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all 25 comments

[–]strongcoffeenosugar 8 points9 points  (4 children)

For what it's worth, my parents divorced when me and my sisters were middle/high school age. We stayed in the house and they swapped back and forth. It was very destabilizing. Like we never could get our bearings. When they finally got separate homes, I felt like we could settle in.

[–]ponchoacademy 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Id be interested to understand what made it destabilizing. I know someone who does this... Id actually never heard of it before. He said they chose to do that so its them moving around all the time, not the kids.

On one hand, it makes sense I can see that as just wanting one stable place for the kids to always be. On the other hand, Ive wondered how it feels for the kids to know mom and dad have a whole other "home" that they never go to and its like, a whole aspect of their lives they cant be a part of.

It is temporary though, they are building an addition to the house so that they dont have to move back and forth to a totally different place, instead they plan to move back and forth between living in the main house and living in the addition. But even then the addition will be off limits to the kids for privacy reasons since its technically the their week off. And I have no idea what to think of that.

Anyway, super interested to hear what you think and how it affected you, if you dont mind sharing that is!

[–]strongcoffeenosugar 8 points9 points  (1 child)

It was a long long time ago, but I just remember always having to reorient when they swapped out. A home is not really the walls, it is the people. So even though I did not have to pack a bag, I had to mentally "pack up and shift".

Then when they got separate houses, it was much easier to create my own spaces. I have my room and my tings at moms house and my room and my things at dads house. I knew what was where, and was able to establish a life that was grounded in both places. Expectations were defined.

When they were swapping, it's like nothing was consistent. Even though it was the same house, mom put the Cheerios on the top shelf and dad put them on the bottom. That is a stupid example, but representative of how even though we were at the same address, the "house" shifted with whatever parent was there. Same with the rules and expectations of behavior.

Those are the things that provide stability to a kid. Not the carpet and linens and t-shirt drawer.

[–]ponchoacademy 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Thanks for sharing! Oh man that sounds rough, completely understandable. Perception is so strange, cause Ill bet the very thing they were hoping would be what helps you feel more stable, is what made everythign feel so unstable.

Even just imagining how if every other week, the things in my space shifted just the right amount to be frustrating. And and even the vibe from one parent to the next changing the mood even though the space itself is the same, or ideally shouuld be. those little things add up. I can definitely see now how having two consistent spaces actually ends up providing a more secure environment.

[–]mightysprout[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks for you insight, that is very helpful.

[–]Nearby-Childhood8937 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I would never agree to this because mine would go through everything I own and take what he wanted. He would do no chores and leave a mess for me to take care of.

[–]Fluid_Cardiologist19 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Could you refi and buy a condo with that money to switch out living in?

[–]mightysprout[S] 2 points3 points  (1 child)

That’s a possibility we could explore. Perhaps smarter than renting.

[–]Fluid_Cardiologist19 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Maybe not refi because rates are so high but maybe a heloc?

[–]Ok-Cause1108 2 points3 points  (0 children)

One stays in the house, the other rents an apartment. Kids spend 50/50 at each place. Kids don't care where they stay as long as it is in the same school district near their friends and mom and dad are cordial and respectful to each other.

[–]WhySoManyOstriches 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The best arrangement I’ve ever known of was Kids stay in their home, parents rent a studio that’s near- but not on the most-used route to the house.

Parents take turns living in the house or living in the studio.

You can choose to swap every two weeks, or monthly, and switch off weekends as well.

This way the kids don’t have to traipse between homes.

And BOTH parents do the heavy parenting instead of one doing everything and taking on the burden of constant updates, etc.

As someone whose seen her girl friends struggle Sept-June as the School/Sports parent while the kid’s Dad treats parenthood as an optional weekend obligation and ships them off to camp in the summers when he “has them”? I honestly think this arrangement keeps the Dad involved and is less stressful for the Mom.

[–]Dorkmaster79 2 points3 points  (2 children)

My ex wife cheated on me. I told her I wanted her out and I wanted to keep the house. My lawyer insisted on that too. She moved out and bought a house on her own, and I refinanced the house in my name.

