Among the many painful factors that accompany divorce is the impact it has on time with your children. Moving to a new home and shuffling the kids back and forth between parents can be a nightmare for both of you.
However, a new alternative could help parents make a custody agreement that is less stressful on the whole family.
Bird’s nest custody
TV shows and celebrities have popularized birdnesting, or bird’s nest custody. The concept of birdnesting is that your children stay in the family home while you and your future former spouse alternate living there (like birds). This arrangement allows your children to remain in a stable and familiar place, instead of having the burden of traveling between them.
Those who may have trouble affording two homes are encouraged to rent an apartment temporarily. Some parents may even agree to share the apartment and literally trade places. Of course, you and your partner must be on excellent terms to avoid making the situation unbearable for everyone involved, and it may be necessary to create a contract for matters such as sharing chores, shopping and having dates over.
A short-term solution
Ideally, this plan should be short-term. Some child advocates say that nesting longer than three months may give children an unrealistic hope that you and your spouse will reconcile. Additionally, rotating parents in the family home may make it difficult for your children — and you — to move forward and adapt to the new reality. Nesting may quickly become uncomfortable if either of you become romantically involved with a new interest.
Nevertheless, nesting is only one of many creative options parents can come up with when seeking a fair child custody resolution. Before making any agreements, however, it is important to ensure your parental rights are protected by reviewing your plans with an experienced attorney who can offer solid advice for your benefit.