I can’t say I care much about celebrity news, but a recent bit of news did intrigue me. Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are getting divorced, but have announced they are going to continue to live together for the foreseeable future. Wait, what? Why? Though I have considerable knowledge about the financial ramifications of divorce… not from personal experience of course. Well that got awkward. I dealt with divorce a lot as a financial advisor, but I never encountered a live-together-through-the-divorce scenario, so I called up attorney Jim Reed to help me understand this odd concept.
Check out our conversation here:
Couples, or ex-couples as it were, live together during and after a divorce for many reasons. The most common reason being their children (the most likely case in the Affleck/Garner divorce). The second most common is finances. Each party maintaining their own household is much more expensive than a shared one. Living together prevents the cost of an interim apartment while the divorce clears, and considering most creditors won’t lend to individuals with a divorce in motion, other living options can be limited.
What gets really messy is living together after the divorce is finalized. If child support is involved but not collected while the parties are living together, when the receiving party does eventually move out, they can sue for back child support payments. Ugly.
Peter Dunn a.k.a. Pete the Planner® is an award-winning financial mind and a former comedian. He’s a USA TODAY columnist, author of ten books, and is the host of the popular radio show and podcast, The Pete the Planner Show. Pete is considered one of the foremost experts on financial wellness in the world, but he’s just as likely to talk your ear off about bass fishing.