Living under the same roof after a separation

Population and Societies

582, October 2020

After a separation, both partners may continue living together. How often does this happen? How long does it last? Why does it occur? Does having children or shared assets have any impact? Analysing data from the EPIC survey, Wilfried Rault and Arnaud Régnier-Loilier shed light on ‘living together apart’, a situation that until now has been largely unexplored.

In 1 out of 4 separations in France, the former partners continue living together under the same roof. While most often temporary, this arrangement lasts at least a year for 1 out of every 5 unions that have experienced it. ‘Living together apart’ is more frequent when couples have children and shared assets. Reasons most often given are ‘practical or logistic, time to make arrangements’ (70%), followed by ‘for the children’ (24%) and ‘financial’ reasons (21%).

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