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Living Close to Your Ex For The Sake of The Children

In most situations, when parents go through a divorce, one parent moves out and the entire family has to readjust to life in separate houses. This can be particularly difficult for the children, who have to be shuttled back and forth according to the custody and visitation agreement in the Parenting Plan. Children have to pack an overnight bag to take to the non-custodial parent’s home on weekends and/or during the school week, trying to make sure not to forget their school work, gear needed for extracurricular activities, or a beloved stuffed animal. This situation can be made even more difficult if the parents live very far from each other. While the urge may be to move as far away from your ex as possible, there are several reasons to consider a new residence in close proximity.

The most obvious reason to live close to your ex, if possible, is that it’s easy to retrieve any forgotten items. If your child has baseball, but he forgot his baseball bag and uniform at the other house, you can quickly swing by and pick it up. If a favorite stuffed animal got left behind at the end of visitation, it can be easily dropped back off. This can relieve some of the children’s stress about moving back and forth between houses. Another reason is it more easily allows for visitation during the school week. If both parents live in close proximity to the children’s school, then either parent should be able to take the kids to school on the morning after they spent the night. In addition, since many extracurricular activities are close to a child’s home/school, both parents can more easily attend and/or participate if they live close. Finally, parents living in close proximity can more easily help each other out in unexpected, emergent situations. If one child has an emergency and needs to be taken to a doctor in the middle of the night, another parent living close by could help with the healthy child so not everyone loses an entire night of sleep.

This does not mean you need to look for a home on the same street or even in the same neighborhood as your ex. But being nearby is something you should consider for the above reasons. Parenting is hard and it is helpful to have someone close by to back you up if needed.

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Co-Parenting
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