If there was a recent discussion in your Washington household where you informed your children that you and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, the months ahead may be filled with planning and preparing for a new lifestyle. As a concerned parent, you, of course, want to minimize the negative impact your decision to divorce will have on your kids.

You might be surprised to learn that many parents have determined that the best way to help their children cope with a divorce is to keep living together as former spouses, after a divorce is finalized. If that sounds completely crazy to you, you might want to keep reading this blog post before forming a conclusion. Several potential child custody issues may be prevented by sharing a home after divorce.

Sharing a home eliminates need for child custody exchanges

One of the greatest benefits you might experience if you and your ex agree to live in the same house after divorce is not having to meet at agreed-upon locations, dates and times to transfer custody. Your kids don’t have to learn to balance life between two households. Even if you sell your marital home and move into a new place, your children will still have both parents under one roof.

Post-divorce parenting is easier as a team

Adapting to family life after a divorce can be challenging, especially regarding the single-parenting aspect. When both parents are present in the home, children typically see them as a “united force,” which helps prevent kids from trying to play one parent against the other, as often happens in divorce situations.

Co-parenting under the same roof may also help resolve child care issues, even if it’s just not having to hire a babysitter because you want to go shopping without the kids or meet friends for a night out. And, studies show that children who maintain active, healthy relationships with both parents after divorce are better able to cope with the changes in their lives, so having both parents under one roof might make sense.

Less of a financial struggle

Another reason you might want to consider sharing a household with your co-parent after divorce is that it may help bolster finances. Even if you keep all finances separate, simply not having to sell your home and rent or buy a new house or apartment can be a great financial relief.

Set clear boundaries and household rules

Living with your ex after divorce may definitely take some getting used to, especially because you might, at some point, enter into a new romantic relationship. For a shared-household arrangement to work, it’s best to write out clear terms of agreement that include privacy boundaries, such as not entering each other’s bedrooms for any reason.

Living together after divorce for the sake of your kids doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll never encounter child custody problems, which is why it’s good to know where to seek support and to have a plan in mind if you and your ex disagree about an important legal issue and are not able to resolve the problem on your own.