Skip to navigation
Do What You Can to Fight for a Positive Outcome Put a Skilled Legal Advocate on Your Side SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION

Why Being Separated But Living Together Might Not Be A Good Idea

S. A. Jones Law March 9, 2023

Stressed couple sitting on couch, arguing at homeDivorce is a difficult situation that can take a toll on any family. In particular, post-divorce living arrangements require careful consideration of various factors. These factors include: taking care of children’s needs, financial issues, and living space.   

At S.A. Jones Law, Shannon A. Jones, Attorney at Law, focuses on helping couples in Memphis, Tennessee, find the most appropriate post-divorce arrangements. Shannon A. Jones believes in helping families in neighboring areas such as Germantown, Cordova, and Covington get knowledgeable legal advice. 

Why Living Together May Not Be a Good Idea 

According to 2021 data, per 1,000 inhabitants, the divorce rate in Tennessee was 3.3. While this figure is down from the 1990 high of 6.5, divorce is still a common situation Tennessee families must deal with.  

That is why after a divorce, living together with an ex-partner can be challenging and may not be a good idea for several reasons. 

Emotional Baggage 

It is common for there to be lingering emotional issues, resentment, or hurt feelings that can make living together challenging or uncomfortable. 

Boundaries and Expectations 

Living together with an ex-partner can blur the lines of boundaries and expectations. It can be hard to separate the romantic and emotional aspects of the relationship from the practicalities of living together. 

Coping with the Past  

Living together can make it hard to move on from the past and make a fresh start. It may be more challenging to build new relationships or find new interests when still living with an ex-partner. 

Co-Parenting Concerns 

Living with an ex-partner can complicate co-parenting arrangements, especially if one or both partners are seeing other people. It can create confusion for children and may cause unnecessary stress and tension in the family dynamic. 

Legal Implications 

Living together with an ex-partner can have legal implications, especially if there are property or financial assets involved. It may also impact child support, spousal support, or custody arrangements. 

Post-Divorce Living Arrangements 

Post-divorce living arrangements may include the following possibilities: 

Both Parties Stay in the Home 

This living arrangement considers both parties living in the primary family residence, mainly for parenting purposes. This arrangement seeks to maintain a stable family dynamic, especially when there is shared custody. Also, both parties living in the same home allows the parties to share parental responsibilities. Folks are encouraged to double-check with a trusted divorce attorney to ensure there are no legal issues with this arrangement. 

Selling the Primary Family Residence 

In situations where it may be difficult to determine who gets to keep the primary family residence, the best course of action may be to sell the home and split the proceeds. This arrangement works well when the custodial parent has alternative living arrangements. Moreover, selling the primary family residence allows families to make a fresh start following a divorce. 

Buying One of the Parties Out 

Buying one of the parties out consists of one party paying the other for their interest in the primary family residence. For example, when both parties paid for a home, one party can pay back the other party. In doing so, one party can take full control over the primary family residence. This approach is often useful to ensure children do not move from their usual residence. 


When one of the parties moves out (generally the non-custodial parent), the party remaining in the residence may refinance the outstanding mortgage on the home. This strategy involves alleviating potential financial implications, particularly due to a decrease in income. 


Bird-Nesting consists of both parties living in the home while taking turns caring for children. However, the parents do not actually reside in the home simultaneously. For instance, one party works a day shift while the other works a night shift. This arrangement aims to care for children while avoiding contact between the parties. 

Considerations when Keeping the Home 

It is important to consider two main factors when keeping the primary family residence.  

Firstly, the custodial parent generally stays in the primary family residence even if the custodial parent does not legally own the home. This arrangement may work when the primary family residence is not part of the marital assets and the non-custodial parents has no issues with the custodial parent residing in the home.  

Additionally, keeping the primary family residence may be a worthwhile consideration due to financial limitations. For instance, neither of the parties may be able to afford to purchase a new home. Reaching an agreement, therefore, is the most practical alternative.   

Lastly, please bear in mind that the court may award the home to the custodial parent even if the non-custodial parent paid for it. The court may award other assets in order to compensate for this decision. Above all, the court aims to divide assets as evenly as possible, while ensuring children’s needs and rights are taken care of. 

Get Reliable Assistance Today 

Shannon A. Jones, Attorney at Law, strives to provide his clients with the legal advice they need to protect their rights. Also, he believes in helping families through difficult times such as divorce. 

Call today to speak with an experienced family law and divorce attorney to get the reliable assistance you need to make the right choices for your family.  

Don’t face divorce alone. Call today!