As divorce becomes less stigmatized, and families grow more aware of the negative impact that family strife can have on children, more couples are opting for unconventional post-divorce family models. Some use birdnesting. Others choose a 50/50 split on the allocation of parenting responsibilities and parenting time. Still others have separate lives but continue to have family outings and vacations together. Which option is right for your family? The following may help you decide.
Live-In Parenting Models
Some parents get along well enough that they can use a live-in model after the divorce. This can range from all-out living together as a family, 24/7, to birdnesting – a model in which children stay in the family home but parents rotate in and out. How do you know if one of these options may be appropriate for your family?
First, families that have any form of live-in parenting should have an amicable situation. If spending time around your spouse or sharing space with them is simply too much to handle, then this model is unlikely to work for you. Further, live-in parenting models require a great deal of maturity on the part of both parties. You must be able to create and maintain clear boundaries while still focusing on the day-to-day lives of your children.
Family Outings and the Single Life
If sharing living space with your spouse is too much but you do not mind spending extended periods of time with them, you and your family may be able to use a single life, family outings model. In this unconventional post-divorce agreement, parents live their own separate lives but continue to have family vacations, family outings, and sometimes even share family meals. In some situations, a parent may even stay in the same home as their ex for a short period (i.e. one parent lives far away and travels but stays with the children, rather than in a hotel).
Equal Parenting Models
If you need your own space and cannot stand being around your spouse for long, do not despair! There may still be an unconventional model for your family. Shared parenting is a model that works well, even for parents who struggle to get along during and after divorce. Granted, you would have to share equal decision-making power with your spouse, and you would only have your child with you for half of the time (you can split this however it works best for your family), but the benefits are often worth the sacrifice. In fact, one recent study found that even young children often have a better relationship with both parents if they spend equal time at each parent’s home.
Need More Assistance? Contact Our Family Law Attorneys
Regardless of the parenting model you wish to pursue, Mevorah & Giglio Law Offices can help. Dedicated to your family's best interests, our DuPage County divorce lawyers can explore the various parenting models with you. We can ensure you have considered the potential pitfalls, benefits, and various aspects of the options that appeal to you most. Call 630-932-9100 and schedule a free consultation to get started on your today.
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