When parents get divorced, many things can have long-term impacts on their children. One is what happens with the children’s living arrangements moving forward. There are a range of possible living arrangements that could come out of a divorce. Some examples include:
- The children primarily living with one parent
- The children splitting time living with each of the two parents
- Bird-nesting, which involves children living in one house full-time, with the parents regularly “trading off” living with them
- The divorced parents continuing to live together with the children under one roof
Whatever living arrangement for the children comes out of a divorce, it can be critical to have clear rules on how the arrangement will work. This could help with reducing the chances of future conflict between the two parents. This is one reason why what terms a child custody agreement has can matter so greatly.
Also, whatever living arrangement the children are in after a divorce, it can be important for parents to model good behavior for the children should parental conflict arise. Children can take a lot of lessons from what they see their parents do when the parents get into disagreements. This in turn could affect the children’s own approach to things like relationships, communication and conflict management in the future.
Here are some tips for divorcing parents when it comes to setting a good example for their children when parental conflicts arise:
- Not constantly arguing in front of the children
- Not bad-mouthing each other around the children
- Not asking the children to “take sides” in parental conflicts
- Treating each other with respect
- Working with one another to find ways to resolve conflicts in a civil manner