Economy Forces Divorced Couples to Live Together

Expert: Divorced couples in the same home can survive, should plan an escape.

ByABC News via logo
February 19, 2009, 11:50 AM

Feb. 19, 2009 — -- Tony and Dawn Joyce of Chicago have four kids, share family meals and take turns doing the housework.

They sound like a typical married couple, but they're not. The Joyces divorced over a year ago but, due to financial restraints, continue living together.

"There are times when it's very frustrating and confusing for our children," Dawn told "Good Morning America." "I would love to move on. I would love for Tony and I to have separate residences right now. We just could not afford it."

The Joyce's living situation may sound unique, but they're far from the only ones living in such a situation.

There are blogs exclusively devoted to divorced couples forced to live together.

"It is possible to live together," one blogger wrote. "You just have to be very grown up and learn to let go of the pain of the actual divorce."

According to divorce attorneys, it is a growing trend.

"I actually had a case where we went into court and the judge put an order in stating what days they were allowed to use the kitchen, and who got to use the living room, who got to use the television," said divorce attorney Carin Constantine.

For the Joyces, the situation can be awkward. They have different bedrooms now and Dawn has a new boyfriend.

"There are times when it'd be nice to be able to escape and go… and not have to, you know, have a confrontation on some of the issues that we may not agree on," Tony said.

The bright side, Tony said, is that he's able to see his kids more often that he otherwise would.