Is staying in the family home viable after a divorce?

The decision of how to divide the family home might be a central discussion in many divorces. Yet a recent article suggests that new strategies might impact this particular property division issue.

Specifically, an increasing number of divorced, single-parent families might be staying in the marital home for more than just sentimental reasons. According to the article, many are renting out rooms to other single-parent families.

The trend may be driven partly by demographics: data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the number of single parents in the United States has increased from 3.3 to 11 million since 1970.  The majority are still single mothers, comprising about 8.6 million of the total. Yet both single moms and dads may find it harder to make ends meet with the benefit of a former spouse’s second income. For that reason, renting makes financial sense.

Yet there may also be emotional benefit to single parents cohabitating. According to one single mom, the sister-wives aspect of renting out her home to another single mom made the transition of life after divorce much easier. Children may also benefit from having another adult in a household, even if it’s not their parent.

Of course, complications may arise when those single parent tenants want romantic partners to stay over. But a proactive lease agreement might address these issues and avoid surprise tensions down the road. A skilled divorce attorney can help in this regard. From negotiating property division matters to helping a client plan for post-divorce financial matters, an attorney who focuses on family law and divorce can provide valuable counsel.

Source: Washington Post, "In single moms’ households, two heads are often better than one," Tara Bahrampour, Dec. 1, 2015