Shake Up Your Divorce Living Arrangements

When it comes to the family home, divorce has a tendency to disrupt things for the entire family. Children may not be happy in a new neighborhood and financial issues may plague the spouses forced to seek other accommodations. Fortunately, there are alternatives to the traditional way of handling a home during divorce. Read on to find out more.

Traditional Choices

For a long time, divorcing couples had only a few choices when dealing with the family home. Often, the judge ordered the home sold and any profit divided according to the state's divorce law. Alternately, one spouse might buy out the other using cash, a loan, or by trading other marital property. Finally, some couples agree to let the parent who attains full physical custody of the minor child live in the home for the time being.

Obviously, a great deal depends on the financial resources of the parties. The below ideas are based on keeping the home for now and making other decisions later. By the way, if you are a renter and not an owner, the below ideas can be tweaked to work for your situation too.

Spouses Cohabit – This idea has slowly gained popularity but it likely started as less a matter of choice and more one of necessity. Two can live cheaper than one and if you and your spouse get along well enough you might agree to stay under the same roof for a time. This plan often involves a home that has a separate private space for each ex-spouse. For example, one spouse may use a finished basement as living quarters. Both spouses would share common spaces like the kitchen and living rooms. If you attempt this, make sure financial matters, new relationships, and house rules are discussed and settled beforehand. As you might guess, this sort of arrangement can be ideal not just financially but when it comes to spending time with the children, security, childcare duties, and more.

Spouses Nest – Nesting is a relatively recent entry to parenting arrangements but it's only for parents who can afford to make it work. Each parent takes a turn living in the home with any minor-aged children while the other parent lives away. Away might mean an apartment or with a relative or friend. Every so often, the parents trade places with each other. This provides the child with less chaos than split custody arrangements but can be tough on the parents.

Parties using any of the above should come up with a plan for ending the arrangement upon certain milestones. For example, you might nest until the child reaches the age of 12 or you might cohabit until one spouse is able to afford their own home.

Speak to your divorce attorney, or one at the Law Offices of Jamie L. Hazlett & Associates, to find out more about these alternative housing arrangements and more.