NBC News recently looked at the pros and cons of “birdnesting” among divorcing couples, where splitting spouses keep the marital residence and share a separate apartment when not with the children.
The biggest touted benefit of such arrangements is keep continuity for the children.
Research shows that the best way to avoid risking the well-being of kids going through divorce, is to keep it as low-conflict and amicable as possible.
However, there are significant drawbacks to such shared-living arrangements, including ongoing financial entanglement.
Legal Help for Divorce in Monmouth County
Our Monmouth County divorce lawyers agree making a divorce as amicable as possible is best for all involved. In some cases, couples choose a do-it-yourself approach because they believe hiring a divorce lawyer will interject additional stress and drama. But typically the opposite is true. Experienced divorce attorneys have seen enough bad splits to last a lifetime. And we know where the common pitfalls are located; even the ones you haven’t thought of yet. We can also work to remove the emotion and keep things civil and we always work to protect your financial rights.
In the case of birdnesting, such quasi-official arrangements are exactly the type of thing that lead to arguments and hard feelings. Even most advocates of birdnesting recommend such arrangements be confined to the short term.
So, if you want to rent an apartment and share it and the marital home while a divorce is pending, that may be a solution, depending on the dynamics of your particular situation. However, one of the chief jobs of your divorce attorney is to assure your financial future is disentangled from that of an ex-spouse’s.
Financial Entanglements in New Jersey Divorce
Our Freehold divorce lawyers have written recently about the pros and cons of keeping a marital home after a divorce. But beyond that, the goal must be complete financial uncoupling from a former spouse. Joint mortgages, car loans and joint credit card accounts must be terminated. Further, claims on individual retirement accounts, health benefits and pension plans must be formalized.
Too often the unforeseen complications of agreements between former spouses is precisely what results in tension and hard feelings. Who is going to be on the new lease and utilities? What if one spouse begins dating? Who pays for home repairs? What is the impact on financial liquidity and what happens if property values decline significantly? Even agreeing to move out and being the primary lessor of an apartment can have negative implications on your property rights if proceedings turn contentious.
The NBC News report notes arrangements like birdnesting are best done among agreeable spouses. Yet too often, agreements forged during moments of agreeableness do not survive future challenges and pitfalls.
In cases where couples can maintain agreement on most issues, divorce mediation with our qualified mediator Cheryl M. Spilka, Esq. can offer a less stressful alternative to litigation. But in all cases your first best step is to reach out to an experienced family law attorney who can help guide you through the process.
Call Rozin|Golinder Law, LLC today for a free and confidential consultation.