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Separation and divorce can be a grueling and cruel experience. Spouses who once loved each other can be swept up by an adversarial system where they declare war on each other, forgetting all that was good between them and disregarding the needs of their children. It doesn't have to be that way. "When our marriage failed three years ago, my ex-husband and I tried an unusual arrangement to keep our family together," says author Cate Cochran. "We share a house. He lives upstairs, I live downstairs, and our young children and dog float between us. It is unorthodox, but we've discovered we're part of a growing number of couples who, for the sake of their children, are creatively reconfiguring their families from the ruins of disintegrating marriages." Few public models and fewer resources exist for retooling a family. Cate Cochran has interviewed rearranged families -- the adults and their children -- and tells the stories of ten "successfully failed" marriages in her groundbreaking book, Reconcilable Differences.

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