As readers of this legal blog know, we often discuss child custody and ways to make co-parenting work. Indeed, in a prior post, we discussed nesting, which is a way that amicable divorcees can make divorce easier by sharing the familial home. However, nesting is not always an option. And, when it is not, how can co-parents make two homes work so that both homes feel like home for the kids.
First, you both need to talk to prepare for the move to the two separate Lawrenceville, Georgia, houses. To lessen the impact of the move on your kids, at least one of the homes should be either in the same neighborhood or school district. If possible, both homes should be in the same city or within a reasonable driving distance, at least initially, after the divorce. The goal should be to keep as much of the home life as close to their life as possible, even though you cannot keep the family home.
Next, keep your kid’s mental health in mind. Have an open and honest discussion with your children about the divorce, preferably with a Lawrenceville, Georgia, mental health professional. Then, stay in family therapy and/or individual therapy as the mental health professional recommends. Divorce can crack foundational beliefs for children, and protecting their mental health now can prevent lingering issues later.
Get buy in upfront
At the beginning of the buying or renting process, bring in your kids. Make them a part of the process. Bring them into the decorating process too. Your goal is to get buy in from them upfront and ongoing.
Bringing the old home into both new homes
Before selling the old Lawrenceville, Georgia, family home, make sure you talk with your kids about what is important from the old home. Find those mementos, tchotchkes and other items your children value. Save them and slip them between both spouses.
Finally, in each home, your kids should have their own spaces, which can be their own rooms. However, they could be corners or just separate spaces. Include those mementos, tchotchkes or other items your children value from the old family home. This can be the final piece that helps make both homes feel like home to help make child custody much easier.