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Ask Cher Your Own Question

Cher
Cher, Teacher
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 21165
Experience:  Extensive Experience working with Children/Teens; M.A. Teacher/Tutor 40+ yrs.; Parent of 2
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Good afternoon, I would like to know if it is healthy

Customer Question

Good afternoon, I would like to know if it is healthy for a child to have his mother buy a house two doors down from his father? Background information - Parents have been divorced for two years. I am in a relationship with the father, and the mother is in a relationship with another person. They communicate with each other on a very limited basis and only to do with their son. There is a lot of animosity between the two of them but they are civil with each other and pretty good at coparenting. My boyfriend informed me two days ago that he saw his ex wife looking at a house for sale that is two doors down from his. He asked her if she was planning on making an offer. He said if you are we need to discuss this before you make an offer. She ignored his text. Yesterday she told him that she is closing on the house and will be moving in in the next week or two. My concern is their son. Is this healthy for him to have his parents living two doors down from each other? They have always lived in the same neighborhood about 3 miles from each other but they have their separate lives.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Cher replied 12 months ago.
Hello, and welcome. I'm sorry to hear that this new development is worrying you. Of course, it wasn't right for your boyfriend's ex to just 'spring' this on him, all of a sudden; however, if they are pretty good at co-parenting, as you mentioned and are civil with each other in matters that are in their son's best interest, this move should not adversely affect the child. One thing I would recommend is that your boyfriend does not mention anything about the move to his son, until his ex is about to move into the house, then he can tell him and not make a big deal of it, plus, put into effect some new 'rules.' For example, the son will probably be thrilled that his mom will be so close by, but when it's time for him to spend time with his father, he's not allowed to go to his mother's house (well, a six year old should not be allowed to leave the house and go anywhere, without an adult with him), at any time and you can probably expect (depending on the child's demeanor) the son to say 'I'm going to mommy's!' if he has a disagreement with his father. There is no doubt that this will be annoying to you both and the ex will have to be cooperative in making rules regarding unscheduled visitations from her son, but otherwise, if both parents work at keeping things status quo and not make a big deal of the move, the son should adapt, fine. I hope this helped and everything works out well. Warmest regards,Cher

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