While people tend to assume you need to separate at the time you start divorcing, that is not necessarily true. Many people in fact do wait to separate later during the process or even at the end.
While it might be difficult for many to imagine living with your spouse under these circumstances, it can be the reasonable choice.
One factor to consider is the level of conflict.
Often clients do separate at the beginning because they need to escape a very high conflict situation, which may even include some level of violence. However, if you do not have that kind of conflict going on and are still able to get along, then there may be reasons to put off the separation for a bit.
Holding off should allow you to get a better handle on what your post-marriage financial situation will be. This can include what assets you will have to work with, whether you will be in a different or new work situation, and what support you may be paying or receiving.
With that information you are in a better position to make decisions about what kind of housing you can afford, what part of town you want to live in, and whether you are going to be looking for roommates.
Purchasing a new home can affect your decision.
It can be easier to obtain financing before the divorce is filed, and second easiest after the divorce is final. Generally lenders do not like to lend during a divorce because they also do not know what your financial situation is going to be.
When there are children involved, another option some couples have had success with is “nesting”. This may be used where the couple does want to separate, but also want to keep the children in the family home for a period of time.
This involves finding a second small shared living space, and the parents alternate between the two living spaces. In other words, while Mom is in the family home with the kids, Dad is in the secondary space; and while Dad is in the family home with the kids, Mom is in the secondary space. This can be wearing on the parents, however, so usually it is not too long before the parents opt to find more permanent housing situations.
Living with your spouse may open other opportunities.
If you and your partner are able to cooperate in continuing to share a living space for a time during the divorce, then you may also be good candidates for a more cooperative divorce process such as mediation or collaboration.
Using such a process rather than the traditional adversarial approach can help you both make decisions that maximize the use of assets and incomes for your futures as single people.