditions that may prohibit a couple from moving out on their own. In these cases, a couple may choose to continue to share expenses, and if they have children together, split child rearing duties.

The legal effect of living together after divorce

Divorce laws are slightly unclear about this. But, legal questions can arise if the couple has children requiring one spouse to pay child support to the other parent or if the court ordered that an ex-spouse pay alimony to the other ex-spouse. When a divorced couple lives together under these circumstances, the support obligation would be altered to reflect the fact that the person paying the support or alimony is living with the recipient and reducing their expenses. In this case, any support or alimony obligations could be reduced or eliminated. However, this would require one of the interested parties petitioning the court to reduce his or her obligations

Beyond considerations involving child support and alimony, just as a divorced couple is free to cohabitate with whoever they want, they may also cohabitate together. The only question which may arise involve situations where the post-divorce cohabitation relationship goes sour, and the couple is forced to reconcile financial matters or reconsider child visitation schedules since one parent is no longer living in the home. In this case, if the parties are unable to resolve any disputes the court would need to intervene in its capacity to handle post-divorce matters involving children.      

An experienced divorce attorney can assist you when contemplating living together after a divorce, as such, it is important to retain an individual skilled in providing advice on issues that can arise post-divorce.

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