"They only talk about things that are related to the kids," a source tells PEOPLE

By Melody Chiu Aili Nahas and Robyn Merrett
April 29, 2020 04:29 PM
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Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler are still living in the same home despite filing for divorce, multiple sources tell PEOPLE.

The estranged couple has been hunkering down in their home outside Nashville since returning from a trip to the Bahamas with their kids in early April. Americans are being asked to stay inside and limit contact with the outside world in an effort to curb the coronavirus pandemic.

One source close to Cavallari notes that they are swapping days in the house with the children: "They are doing three days on, three days off. So they are both living in the house, but not at the same time.”

"They only talk about things that are related to the kids," a second source says.

As the exes social-distance, the source says Cavallari is focusing on their three children: sons Camden, 7, and Jaxon, 5, and daughter Saylor, 4.

"Her days are very busy with school work, she cooks for them and keeps them on a schedule. It's definitely hard for her, but she is trying to stay positive," the second source says.

A third source tells PEOPLE that the star has always been a dedicated parent, even after returning to work (she owns Uncommon James stores in Nashville and Chicago, and sells products online) following years as a stay-at-home mom.

“She’s always been a good mom even when she had to work. Some days she would fly in and fly out just so she could put her kids to bed," that source says. "She’s always put her kids as her top priority. She picks and chooses what makes sense for her family.”

Kristin Cavallari, Jay Cutler
Tibrina Hobson/Getty; Todd Williamson/Getty

The couple of 10 years announced their split on Sunday, days after Cutler filed his divorce petition on April 21. Cavallari, 33, is asking for full custody of the kids, while Cutler, 37, is requesting joint.

In his petition, the former NFL quarterback states that he "has always been the available at home parent and primary caretaker" of their children. But the reality star directly denies this in her counter-complaint, filed April 24, saying that she "has been the primary residential parent."

Cavallari is asking that Cutler be required to pay child support "in an amount consistent with the Tennessee Child Support Guidelines or as otherwise deemed appropriate by the court." She is also asking that Cutler be required to pay for their kids' health insurance, as well as uncovered medical, dental, orthodontic, eye care, prescription drugs and other health-related expenses.

As for the grounds of separation, Cutler cites "irreconcilable differences," while Cavallari cites both "irreconcilable differences" and "inappropriate marital conduct." In her filing, Cavallari claims Cutler "is guilty of such inappropriate marital conduct as renders further cohabitation unsafe and improper."

According to Marlene Eskind Moses, a certified family law trial specialist and manager of MTR Family Law, PLLC, in Nashville, "marital misconduct" is a commonly and strategically used term in divorce filings in Tennessee that includes a wide variety of behaviors, from relatively mild grievances to the more serious and potentially criminal.

"It can be somewhat benign with an already crumbling relationship or it can be more extensive depending on what the actual facts and/or allegations are," she told PEOPLE  "It can be anything from verbal abuse to physical harm, extramarital affairs, to financial withholding, to excessive sex, abnormal sex. ... The term is very expansive. It's pretty much a catch-all."

Kristin Cavallari and Jay Cutler
Frederick M. Brown/Getty

Prior to announcing their divorce, Cavallari and Cutler had been discussing a split for some time, according to insiders.

"They have had divorce talks back and forth for a while," a source previously told PEOPLE. "They didn't want to get a divorce, because of the kids. Kristin has been very torn about it. When she realized that it just wasn't possible for them to stay married, her focus was on keeping things amicable."