Just when I thought I had heard all the variation on living arrangement in a divorce, I read in the Modern Love section of the New York Times an article entitled “Our Kinder, Gentler, Nobody-Moves-Out Divorce -When the end of a marriage means living on separate floors of the same house” by Jordana Jacobs See the entire article at https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/14/style/modern-love-kinder-gentler-divorce.html?smid=em-share The couple lives on separate floors of a two family house. It is wonderful for their child but gets complicated when they have new significant others. Initially there were no boundaries but as time went on they found they needed them. I assume they are renting the premises. It would get more complicated if they owned the premises.
I particularly like her saying,
“When I was a child in the ’80s, divorce meant war. If children weren’t the weapons, they were the casualties. Custody battles. Friends choosing sides. Lawyers as strategists, generals. “Kramer vs. Kramer.” Waking up in a Holiday Inn to your mother’s declaration that she was divorcing your no-good father. A father denied visitation rights after the mother convinced the judge he was unfit. Children of my generation (Generation X, coincidentally) were raised on tales about the ex’s morning stench, their ineptitude in the kitchen, their refusal to cough up alimony payments.
These days, we have our mediators. We get to keep our friends. We don’t abuse our children with hate. It’s a kinder and gentler time. But we still don’t have the words. I think we can all agree that “conscious uncoupling” doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
Case in point: the word “amicable.” Which means, a lack of rancor and disagreement. You meet people who say their divorces are amicable. It’s like using “tolerance” when discussing diversity: Embedded in the word is a valiant effort to replace exasperation with patience so that we can put up with the other.
“Our divorce is amicable,” you hear yourself say, and you cringe. Even in your efforts to describe your friendly relationship with your ex, which is not without some discomfort, you must admit, the language of hostility is embedded in your language.”
I look forward to this scenario in meditating a case.
Learn more about mediation at https://www.center-divorce-mediation.com CDM (391) 3/15/22