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Does it make sense to live close to your ex after a divorce?

Divorcing couples may look forward to spending less time with each other. When minor children are involved, however, a different set of rules may apply. Indeed, parents may need to work extra hard in making visitation plans work. It may even seem like more scheduling and cooperation is required after a divorce than during the marriage.

Fortunately, an amicable approach to child custody and visitation is possible. A recent article profiled one couple that stayed in the same three-unit brownstone after their divorce for the sake of their children. The husband moved to the garden level, the wife moved to the top floor, and they rented out the middle unit. The proximity saved them traveling time. Instead of a long commute, the kids simply needed to ascend or descend a flight of stairs when it became the other parent’s turn under the visitation plan.

Although not every family may live in brownstone, the story is a great reminder of how cooperation can benefit everyone. Creative approaches to parenting plans and visitation arrangements may mean that a couple stays in the same house or neighborhood after a divorce. A court is also likely to approve such arrangements, provided that it agrees that the child’s best interests are being met.

Tennessee family courts may award legal custody to one or both parents. Joint custody is an option but not automatically granted, especially if a court determines that a parent is not suitable for the role or abandoned his or her child for 18 months or more. Visitation rights can also be awarded to other caregivers, such as grandparents.

Source: Washington Post, “Who gets divorced in America, in 7 charts,” Ana Swanson, April 6 2016

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