When couples divorce, it’s not uncommon for one or both of them to downsize to an apartment or condo. However, when couples are sharing custody of children, both homes need to accommodate the kids comfortably.
Maybe all you can afford, at least for the time being, is a small apartment. Even if you aren’t seeking 50/50 custody of your child, you need to provide them with adequate space and privacy when they’re with you. That’s particularly crucial as kids get older and when they’re the opposite gender of the parent.
Your child can be just as happy in a small space as a larger one. However, if your co-parent has an issue with the suitability of your new home, you’ll need to prove your case to a judge who has to consider the best interests of your child.
Ways to make a small space comfortable and kid friendly.
Having a bedroom for your child is crucial. They need a place that’s theirs where they can choose their own bedding, keep their toys, books and electronics and also close the door. If you have more than one bedroom, take the smaller one for yourself.
Get rid of clutter –- at least yours. That can open up a lot of space for play and entertainment. Maybe you took more belongings in the divorce than you can fit in your new home. If you don’t need them, donate them. If you think you’ll eventually want them, put them in a storage rental unit.
Look up space-saving ideas for small spaces – even if you’ve never looked at a decorating magazine or website in your life. There are plenty of ideas online, along with examples of multi-purpose areas.
Remember that you and your child don’t have to spend all of your time inside. Find out where the nearest parks, skating rinks, walking trails and playgrounds are -– as well as the best places for sledding and snowboarding during the winter.
Showing the judge, social worker or court representative that wants to look at your home that you’re thinking about and planning to provide a safe and welcoming home for your child will go a long way to you getting the parenting time you’re seeking. It will also mean a lot to your child.