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Chicago Divorce Lawyer > Blog > Divorce > Chicago Tribune Advice Columnist Helps Distraught Parents Navigate Soon-to-be Divorced Daughter’s Difficult Housing Situation

Chicago Tribune Advice Columnist Helps Distraught Parents Navigate Soon-to-be Divorced Daughter’s Difficult Housing Situation


A distraught and confused mother by the alias “Financially Secure” wrote to Chicago Tribune advice columnist Amy Dickinson, otherwise known as Ask Amy, seeking counsel about her daughter’s recent divorce, and what she and her husband should do about their daughter and grandchildren’s housing situation. On Tuesday, February 20, Finally Secure explained that her daughter, who is 37 years old, had been married for 15 years when she began to “pursue” a divorce from her husband. The couple have three children from the marriage, boys aged 13, 10, and 3 years old. Financially Secure did not agree with the way her daughter went about taking steps to divorce her husband, and described that the way in which she did it was to invite a male “friend” and his children to live with her and her husband and children in the marital home. The male “friend” was, at the time, going through a pending divorce. Financially Secure elaborated that after her daughter’s male “friend” moved into the home, her daughter and the male friend, and all of the children, moved out into the male “friend’s” apartment. The issue now is that both her daughter and her son-in-law want to keep the marital home. “Both of them want to buy the other out, but will not be able to do so without the financial help from my husband and me,” Financially Secure continued. “To keep my grandsons in their home, I am inclined to assist my son-in-law instead of my daughter. He has a well-paying job that negates the possibility of foreclosure, while my daughter has just entered the workforce and is making a low wage.” Financially Secure wondered if she should offer to financially assist either her son-in-law or her daughter in making the purchase.

In response to Financially Secure, Ask Amy advised that she should refrain from offering to finance the home. Instead, Ask Amy opined, it might make sense for Financially Secure’s daughter and soon-to-be ex-husband to “nest”, a living situation in which the kids remain in the marital home, and the parents switch off living there with them. Ask Amy also noted that it might be appropriate to help the divorcing couple finance a small apartment for the non-custodial parent to live in that is near the marital home. Finally, Ask Amy warned, “Your daughter voluntarily left the home and partnered up with this ‘friend’, who has children. If she ended up owning the home, she could move this man (and possibly his kids) into the home; marking a major disruption for all of the children. If you financed the house, you might be tempted to control who lives there, embroiling you further in this mess.”

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