Published : Saturday, 02 Feb 2013, 1:40 AM EST
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) - Rather than go into court and have a judge order something that upsets the whole family, courts are increasingly turning to specially trained therapists called parenting time coordinators. A parenting time coordinator will meet with both parents, step-family members and the children to calmly and creatively work out the issues outside of a courtroom. For more information on parenting time coordinators call your family law attorney. DAWN- Attorney's for Women can help.
Another new concept in the world of divorce is nesting. This is the idea that to minimize the disruption, and trauma, on the life of a child during a divorce the parents move in and out of the marital home during their respective parenting time while the children are able to stay put. In theory, this sounds good. The children stay in the home and are left in a familiar comfortable environment while mom and dad are going through one of the worst times of their lives.
However, a few downfalls we have run into are the expense on the parents, and all this nesting concept does is delay the inevitable split of the children and parents. In this nesting scenario, the parents are responsible for keeping the marital home up and running as if nothing has changed for the children. Then they are responsible for finding a place to move to during the periods where they do not have custody of the children. This puts the added burden of maintaining a second residence where the parent only lives part time, or living with friends or relatives until the divorce is finalized which can be months.
Furthermore, the nesting concept only delays the inevitability that one parent will have the marital residence while the other moves out, or the marital residence is sold with both parties moving to new homes. Then the children are displaced at least a part of the time after the divorce is final.
This also takes an immense amount of cooperation from two people who cannot cooperate in their everyday lives together. The parties have to share in the cleaning, chores, and other parental duties on a rotating basis.
Legally, we also run into the issue of the “custodial environment. ” Who has it when it comes to custody? How is the parenting time divided once the parties move out? Will this last until the children go to school? My guess is that most of these nesting cases are settled before those issues come before a judge, but what happens if the communication and cooperation break down and the case ends in a trial. This throws the legal standard of custodial environment for a loop, and makes the Court’s decision more difficult than it should have been.
Visit www.DAWNforwomen.com for more information on children and divorce.
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