Want email updates from me?
Want more unvarnished truth?
Looking for something? Look here!
What I'm saying now
What you're saying...
I think tag clouds are pretty, and not to be taken overly seriously
111 Chop House 75 on Liberty Wharf 9/11 A Broth of a Boy ABCs Abiouness accountability activities alcohol Allora Ristorante Analysis Angry Hams ANSI/TIA 942 Anthony's Pier 4 Apple Application Armsby Abbey Arsenal Arturo's Ristorante Ashland AT&T Audio Automation baby Baby Monitor babysitting Back To School Bad News Bangkok Thai Bar Bay State Common baystateparent BBQ BCP BeeZers Before I die I want to... behavior Big Bang Bike Bill of Rights Bistro Black Box BlackBerry Boston Boston Marathon boundaries Boyston BPO brand Breakfast Bridge Bring Your Own Technology Budget Burlington Burn Burrito buyer BYOD Cabling Cambridge Camp Campaign career Casey's Diner Castle casual cCabling Cell Phone Central Square Change Management Cheers Chef Sun ChengDu Chet's Diner Children Chinese Christmas Christmas Families Holiday CIO Cloud coddle collage College College Acceptance co-lo Co-Location Co-Location Tier Power Cooling Comfort Food Control Country Country Kettle Crisis customer dad Dad Phrases damage daredevil Data Center Data Center Design Davios Day Care Dead Death declaration Del Frisco's Design Desktop Video dinner Disaster Recovery Divorce Do Epic Shit dodgeball Downtown Crossing DR driving Droid Easter Economic Kids Edaville Education Elbow Night Elevator Employee Engagement Erin Etiquette Evaluation events Exchange Expiration Dates Facebook Failing family Fatherhood Favorite things Flash Flemings Fogo de Chão Food Hits and Misses Format Foundry on Elm Foxborough Frameworks fraternity Fraud French Fried Clams friends fun Fusion Generations germs Girl Scouts girls Global Go/No Go GPS Grafton Grandchild Grandpa Harry's hazing Healthcare Healthy Choices while Dining Out Help Desk Hisa Japanese Cuisine Historic holiday Home hope Horizons hose Hot Dog Hurricane IIT Assessment incident Indecision Indian Infrastructure Inn Innovation Internet Inventory Management iPhone IT IT Assessment IT Satisfaction Italian Jack Daniels Jakes Restaurant Janet Japanese Jazz Joey's Bar and Grill JP's Khatta Mitha kickball kids Laid off Lakes Region Lala Java Leadership Learning legacy Legal Harborside Les Zygomates L'Espalier Liberty Wharf lights out Linguine's loss Love Lucky's Cafe M&M Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade mai tai Managed Application Services Managed Services managers Mandarin Manners Mark Fidrych marriage Mary Chung mass save Maxwell-Silverman Mediterranean meetings Memorial Day memory Mendon Mergers Mexican MiFi Migration Ming III miss MIT MIT CIO Symposium Mobility Moes Hot Dog Truck MOM money Mother Moving on Name neanderthal neighborhood Network New York Marathon newborn Northborough Not Your Average Joe's Nuovo Nursing On-Call Operations Operators Oregon Club Organization Pancakes Pandemic Parental Control Parenting Patch Peeves People Perserverance UMASS growth Play Plug and Run Predictable Pride Problem Process Production program Project Management propane PTA. PTO PUE QR Quick Response Rant Real Estate Realtor Recognition Red Rock Resiliency Respect restaurant Restaurant Guy RFP ribs Ritual Root Cause Analysis Sam Adams Sandy Sapporo savings School Sea Dog Brewing Company Sea Dog Steak and Ale Seafood Seaport Security Sel de la Terra Service Service Desk Service Indicator Light sharing SHIRO Shit Pump Shriners SHTF Simplification Skunk Works Skype Sleep sleepovers Sloan Smith & Wollensky soccer Son SOP sorority spanking Squarespace staffing Starbucks Status Reporting Steak Steve Jobs Storage Strategy stress Summer Sushi swimming Tacos Acalpulco teacher Technology Teen Telephony Temperature Strip Tenka terrorist Testing Texas BBQ Company Text Thai Thanksgiving in IT The Mooring Thomas Thought Leader Three Gorges III TIA 942 Timesheets Toby Keith Toddlers traditions Transition treehouse turnover TV Twitter unspoken moments Valentine's Day Value Vendor Venezuelan Verizon Vermont Video Vietnamese voice VoIP Watertown Wedding Westborough Korean Restaurant Westborough MA. StormCam WiFI Wi-Fi Wilbraham Wine Worcester work work life balance working Yama Zakura Zem Han Zitis

Entries in Divorce (1)

Wednesday
Oct122011

Divorce Living Arrangements

“I want a divorce, I want to be free.”

Those words, spoken by my (now ex) wife over dinner at a nearby establishment, started a process challenging me as a man and a father.

At that time in Massachusetts, most mothers got to have sole custody of the children.  I couldn’t stomach the thought of being a Disneyland Dad, seeing my kids for dinner once or twice during the week, and then every other weekend. 

My mind raced….are you serious?  Why?  What about the kids?  What about the house?  What about the debt?  What about….

Kids don’t get a vote in their parents’ divorce.  It is thrust on them, decided by someone else, and having an immediate impact on them.

“Here’s the ‘wife of my life’ declaring war,” went through my mind.  At a time when communication was key, communications was immediately strained and tense.

To our credit, we agreed whatever our “baggage” was, we would minimize the impact on the kids.  They would obviously have impacts, and many of them.

We agreed to approach this in a manner we thought would help the kids.  We would get a single room somewhere, and we would move in and out of the house.

Rather than immediately getting separate residences, and having the kids shuttled around or worse, we agreed the kids would stay put and we would move in and out.

So, every Sunday at 5PM the official switch took place.

Please don’t think for a minute this is a perfect solution for everyone.  It worked for us because we agreed to minimize the impact on the children.

It was hard on each of us, and certainly hard on the kids.  Yet they slept in their own bed each night, and their pets (guinea pig, Chinese water dragon, and dog) didn’t have to move either.  Schools were never an issue as the children’s residence didn’t change.  Wardrobes remained the same.

We had to try hard to not have the kids be the communications conduit for us (“tell your mom….”) 

Some norms had to be set….the house had to be reasonably clean, lawn mowed, laundry caught up…in other words we couldn’t drop all the chores on the other parent.

Was it perfect?  Absolutely not.  It challenging for each parent (whether we were in the house or not.)

It worked for us solely because we agreed to minimize the impact on the kids during a time of high impact.

Since so many people immediately move out, an alternative approach just might be useful.

From time to time I’ll share some fatherhood insights on divorce, as sadly parenting through divorce is something we all need to talk about.  Please feel free to share your experiences.