I was recently quoted in the New York Times in an article about couples – particularly those with children – who continue to live near each other after they get divorced. While living near your ex is not for everyone, it can have its advantages. For instance,
- When the children forget something at the other parent’s home, it is no big deal to go get it.
- Parents don’t have to worry about pick up and drop offs. The children can go from one home to another with ease.
- Parents can easily help each other when needed.
- Parents can see the children for a moment even on their “off” night.
- Parents can keep the continuity of neighborhood relationships they’ve built, and of favorite laundry, restaurants, etc.
- The children stay in the same school district, and can maintain friendships with nearby friends.
- Parents know that their children are never far away.
It’s important to note that the families in the article set boundaries during the divorce process, and continue to honor those limits. I think this is one of the keys to success. Living close works best when parents form a new working partnership, are cordial and respectful to each other, and can stay focused on the needs of the children.
Mediation and collaborative divorce are perfect processes to enable couples to come up with creative solutions that meet their family’s specific needs.