Children of divorce get to keep the house

Divorcing couples are adopting American-style custody arrangements under which children stay in the family home and parents move in and out on different days to look after them.

During a divorce, when a couple separates, the parties, with the assistance of a Family Lawyer Phoenix (or any other location), try to negotiate a parenting arrangement known as joint custody. This arrangement ensures that the child receives adequate care from both the mother and father without being under the sole custody of either parent. Moreover, it helps prevent situations where one parent unjustly exploits their custodial rights to prevent the child from meeting the other parent.

Research suggests that one in ten couples has an arrangement like this, with many more expressing a wish they had known about it before going through the often challenging process of establishing two new households during divorce. The set-up, which minimizes the disruption for children, can allow them to stay in their own homes, surrounded by the familiar environment and their belongings, with the assurance of knowing in advance which parent will be with them.

Moreover, for couples opting for such arrangements, there may be a potential benefit when it comes to property division. In some cases, this cohabitation arrangement eliminates the immediate need to sell the family home. Rockville property division attorneys, or similarly qualified legal professionals in other locations, can offer valuable insights into the intricacies of this subject matter. Their expertise can prove to be invaluable in helping individuals understand the legal aspects and implications of such arrangements, ensuring that decisions are made with clarity and in the best interests of all parties involved.

Anyway, research for the same was conducted among 750 divorced couples for Co-operative Legal Services. Tracey Moloney, head of private family law, said that when couples separated and had shared residency of their children, the marital home was normally sold and parents each bought or rented a new property.

“The children are expected to move between both properties depending on whether they are at mum’s or dad’s. What we’re starting to see is a new custody arrangement emerging where the parents do the moving,” she said.

Anna, 41, and her husband Peter decided when they separated last year that they would not move their son, six, from the family home to minimise the disruption. They modified the “bird’s-nest custody” model, so Anna usually sleeps in a converted outbuilding on the property, having spent the evening with her son. On the nights she stays over in the family home, she sleeps in the guest room. Such understanding only comes when two adults sort things out mutually. Certainly, Denver Family Law Attorneys (or one from any other region for that matter) can only help people get separated legally, but to still be considerate about such things, for the sake of children is something that can only come with a mutual understanding between two partners.

“There was no master plan for this. It really started as a temporary measure. Peter had left his job to look after our son full time after I got a promotion,” she said. “We felt since I was around less I should be the one who stays away most. We talked a lot about it, and found this works for us. Neither of us has any strong desire to have another family or relationship and the most important thing is our son.

“It was tricky at first. We had to talk about it a lot and there are many ground rules. We share the communal spaces, for example, but do not go into one another’s bedrooms. Certainly neither of us would bring a new partner into it without a lot of discussion. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”

Harry Benson, research director at the Marriage Foundation, said that keeping children in one place and rotating the parents had some benefits, but if parents could make this complicated set of arrangements work it could leave children wondering why they separated in the first place.

“Our biggest advice to low-conflict parents is that your children may see your split very differently to you,” he said. “If you can make your relationship work after the spilt, why not before? So it’s worth making that extra effort to make it work.”


In conclusion, the adoption of American-style custody arrangements, where children remain in the family home while parents alternate their presence, reflects a growing recognition of the paramount importance of minimizing disruption and maintaining stability in children’s lives during the challenging period of divorce. This approach underscores the evolving nature of family dynamics, emphasizing the priority of nurturing emotional security for the younger generation amidst significant life changes. While these arrangements can offer advantages in terms of continuity, it is essential for divorcing couples to seek professional guidance, ensuring that these arrangements are implemented legally and in the best interests of all parties involved, with a primary focus on the well-being of the children.