Written by attorney Charles R. Hofheimer

Can We be Separated While Living in the Same House ?

While the Virginia Courts have become more tolerant by permitting divorces where couples live separate and apart in the same home, not all Judges permit such divorces.There is a risk that your divorce will not be granted by some Virginia Judges.Here are some Guidelines for living apart together.

Guidelines for Separation Under the Same Roof

  • Use separate bedrooms
  • Do not engage in romantic or sexual intimacy
  • Each spouse shoul shop for his or her own food.prepare own meals;do not shop for each other,including clothing and other necessiries.
  • Do not use your spouse's food or other purchases
  • Do not eat meals together (exceptions: Children's holidays or birthdays)
  • Each spouse should be responsible for caring for his or her own space within the home
  • Use separate and secure computers.Still, be careful what you use the computer for
  • Each spouse shoud do his or her own laundry
  • Use separate and secure telephone/cell phones for personal and business use
  • Establish separate checking accounts
  • Do not attend church together
  • Cease socializing together,e.g.,do not attend parties,movies,theater,etc. together.
  • When there are minor children, interact as parents only where strictly necessary from the children's perspective and their well being,e.g.,it would be acceptable for the parents to go together to a meeting with a school official related to problems confronting a particular child, but less appropriate for parents to ride together and sit together at a child's soccer match or school play.
  • cease gift giving between spouses for birthdays, Christmas, anniversary, Valentines's day etc.
  • Make known to close associates, relatives etc. that you are not living as man and wife but are separated within the residence.
  • Have an objective third party come to the home from time to time to personally observe the two of you living in separate and distinct living quarters including bedrooms and baths.
  • Utilize separate entrances to the residence if possible.
  • Be prepared to explain reasons for living separately under the same roof,e.g. finances,easing children's transition of separation.
  • Do not role play as happy couple in front of neighbors,social acquaintances and fellow church members.You cannot hold yourself out as Husband and Wife to the community.

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