In some cases, the decision to divorce is made long before couples can actually split. But, in Louisiana, you cannot file for divorce until 180 days after you have been physically separate from them. If you have kids, the waiting period is 365 days.

If you’ve made the decision to divorce your spouse, but are still living with them, follow these tips to separate as soon as possible.

Choose temporary housing

In the short-term, it might make the most sense to choose an inexpensive, low-commitment housing option, such as in an apartment or with a relative. This way you’ll be able to create some space between you and your ex-spouse quickly and easily.

Living with your ex for an extended period of time is unhealthy and may later aggravate your divorce proceedings.

Set a deadline

To ensure that you don’t put off finding new living arrangements, set a deadline for yourself. While trying to keep your deadline reasonable, shoot for the soonest possible date.

This will keep you focused on completing the necessary steps for moving, such as creating a budget, looking at available options, setting up tours, sending out applications and finally moving into a new place.

Create a schedule

In the meantime, try to create a schedule that allows you separation from your ex-spouse while living with them. If you can, occupy the apartment only while he or she is at work and vice versa. If the two of you have kids together, work out separate times to transport them to and from school, share meals, etc.

Try to keep communication at a minimum and focus on moving forward.

Reach out for help

Don’t try to figure out a new living arrangement all on your own. Reach out to friends and family to help you pack up, move out and take care of the kids.

Then, get help making permanent living arrangements. By working with a skilled attorney, you can make a list of all of the marital assets the divorce will require you to split with your spouse. A lawyer will help you anticipate whether you will be paying or receiving child/spousal support and other expenses you should account for.