Divorce is a fact of life for nearly half the population these days. But many splitting couples are finding new solutions to raising their children without breaking up their lives — or their bank accounts. Curtis Harrison suggests the following ways that couples can get divorced with less discord:
- Nesting: This is a custody plan in which, rather than the kids moving from Mom's house to Dad's house, the kids stay in the house, and Mom and Dad move in and out of the house according to the schedule they set up. While this is typically a short-term situation kept in place until each parent has his or her own residence, this is a way to keep continuity for the children.
- The 2/2/5/5 Plan: This is an alternative to the standard visitation plan courts typically use to award joint custody. It gives both parents approximately equal time parenting the children, including weekdays and weekends, allowing both parents to more easily stay involved in their children's activities and managing schoolwork. In 2/2/5/5 visitation schedule one parent gets the kids Monday and Tuesday, the other parent gets the kids Wednesday and Thursday, and they alternate weekends, so there's more equal time with each parent in each two-week cycle. (vs. the typical every other weekend and one night a week.)
- Selecting one agreed upon financial professional: Called a "financial neutral," this is someone who's designated by both parties to review assets, liabilities and other financial issues, rather than having multiple, competing financial experts representing each side.
Child support alternatives: Some couples are establishing a Joint Support Account or credit card for the purpose of paying for agreed expenses relating to the children. The parents determine in advance the following
- the categories of expenses that will be funded through the account (like private school tuition, school related activities, extracurricular activities, and clothes)
- the frequency in which they will review the cost of these expenses;
- who will have access to the funds (this could be just one parent)
- the method for determining the amount to be contributed by each person (for instance: 60% from Father; 40% from Mother)