Divorce is bad enough. The last thing you want to do is run into your ex everywhere you go. So what a Spanish judge told divorcing couple they must do has to be the ultimate nightmare.
In this recent case, a judge ordered the acrimonious couple to divide their apartment in two. One of them can live in one half, the other takes the rest of the place. Something similar happened in the movie The War of the Roses, when fictional characters played by Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner split but continued to live in a divided house.
But now, life is imitating Hollywood.
With Spain’s ongoing economic crisis, it is becoming increasingly common for couples who can no longer get along to stay together rather than go through a costly divorce. But this may be the first time in that country that a judge has ordered a divorced couple to stay together in the same domicile.
The couple share a 2,700-square-foot apartment in Seville. They have two children, ages six and seven. The judge cited the children’s well-being as well as the money factor in ordering the couple to split their home, according to a story about the odd case in the New York Times.
“It is an extraordinary decision that could encourage other judges to seek similarly extreme solutions,” a Spanish family lawyer, Josep Maria Torres, told the Times. “Spain’s economic crisis has changed everything.”
In the Douglas-Turner movie, which was released in 1989, the fictional couple define an uncrossable barrier with a white line through the center of the house.
In real life, at least in this Spanish case, the couple are fortunate to have a split-level apartment. The husband plans to live upstairs while his ex-wife takes the downstairs space.
In 2010, an Orthodox Jewish couple in Brooklyn, N.Y. went through an angry divorce in which neither would leave their 3,000-square-foot-home. Rather than choose which one to kick into the street, a judge ordered the couple to build a wall inside the house, dividing it down the middle.
SOURCES: New York Times, New York Post, Huffington Post