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Coping strategies for when you’re “separated under one roof”

By July 26, 2016No Comments

By Gianna Huesch

Moving out from living with your spouse after deciding to divorce doesn’t always happen overnight, and for practical reasons many people find themselves being forced to live “separated under one roof” with their soon-to-be-ex for a period much longer than they would have liked after calling it quits on a relationship.

If you find yourself in this situation, the environment can feel awkward, tense and at worst, toxic. Staying cool under the pressure can be a challenge, but reacting over-emotionally isn’t helpful and can even potentially hurt your reputation as a fit parent in parenting cases in court.

Are there any strategies the experts suggest that may help you best get you through this inevitably difficult period of your life? Family lawyers recommend the following to clients:

  • Ensure you have or create clearly designated spaces for each partner to have privacy.
  • Minimise interaction with ex-partner.
  • Don’t disappear on your family, even if you feel you want to run and hide from the world. Your kids need you and you also don’t want to potentially fuel any criticism of your parenting abilities if you end up in the courts.
  • Don’t assume things will always be amicable: protect yourself by making sure you have copies of all important documents, such as those relating to marital assets and finances.  Keep important documentation and other valuable items (such as special jewelry, photos or heirlooms) secure by storing it with friends, or in your office, for example. Create an inventory all your possessions.
  • While living together, avoid introducing obvious conflict triggers, such as a new relationship, or engaging in arguments.
  • Try to stay focused on the future rather than the past.
  • Attempt to use the time left together constructively to negotiate things like parenting agreements, if things are amicable enough for this.
  • Take the high road. Don’t play into the drama.
  • Lastly, try to remember that as the Buddhists say, “this too will pass” and at some point, this often painful chapter in your life will be over.

Do you need divorce advice? Please contact Cristina Huesch or one of our solicitors here at Alliance Family Law on (02) 6223 2400 to discuss your particular situation and how we can assist.


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