This is a common fear which is rooted in the adversarial legal system and outdated fault based divorce laws. The reality is that many parents separate before the divorce is final, some even purchase a second home.
Living together after a decision has been made to divorce is extremely difficult. Separation provides many people the distance they need to more successfully manage the challenges and difficulties of divorce. In many cases, a physical separation greatly reduces the children’s exposure to parental conflict and emotional stress. Choosing to go down the adversarial path of claiming child abandonment as a result of a thoughtful and planned physical separation has negative consequences for all involved – especially the children. The pathway typically leads to a formal Custody Evaluation – a process which is intrusive, time consuming and costly. During mediation or other cooperative divorce processes you can be creative and solve problems in a mutually beneficial manner. Cooperation and thoughtful decision making are important cornerstones of a successful, low-conflict, cost effective divorce as well as effective parenting partnerships.