- When do we sell the house?
- How long should we keep the kids in the house?
- What is least disruptive to the children?
- Do we have to sell the house before the divorce, or can we do that after?
Sometimes the couple can no longer afford to keep the house. At other times they can, but the timing of selling the house is not something that is completely understood or agreed to. The couple does, however, agree that they want to decide things in a way that has the least adverse impact on the kids.
The empirical evidence says the least amount of change in children’s lives when a couple is getting divorced, generally is better for them.
When deciding on the timing of selling the house and moving, I say, “think events.” Think events in your children’s lives that would be a natural breaking point. A time for change; when the kids go from elementary school to junior High school, or from junior high school to high school.
Not all the judges agree and often say, “the kids stay in the house until they graduate from high school.” Maybe the couple can’t afford to keep the house, or maybe they can keep it for a couple of years but their child is 10 and won’t graduate for another 8 years. This “one size fits all” doesn’t always work.
Mediation has a more “holistic” approach. What is in the best interest of your children and the family as a whole? In mediation, the parents work together to decide what to do, how to do it and when is the best time to do it. As I’ve said in my previous blogs, it is called “The Plan.”
I hope this gives you a different perspective on the decision to move, a decision that can not only be perplexing but can potentially have such a great impact on the whole family.
Remember, Think Events!!