Splits

How Can You Move on After a Divorce When You Still Share a Home With Your Ex?

The Real Housewives of Orange County's Gina Kirschenheiter is "cohabitating" with Matt.

The Real Housewives of Orange County mom Gina Kirschenheiter still has the same living situation with her soon-to-be-ex Matt even after filing for divorce earlier this year. 

Since filing, Gina's also requested sole physical custody and joint legal custody of their three children, Nicholas, 5, Sienna, 4, and Luca, 2, put her Coto de Caza house on the market, later took the home off the market, and has revealed that things "just look different now."

What's not different though, is the RHOC mom's living situation. 

“I’m still living in Coto in the same house that I share with Matt,” she recently told Bravo's Home & Design. “Matt still has the same apartment in Woodland Hills, he renewed his lease I think for another eight or 10 months or something, and then I still have the casita, so I’m still casita-living [on the weekends].”

The two decided the living situation was the best choice, at least short term.

“And you know what, it’s working for us,” Gina says. “It’s kind of annoying to have to kind of pack up and move here and move there, but I’d rather it be annoying for me than annoying for the kids. And Matt has to do it regardless because he works there and the kids are here, so it’s just kind of the new normal for us.”

The Washington Post reports that letting the kids stay in one house is why the "divorced parents come and go in rotation" strategy is increasingly popular.

"Although parents who are divorcing can rest in knowing children can recover from their parents’ divorce, it remains a potentially traumatic event for children. Parents know this, and so, of course, they will seek to minimize the effects of the breakdown of their marriage on their children."

Keeping one main residence is a major way to do that. It's called a "bird’s nest" arrangement.

"Some see this as a model that helps minimize disruption for children. It means they don’t have to be uprooted, trekking from one parent’s house to another’s on a regular basis. Although this model is still rare, experts say it has become increasingly common over the last 10 years."

According to Today, it's crucial to "establish fiscal independence before moving in together, so you can be proactive after a breakup."

"Somebody needs to move out," it reports. "You cannot live together after your romance has fallen apart, or you cannot live together for very long."

While Gina's situation seems peaceful for the most part, there's still a psychological element to officially living apart after a divorce in order to move on — even if they decide it verbally. Sharing possessions and memories in the home makes it very hard to move on, experts say. Having a move out date for one of you is key, even if that person isn't physically in the residence much.

"It’s good for both of you to have an end in sight, no matter how far off it is. Setting a date from the starts gives you both clarity and stops the situation dragging on awkwardly for months with neither of you wanting to raise the issue ... We often rush into bad decisions when we’re hurt. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re thinking rationally about things like splitting up your possessions, take some time before committing yourself."

Credit: Gina Kirschenheiter/Instagram

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Gina Kirschenheiter Splits Relationships

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