Can you share custody, finances and a home after divorce?
You and your spouse know that divorce is imminent. You have issues that simply can not be reconciled, for whatever reason. Once there has been a breakdown of trust or love within the marital union, fixing things may prove impossible. Divorce doesn't necessarily mean that everything in your lives and the lives of your children will need to change. Many couples who divorce are finding that continuing to cohabitate after divorce can reduce some of the negative financial impacts of divorce as well as the emotional impact on the children. It is an increasingly popular option for divorcing couples with kids.
If you and your former spouse find that you can maintain at least a friendly relationship and can still compromise and work together for your children, cohabitation may make sense. You won't incur financial losses from selling your home to buy two new homes. You can avoid the stress of visitation and custody battles over holidays. The potential for child care needs still exists if both former spouses work full time, but you and your former spouse may be able to minimize those expenses by working together. Your kids will also learn the importance of working together and compromise.
Making post-divorce cohabitation work
You and your soon-to-be ex will need to talk abut privacy, boundaries and personal space. Change to the home may be required to ensure that both spouses have the privacy needed to sustain the arrangement. Houses with garage apartments, garden sheds, pool houses or finished basements are often best suited to these kinds of arrangements. Sometimes, couples find that it makes more sense to sell the marital home in favor of a new home, like a duplex, where both parents will have personal space and privacy. How much you need depends on your lifestyle and personality.
Just because you're living together doesn't mean you won't have to work out parenting time plans and asset division. After all, you may want to visit grandparents or take the kinds on an excursion without your former spouse. Make arrangements, like alternating weekends and holidays for the purpose of vacations and family visits. You'll also need to talk about how to split up the bills, such as your mortgage. In some cases, you may be able to maintain shared finances until your children are adults. In other cases, separate financial accounts and responsibilities may be the better option.
Protection if you try to cohabitate after divorce
Trying to do something in the best interest of your children is admirable. It can also fail, despite your best intentions. If that happens, you want to have a specific and carefully created divorce decree in place to protect your rights to custody, visitation and fair asset division. Working with an experienced Nebraska attorney can help ensure that you are well protected if you want to try post-divorce cohabitation.