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7 Tips On Sharing Your Children & Home During Morris County Divorce

Many divorcing couples discover that they need to continue to share their home temporarily until the divorce is final. This often happens for financial, parent-custody or legal strategy reasons. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have decided to continue to live under the same roof until your divorce is final; there are a few things that you both can do to create the most comfortable and stress free environment possible.

The Morris County divorce attorneys at Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, have over 75 years of combined experience in the area of divorce and family law. We understand divorce complications and are dedicated to helping families in Morris and Bergen Counties and surrounding communities. Call today for a free initial consultation 973-840-8970.

Living Together During Madison Divorce

First, if you have children, it’s important to establish together that you will do what’s best for them as co-parents. Ultimately, this means keeping your child(ren)’s best interests as your guiding priority. Once this is genuinely established, it will be easier for both you and your co-parent to set and keep the boundaries you will need to have in order to minimize conflict, create a safe and productive environment, and maintain a harmonious household.

7 Tips to Live By While Living Together During Divorce

We’ll share 7 tips to help you ride out this interim time while you’re navigating through the divorce process and inevitably begin your lives as single co-parents, living in separate households. Above all, try to keep a long-term perspective. Remind yourself that your living situation now is short-term.

1. Talk to the kids together.

Offer age-appropriate explanations about the changes going on in your family now. Include an affirmative forecast that inspires hope

Talk to your child together with a positive outlook for after divorce
Talk to your child together with a positive outlook for after divorce

for happiness. Don’t pretend that they won’t notice changes or that you are both coping tremendously well. Most children, and especially teenagers, are acutely aware when things are different, especially if you and their other parent are now sleeping in different rooms. They need to know what’s happening now, as well as what to expect in the future, so that they can begin to adjust.

2. Establish co-parenting rules of engagement.

We’ve already mentioned the primary one: Guide your actions and decisions by what’s best for your child(ren). You and your co-parent can agree on best methods to communicate and collaborate to maintain a happy home life with minimal conflict. This will include respecting each other’s space and authority, taking joint responsibility for household tasks and using proper communication strategies.

3. Separate and respect each other’s turf.

Moving yourselves and all your things into separate rooms in the same house will begin the division.  It’ll be an initial indicator to your child(ren) which can ease their gradual adjustment to the idea of a divided family.

4. Plan a parenting time schedule.

Co-parenting, cohabiting & collaborating with your ex during divorce
Co-parenting, cohabiting & collaborating
with your ex during divorce

Consider planning out a schedule for parenting and household tasks. along with dedicated alone time with your child(ren). Your schedule will need to be collaborative and flexible, but try to stick with it. By establishing new routines, you can provide some reassuring stability to what is a changing and uncertain time for your child(ren). It will help all of you adjust to your future post-divorce co-parenting family life style.

Keep in mind that “alone time with your child(ren)” for one co-parent, means time off for the other. This is your personal time to take care of yourself. It’s important to give yourself a break and do the things you enjoy.

5. Show courteous & respectful behaviors.

Essentially, both you and your co-parent can think of yourselves as family diplomats representing the role models that you want your child(ren) to be. It’s an opportunity to teach by example of how to be courteous, considerate, respectful; as well as how to handle anger, frustration or conflict. If either of you treat each other badly, throw things in frustration, or withdraw; these are the less-than-healthy behaviors that they will likely learn.

Instead, pride yourselves in your combined ability to be flexible and adaptable as you create the new normal for your family. It can help to think about the kind of person you want your children to perceive you as; for example, generous, not spiteful; considerate, not mean. It’s the little acts of kindness that can go a long way towards making a divided home and family more stable and pleasant.

6. Figure out your finances.

It’s critically important to work out finances and how bills will continue to be paid and to assure each of you has sufficient cash. Since it can be a sensitive area for discussion and depending on your family’s circumstances, you may need your legal counsel to help you. If your spouse has handled finances during the marriage, you will need to begin managing your own money and budget. As an interim arrangement, you and your co-parent may agree to keep the status quo until the divorce is final. If you’ve been the primary caregiver and had an income, you may consider filing for a temporary support order.

7. Communicate with positive purpose.

To smooth the adjustments in your family while also providing a feel-safe home for your kids, it’s important to develop a new communication strategy. You and your co-parent will want to keep a clear head and behave in a calm manner. For the kid’s sake, as much as your own, carefully consider what you say AND how you say it. Check your word choices and tone (use emojis), especially in e-mails and texts. Attempt to make an extra effort not to poke, provoke or aggravate your soon-to-be ex. Stick to a “BIFF” communication strategy by being Brief, Informative, Friendly, and Firm when communicating. Leave your opinions, emotions, parenting advice, and tips for a personality transformation aside. 🙂 

Contact us online or call our Morristown divorce attorneys today

Request a confidential consultation at the law offices of Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark today by dialing 973-840-8970 or contact us online. One of our New Jersey divorce attorneys will answer your questions and provide you with a cost-free initial consultation.