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Britney Spears and Kevin Federline – In happier times…
Source: US Magazine

How do you handle a divorce?

Many times, one partner or the other moves out – sometimes willingly, sometimes begrudgingly. According to leading divorce lawyers, there is no requirement that any party move out unless domestic violence is involved. In fact, many lawyers recommend staying in the home:

1) For negotiating leverage and

2) The annoyance factor tends to focus people on getting the divorce done sooner

Eventually the home will typically be awarded to the party winning majority custody. This usually leads to resentment from the unsuccessful party.

Well, we saw a creative situation once that might be of help…and have the ancillary benefit of helping the housing market. BOTH PARTIES MOVE!

In a situation years ago – not our clients, but that of a colleague – we saw a couple where BOTH parties moved out of the family home and left the kids totally undisrupted (but not unsupervised) in the family home. Each party got a separate home or apartment and then each PARENT made visitation into the family home during their visitation time. The kids…stayed put and the home became a neutral zone.

We loved this idea! And we thought given how inexpensive homes are nowadays, this might be a chance to:

1) Have each parent create an opportunity to start over in a (now cheaper) home and build equity to restore their long-term financial health

2) Permit the children have an opportunity to inherit the (future) equity of the family home, or the parents to also restore their financial health as equity builds in the family home (which is sold after the younger child is over 18 or leaves the home [college])

3) And, finances aside and most importantly, have minimal disruption to their live…and

4) Neither parent feels THEIR territory is violated by new “others” in the formerly family home.

We realize that higher gas prices, stagnant wages, uncertain jobs, and the overall economy often don’t permit this situation to happen. We just hope that this is considered to be a viable alternative which can provide many benefits that are presently undiscovered.