Today’s Parenting Arrangements After Divorce
The days of divorced parents picking up their kids every other Friday night and bringing them home to Mom on Sunday nights may not be entirely gone yet, but they are waning. Today’s divorced parents are changing the child custody landscape with the continuation of cohabitation, nesting, and other creative and non-traditional co-parenting arrangements.
Divorce can be difficult for children, no matter how old they are. While dealing with your parents’ separation is by far the most difficult thing to deal with, moving from one home to another is almost as disruptive. To combat this, some parents give children custody of the family home in an arrangement called nesting.
Instead of moving the children in and out of the house, each parent takes turns living in the family home with the children. This allows children to remain in a familiar environment, continue to go to the same schools, stay involved in their established extracurricular activities, and stay in close contact with their friends. Mom and Dad maintain separate residences where they live temporarily while the other stays with the children, raising them in the “nest” for set periods of time.
Maintaining two or three residences is cost prohibitive for many divorced couples. Some divorced parents choose to continue to share their former “marital home” with their children after the divorce. They can live together as roommates while co-parenting simultaneously or they can set up a schedule that allows them to take turns. If the house is big enough, they can each have their own smaller “space” that they take turns living in while the “shift” parent lives in the main part of the residence, taking care of the children.
The nesting arrangement requires adequate finances to accommodate multiple residences and the shared space configuration requires the ability to continue to live together in harmony. Somewhere between these two concessions lies the neighbor option.
For these ex-spouses, living apart, but in close proximity, allows them to continue raising their children every day with less disruption to the children. They may have houses on the same street or apartments in the same complex. Children can move freely between their parents’ residences, giving both mom and dad open access and eliminating many of the problems present when divorced parents live farther from each other.
putting children first
Obviously, these types of parenting agreements require an extremely friendly relationship between the former spouses. They are clearly not for everyone. Whether parents are in a position to choose one of these recently popular modernized co-parenting systems or develop their own creative custody arrangement, the important thing is that they serve the best interests of the children.
At Mejias Milgrim Alvarado, we are committed to helping our clients meet that goal by exploring their unique situations and negotiating child custody arrangements that work best for everyone. Come talk to us about your Family Law requirements.