Huffpost Parents

Monica McGrath And Kent Kirkland, Divorced Parents, Live Separately In Uniquely Designed Home

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house keys hanging by a brick wall
house keys hanging by a brick wall

We've all heard stories of divorced families who are forced to stay together until one parent can move out of the home. But a divorced couple who chose to move back into the same house together after living apart? Most unusual, but one Edmonton family is doing it.

A feature by the Edmonton Journal explains how Monica McGrath and Kent Kirkland live at the same address in the same house with their two kids, Sean 10, and Audrey, 8. But the two parents have their own separate duplexes connected by a hallway where their kids' bedrooms are housed.

McGrath proposed the custom-designed home to Kirkland after they had tried living in separate abodes following their split, which proved difficult for various reasons, including the organization required to shuttle the kids back and forth between homes each week, and the stress it caused both kids and parents alike. Kirkland, who happens to be a building contractor, was initially skeptical about whether the arrangement would pass city codes, according to an interview the couple did with CTV.

But it did, so Kirkland and his designer set about creating the house, which is essentially two units that mirror each other, connected by what the family calls "the transporter" — the hallway with the kids' rooms and two locking doors — one to Kirkland's home, and the other to McGrath's. When one parent has the kids for the week, the other locks their door — and vice versa.

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So far it seems like things are going well “The kids are very happy. They’re young people so they don’t do a lot of dialogue, but they’ll say, 'Mum we like living in one spot. We like having our things in one place. We like the house’,” McGrath told CTV. And the adults have the added bonus of lower financial costs, reduced home maintenance and less disruption.

Sounds much more peaceful than other post-split living arrangements like Skinnygirl mogul Bethenny Frankel's ongoing divorce drama with estranged husband Jason Hoppy. The two are reportedly still uncomfortably living together (albeit in a $5-million home) while their proceedings continue, amidst rumours that Hoppy has hired a forensic accountant to comb through Frankel's finances while the latter is locking herself in her bedroom.

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