When my husband and I separated, we did something different than most separated couples. It is a co-parenting technique called NESTING.
NESTING means that the KIDS GET ONE HOUSE and the parents come and go according to a schedule that works best for them. For us, the schedule was something like this: I'd pick up the kids from school, cook dinner, start homework, and when hubby got home from work, usually between 7 and 8 PM, I would leave and go to my place. Sometimes, hubby would stop and pick up dinner somewhere and bring it home. Sometimes, I would stay and eat with them, then leave. Our conversation in front of the kids was carefully limited to what was going on in their lives, i.e. "There's a cross-country meet on Sat. in Denton. Do you have the map?" or "We've got snacks this Sat. for his soccer game. Do you have time to get the snacks? Or should I?" After I'd leave, he'd spend the evening with our children, wash any dishes, pack school lunches for the next day, fold any laundry that I may have left on the couch for him to fold with the kids' help, read bed-time stories, and tuck them in. I enjoyed peaceful evenings at my place. I'd watch TV without interuption or read or put on a facial mask and sit in the tub. The next morning, I'd come back as hubby left for the gym around 5:30 AM. I'd shower, and at 6:30 AM, wake the kids, and get them ready for school, then we'd leave for school and work. In our case, on the days, that hubby had to travel out of town, which was every other week, I'd stay overnight at the kids' house.
Some people wouldn't understand why I would put myself through the inconvenience of showering and getting ready for work at a house that I didn't sleep at - - but the kids saw both parents almost every day and I thought that was MOST important. And 5 years later, our kids have transitioned smoothly into a 2-home situation & they are doing well in school and in life. We had no problems with crying, blaming, acting out at school, etc. ((Knock wood.)) If I was choosing my path in life, divorce would NOT be it, but I am glad I did choose NESTING.
We also used COLLABORATIVE LAW for our divorce. No court dates, no judge deciding how to split up our property or deciding the kids' visitation schedule for us. We sat around a table with our 2 collaborative-lawyers and hammered out the details for ourselves. For example, in a regular divorce, sometimes the judge decides that one parent would get the kids Christmas Eve, then hand them over to the other parent on Christmas Day. Well, that would eliminate any out-of-town trips to visit relatives during Christmas Break. So, we decided to give one parent first-dibs on the kids in even-numbered years and the other parent would get first-dibs to take them on a trip in odd-numbered years.