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A new kind of co-habitation: What to consider before you move in with another single parent.

Adjusting to life after the split? The idea of living with your unmarried bestie, splitting rent and raising your kiddos together may sound like a dream come true! Especially when the adjustment to single life has been difficult. Many divorced parents struggle to find affordable housing after divorce and often wonder where they find that "villiage" it takes to raise a child. Well, thats precisely why they're creating their own.

When sharing a home with someone and their child, it's important to establish clear guidelines and expectations to ensure that both parties are comfortable and happy with the arrangement. Once these boundaries are established, consider putting them in a "cohabitation agreement". Here are some suggested guidelines to consider discussing with your potential new roomie:

  1. Safety and supervision : Discuss safety concerns and establish guidelines for keeping the children safe, such as not leaving them unattended, keeping dangerous items out of reach, and locking doors and windows. Discuss supervision guidelines, such as who will be responsible for supervising the children and when.

  2. Interaction with your children: Discuss how your roomate's child will interact with your children. Consider their age difference, interests, and personalities, and establish guidelines for sharing toys and play areas.

  3. Noise levels: Discuss acceptable noise levels, especially during nap times or after bedtime. Consider the child's sleeping schedule and the potential impact of noise on their sleep.

  4. Privacy: Discuss the importance of respecting each other's privacy, including knocking on doors before entering, keeping personal items separate, and respecting each other's personal space.

  5. Communication: Establish open communication between you and your tenant regarding any concerns or issues that may arise regarding their child's behavior or interactions with your children.

  6. Behavioral expectations and noisy kiddos: Establish behavioral expectations for the children, such as not hitting, biting, or throwing toys, and discuss how to handle conflicts or disagreements. Talk about acceptable noise levels, especially during nap times or after bedtime. Consider the child's sleeping schedule and the potential impact of noise on their sleep.

  7. Guests: Discuss guidelines for guests, especially other children, who may be invited over to play or spend the night.

  8. Kitchen: Establish a system for sharing the kitchen, such as setting aside designated shelves or cabinets for each person's food and cooking supplies. Discuss cooking and cleaning responsibilities, and agree on a schedule for meal times.

  9. Bathroom: Discuss bathroom schedules and establish boundaries around cleaning and storage of personal items.

  10. Living room: Decide on acceptable noise levels, shared entertainment choices, and establish guidelines for the use of shared space.

  11. Laundry room: Discuss laundry schedules and establish guidelines for the use of shared laundry facilities.

  12. Storage spaces: Define storage spaces for personal belongings and determine which items can be shared.

  13. Parking: Determine parking arrangements, especially if there are limited spots.

It's important to be clear and upfront about your expectations and guidelines to prevent misunderstandings or conflicts. And establish a healthy and respectful living situation for everyone involved.

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