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Mortgage rate increase

Forget staying together for the kids, these couples are staying together for the housing. Liza Caldwell, the owner of a divorce coach business, told the Wall Street Journal that she believes this is more common with older couples.

This is especially true for a couple whose main asset is their home. With mortgage rates now hovering close to 7%, any homeowner who managed to lock in a mortgage rate at 3% to 3.5% is now understandably hesitant to give that up.

“If rates weren’t so high, I would have sold the house and moved somewhere within the city or refinanced,” a woman, who bought her husband out of their home, told the WSJ.

And even though rate increases may soon be behind us, Redfin told Business Insider that home prices will likely increase in 2024 — leaving moving out an expensive prospect still.

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How are couples adjusting?

The WSJ spoke with a number of couples with this unique living arrangement and many said they don’t tell their colleagues because it seems “unthinkable” or they’re “embarrassed.”

But as Liza Caldwell, a divorce coach, told WSJ, the situation doesn’t have to be as awkward as it sounds — but it requires creating clear boundaries with their ex, such as buying your own groceries and doing your own laundry.

“If you can’t stay married and you can’t leave, you can create a new set of rules to symbolize that things are not the same,” Caldwell says.

It helps to act like good roommates. Sharon Jackson, a family law attorney, tells the WSJ that ex-couples should respect the other person’s private space and create separate accounts for personal expenses. If children are living with you, it’s important to create a child care schedule.

For Allison, that means she and her ex-husband live in different parts of the house. They used to own a business together, even when they were divorced, so although they're not "sending each other flowers every day," she says they know how to act like “grown-ups.”

"This is someone who was meaningful in [my] life for many, many years," she explains. "The two greatest things in my life, I think, are my children and what I’ve been able to accomplish with this business. And none of those would have been there if I hadn’t been in partnership with him for all those years."

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Sabina Wex is a writer and podcast producer in Toronto. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, CBC and more.

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