Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Carolyn Hax: Buy townhouse next to my ex so we can co-parent?

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We tried counseling for our son’s sake, however the conclusion was that we are improper for one another. I’ve two questions. First: I’ve an opportunity to purchase a spot in the identical townhouse complicated the place we are at present dwelling (my ex owns our place). Is this a good suggestion? The properties share a walled-off courtyard, and I believe it will be nice for our son to develop up having the ability to run from Dad’s to Mom’s home at any time when he needs. It’d even be nice for us concerning custody exchanges, sharing assets, and so forth.

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There are solely 12 properties, and if I go this chance up, it’s unlikely one other will come in the marketplace quickly, if ever. Are there any downsides to this I haven’t thought of? We reside in a big metropolis, so merely shopping for one other place close by could be a very totally different expertise for us and our son. My second query is much less particular: What else ought to we be doing to guarantee easy co-parenting?

— Trying to Do What’s Right for My Son

Trying to Do What’s Right for My Son: Speaking from the angle of somebody who has been co-parenting now for 5 years inside a 10-minute drive from the ex — I actually don’t suppose that the gap itself, so long as it’s handy, issues that a lot in a grand scheme of issues.

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Sure, choosing the identical group means by no means having to select which faculty the kid ought to attend. The little one would at all times have the identical buddies close by, whether or not at mother’s or at dad’s place at any given time of the week. If you just like the townhouse and see it as a great buy from all the true property and funding angles, then the house’s proximity to mother’s residence could also be thought of as an extra perk.

The bigger level I’d like to make is that an examination of your personal relationship expertise is much more necessary than how far your little one wants to stroll between the 2 properties. It does sound like your extreme criticism and tendency to choose others’ selections by means of your personal lens of perfectionism are going to have a a lot larger influence on this new household association than the rest.

Please perceive that you’ll have no management over what is going on within the different residence, until it’s unlawful or placing the kid in hurt’s method. How your son is fed, what books or TV he could have obtainable for him whereas at mother’s are fully up to her. You can arrange your house in accordance to your extra stringent guidelines and your son will quickly be taught to alter to every family as wanted. Perhaps dwelling just a bit bit farther away, nonetheless in the identical faculty district, however too far to be a watch witness all of the issues you could understand as “not good enough” on your son on the times he isn’t with you could provide help to curb your tendency to choose and categorical your opinions. Finally, when your son is older, he might develop a choice to mother’s extra relaxed home guidelines and simply stroll over to spend extra nights on the different residence, placing your joint shared custody in danger.

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— Experienced Co-parent

Trying to Do What’s Right for My Son: Having each dad and mom dwelling close to one another seems like an excellent co-parenting scenario on your child, so long as your proximity to one another doesn’t set off extra angst/criticism in your relationship along with your ex that could possibly be dangerous to your son.

Would additionally say that purchasing a home is a little bit of a dedication. Given these two factors, it will be actually necessary for you and your ex to discuss and determine the way you guys need to co-parent and make choices going ahead, together with consideration of custody preparations. If your ex has custody and strikes, and your solely motive for getting that place was to be close to your son, that might be an actual bummer.

If a part of the explanation on your breakup is that your ex feels you’re overly essential/controlling, she might really feel smothered with you dwelling so shut to her and it might be more healthy for all three of you if there’s a little bit more room to construct wholesome boundaries. So though you’re a grown man and can make your personal resolution/don’t want her permission, I believe it will be most respectful and productive to contain her in these conversations.

Regarding co-parenting, there may be so a lot information on the market, however above all would suggest (a) minimizing your son’s publicity to criticism of the opposite mum or dad — “garbage TV” and “garbage books” is probably not your cup of tea however they clearly convey pleasure to your ex and plenty of others; you can share your passions for well being and health with out shaming others’ pursuits, and that may assist give your son the area to love and respect/not really feel torn between allegiances and likewise to discover and discover and create his personal path as he grows up — and (b) sustaining consciousness and respect of boundaries along with your ex, whereas aligning on logistics of co-parenting.

Trying to Do What’s Right for My Son: I did precisely that. After two years of divorce when our son was 5 years outdated, I purchased a apartment 5 doorways down in the identical complicated. It was nice! Our son might stroll backwards and forwards, and the “power” wrestle was so a lot much less. We lived that method till my ex remarried about 10 years later. I extremely suggest it.

Trying to Do What’s Right for My Son: My recommendation is don’t purchase the townhouse. The chances are high that each of you’ll find yourself with different companions, and so they might really feel uncomfortable becoming a member of the “family compound” dwelling association.

I divorced when my little one was about the identical age as yours, shared custody with my ex 50/50 whereas we lived inside straightforward driving distance of one another, and if something I believe each dad and mom appreciated having their very own area and place, notably as we each remarried and had extra youngsters.

Our little one was a part of each households rising up and has a great relationship with each units of siblings as an grownup in the present day. As to easy co-parenting, communication is vital; so is an efficient custody settlement that spells out every mum or dad’s tasks. That being stated, you clarify that you simply and your soon-to-be ex are incompatible.

It’s necessary to settle for that you’ll most likely mum or dad considerably in a different way in sure respects, and so long as your son is protected, that’s not one thing you can or essentially ought to management. She could have her home guidelines and you’ll have yours. As lengthy as you can agree on the massive issues, issues will go smoothest for everybody once you can respect one another’s dealing with of the little issues.

Every week, we ask readers to reply a query submitted to Carolyn Hax’s reside chat or electronic mail. Read final week’s installment right here. New questions are sometimes posted on Fridays, with a Monday deadline for submissions. Responses are nameless until you select to determine your self and are edited for size and readability.

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