Living Together While Getting A Divorce In Virginia
For couples who are considering ending their marriage, the current economy and the high cost of housing can make living separate and apart from each other difficult. It can also complicate childcare arrangements, resulting in additional expenses. In light of these difficulties, some divorcing spouses are opting to continue living together instead. Our Virginia divorce attorney explains how the law applies in this situation and steps you need to take to protect your rights.
Can You Live Together And Still Get A Virginia Divorce?
Marriages break up for a variety of reasons. One of the spouses may have engaged in adultery or other types of marital misconduct, they may fight constantly or have simply grown apart over the years. If there is major animosity between you and your spouse, a separation is generally the best course of action. However, if you are on relatively good terms and are trying to conserve financial resources or want to continue raising your children in a two-parent home, continuing to live together may be an option.
Under the Virginia Code, couples are required to live separate and apart for a period of one year in order to obtain a no-fault divorce or for six months if they have children and a separation agreement in place. While the date of your separation plays an important role in resolving your case, it does not necessarily mean you have to live in separate homes. Factors a judge will consider in determining whether a marital separation exists, even though the spouses continue to live together, include:
- Whether you and your spouse present yourselves as separated to others, such as friends, family members, co-workers, and acquaintances;
- Whether you have your own bedroom and occupy your own space within the home;
- Whether you have ceased intimate relations with your spouse;
- Whether you no longer have mealtimes or go out for activities together.
How To Protect Your Rights If You Opt To Continue Living With Your Spouse
According to a 2023 Curbed report, post-divorce cohabitation is increasingly common. High inflation and housing costs, along with the desire to raise children together, are causing more couples to consider it as an option.
Only you can decide if this is something that might work in your situation. Our Virginia divorce attorney offers a few tips:
- Consult with a legal professional to ensure your living situation conforms with divorce requirements;
- Resolve marital property division, spousal support, and other divorce-related issues as if you were living separate and apart;
- Thoroughly discuss details surrounding the arrangement, such as the length of time you expect it to last, who pays for what, and how to handle dating and other issues that arise.
Discuss Your Options With Our Divorce Attorney
If you are considering a divorce, discuss your options with Schwartz Kalina, PLLC. We provide trusted legal guidance you need during what is often a difficult time. To request a consultation with our Virginia divorce attorney, call or contact us online today.