If your spouse is staying in the family home, at least for a while, as the two of you separate and begin the divorce process, you’ve probably moved into a smaller place – likely an apartment or condo. You may not need a lot of room for yourself. However, if you’re sharing custody of your child, you may be concerned about them having enough room and privacy while they’re with you.
A home doesn’t have to be large for children to feel comfortable there. However, it is important for it to be child-friendly and safe.
For example, if at all possible, your child should have their own bedroom. Once they get into the preteen years, important for them to have a place they can close the door and have some privacy. Let them choose the bedding and help decorate the walls so it feels like theirs.
Safety is key – especially for a young child
If your child is very young, childproofing may be necessary. It’s also wise if you’re purchasing new furniture and accessories that they’re easy to clean and hard to break. If you don’t have to worry about a child ruining a new purchase, you can have more fun with them.
If you’re in an apartment or condo, make sure your child understands that opening the door and running outside isn’t the same as in their other home, where they may have a private walled-in yard. While you want to choose a safe community, you don’t want to risk having your child wander out and get lost. If they’re missing their yard, find a nearby park or hiking trail where you can spend some outdoor time.
A playing/reading/entertainment area
You don’t want your child to close themselves up in their room the entire time they’re with you. Even if you don’t have a big place, you can create an area devoted to games, toys, books and TV.
Ask your child for their input as you furnish and arrange the living room, kitchen and other common areas of your new home. Even if they haven’t yet developed any taste, you can let them choose a bookshelf, lamp or some everyday dishware.
If you’re going to be battling with your co-parent for more parenting time, it’s crucial that you already have a home set up where your child is comfortable and safe.