Family LawAdapting family dwelling to the concept “Happy Broken Family”

June 19, 2023by Sara Garde0

The segregation or physical division of the family home in a divorce is an unconventional issue, but it is an option to be considered by separated parents who want to avoid uprooting their children, and to encourage collaborative parenting.

The aim of the physical division of the family dwelling is to provide a stable and safe environment for the children, where both parents can actively participate in their upbringing, even after separation. With this possibility, the aim is to find solutions that are in the best interests of the children and that encourage cooperation between the separated parents, which obviously requires fluid communication and a desire to maintain an active presence in the children’s lives.

Adapting family housing to the Happy Broken Family concept involves creating a welcoming and functional environment that meets the needs of a family that has experienced separation or divorce, but strives to maintain a positive and happy family dynamic. This concept, while novel, already has a precedent in Norway. More specifically in Oslo, where housing is being built for divorced couples with children.

In this new housing typology for separated families, the division necessarily involves creating separate and independent areas for the parents and an area for the exclusive use of the children.

Although divorce already has a significant impact on the financial situation of the spouses, it is true that this option is not within the reach of all pockets, but it is no less true that this adaptation of the family home to the new situation generated by the marital break-up prevents the parents’ expenses from doubling and skyrocketing, and to a certain extent mitigates the suffering of the children from having to go from one parent’s home to the other parent’s home with their backpack on their shoulders.

The physical division of the family home is a possibility that is more available to families living in single-family dwellings or flats with two separate entrances, providing greater independence and privacy when entering and leaving the home.

In this new housing typology for separated families, the division necessarily involves creating separate and independent areas for the parents and an area for the exclusive use of the children.  Each family member should have his or her own private space in the home, especially if the parents do not live together. This may include individual bedrooms or specific privacy areas for each, where they can feel comfortable. Children always occupy the same space, which connects to one parent’s home on the one hand and to the other parent’s home on the other. The children always have the same rooms and the same bathroom, but their parents each have their own independent space.

La adaptación de la vivienda familiar al concepto "Happy Broken Family"

It is obvious that this is an unusual solution and may have its challenges. It is a new possibility, a new path that is opening up and we have to (as in so many other things), learn to walk it, always looking out for the protection and best interests of the children. It is therefore important that all family members are willing to work together and find ways to maintain a healthy and respectful relationship, despite living separately within the same dwelling.

Each situation is unique and must be approached on an individual basis. It is therefore advisable to seek both the expertise of professionals dedicated to developing property segregation projects, and the legal advice of a lawyer specialising in Family Law for specific legal guidance, depending on your case.

Sara Garde

More than twenty years of legal activity in the area of International Law, specializing in Family Law, Inheritance and Private International Law.

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