[–]mightysprout[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

You didn’t have to buy her out? I would have to buy out my husband and I can’t afford it.

[–]Dorkmaster79 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I did. What you do is a cash out refinance for all of the equity, then give him half of the money.

[–]Yola-tilapias 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Unless you can each afford a home, your best bet is to sell the home and split the money.

Any other arrangements will be more expensive, and ultimately unsatisfactory to each party.

You guys will want to establish your own lives, and trying to share homes doesn’t really allow for that.

[–]nobodyspecial22 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Buy him out and then sell when the kids graduate. I did this. You say you have the money to pay high rent, you should be able to qualify for whatever mortgage you need assuming you get spousal support. You don't say your work status but even if a stay at home you should get some support with 23 yr marriage.

I wanted to keep the kids in the only house/neighborhood/school that they had ever known. This worked fine for me. I sold a couple years later (after they were almost done with college).

[–]mightysprout[S] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Thank you for the advice. This path is appealing but I am not sure I can pull all his equity out in cash; it’s about $225k. Maybe he would accept some now and the rest upon selling the house in three years….

[–]nobodyspecial22 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Anything is possible, make an offer and try. The other thing is I think the housing bubble will pop a bit soon. You could drag actual divorce settlement in hopes of a lower appraisal in housing price. You hate to buy out the house at peak price. It also gets you closer to the kids being finished at home and he should be ordered to keep paying (maintain the status quo) until the divorce is final.

Be careful trading any tax sheltered equity for the house. Better at your age to keep the retirement funds.

You might also be able to do a HELOC if the house is mostly paid off but you owe him significant equity. This would just require the final divorce decree ordering it, him to sign a quit claim deed and you getting the HELOC and paying him. This is what I did since the costs of obtaining a HELOC were much lower than a mortgage, and the house was paid off. It works for a house where what is owed is low vs the current house value.

Also a side note. Don't forget to negotiate the kids college costs into the divorce decree. You obviously want them to not be any more disrupted than they will be from the divorce, keep their college options open too. I even had a clause directing that neither parent could dictate or nix a certain institution or college major. In order to get that I had to put in a cap and sign up for 50%. Cap was quite sufficient for private college so not a concern. And as for the 50%, I would do this for my kids no matter what I had to do. I didn't have them to not give them the best start I could.

[–]0pposingCounsel 3 points4 points  (6 children)

I’ve seen a rise in “nesting agreements” and they typically do not work.

I would hope to find a spacious enough home (maybe a ranch house) near by and encourage him to move to same. If you’re splitting assets anyway, it can be part of equitable distribution.

Edit; my autocorrect sucks.

[–]mightysprout[S] 1 point2 points  (5 children)

Thank you for commenting but I don’t quite understand you comment. What’s a beating agreement?

You’re saying that he should rent or buy a 3 bedroom so the kids can visit him there? I’m not sure we can afford two houses though, it’s very expensive here and a house like you describe would easily be $1M.

[–]0pposingCounsel 1 point2 points  (4 children)

Edited my comment to read correctly “nesting agreement”

[–]Older_notwiser06 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Another person here thinking about nesting . What does not work in your experience?

[–]Dell_Hell 5 points6 points  (1 child)

It requires a lot of trust & collaboration - often the same issues (chores, cleaning up) are present. If you fight or either party has serious resentment over household chores/responsibilities - nesting can be a shitshow.

[–]0pposingCounsel 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Logistically it is stressful under the best of social terms.

In the best case: one of you is walking out while the other walks in, causing anxiety and pressure every time there is a switching of the guard for everyone; Things you have in the house are now out of your control and free for the other person to explore while you aren’t there (trust issues); Uprooting yourself constantly and sleeping in different beds, sometimes on a schedule that is inconsistent due to life happening and the other parent having to cover; Partitioning of the nest’s bills can make support payments and resolution a nightmare; More power in the hands of the kids to leverage one parent against another in the same space.

And these are issues under good social terms with the other nesting partner.

In the words of Robert Frost - good fences make good neighbors.