If you divorcing with children, you may be concerned about child custody matters and how they affect your kids’ well-being. You may have heard stories of children being shuffled from one home to another. This stressful routine can lead to missing personal items, lost homework, and frazzled parents who are unaware of the schedules the other parent has set. The children do poorly in school. Everyone is confused.
Children thrive on routine, which is why parents seek stability after a divorce. They want to minimize the effects of the split as much as possible. Now they can, with a new type of child custody arrangement that has gained popularity in recent years.
Bird’s nest parenting is a custody arrangement that is focused on the children. Instead of the children being shuffled around, the parents are the ones who come in and out of the home. The children stay put in one home—most likely, the marital home—while the parents take turns staying there and taking care of the kids.
For example, the mom will have a set schedule in which she stays in the home. Once it is the dad’s turn, she goes back to her primary home while Dad stays with the kids in the central home. Once he is done, he goes to his primary home and Mom is back in the home with the kids. Repeat.
This type of custody offers a sensible approach. It keeps the children in one place. They have a sense of stability. They keep the same routine. There is no need to move or switch schools. They live life like they did before the divorce, except that they have one parent staying with them at a time, rather than two. This can be a temporary arrangement or a permanent one, depending on how well it works for the parents.
Bird’s nest parenting is not for everyone, though. Everybody needs to be on board for it to work, and with nasty divorce battles, sometimes the parents are not able to communicate well. There needs to be a joint custody agreement in place. Plus, the parents would have to live close by. Would bird’s nest parenting work well for you and your children? Read on to learn about the pros and cons.
Pros of Bird’s Nest Parenting
The biggest benefit of bird’s nest parenting is that it offers stability for the children. It makes things easier for the parents, as they do not have to buy multiple sets of clothing, toiletries, and toys for the kids.
If you and your ex-spouse share a home after a divorce, this custody arrangement could be financially viable. You could simply rent a studio apartment that you take turns living in.
Bird’s nest parenting allows both the kids and parents to adapt to change gradually. It is less stressful for all involved. The kids get to stay put and continue with their same routines. No need to move and make new friends.
Cons of Bird’s Nest Parenting
A possible disadvantage of bird’s nest parenting is that it may require a total of three separate residences, rather than the usual two. There would need to be a central home for the kids, a home for the father and one for the mother. It is possible for the parents to share one home, since one will always be at the other home with the kids.
Because of this, the parents need to be on friendly terms. If there are still feelings of anger and resentment, and the couple can not communicate well, this type of situation will only make matters worse.
This arrangement requires a strict plan and schedule. Both parents must implement the same child-rearing and discipline techniques. The rules must be clear and both parents must abide by them in order for this arrangement to work. This means that both parents must be able to communicate without conflict.
Bird’s nest parenting can be complicated when the parents have new partners. It is not a good idea to have the partners stay in the home with the children, so there will need to be ground rules as to when the parents can spend time with their partners
What to Consider
If you are considering bird’s nest parenting, it may be a good idea to talk to a family who has done it. Was it successful? If so, think about how you might be able to make it work. Do you have the finances to do so? If not, can you and your ex-spouse live together amicably?
It is important to have guidelines in place. Who pays for what? There should be clear division of expenses. Remember, you are divorced now, so Mom and Dad should not be together at the home at the same time, except when they are coming and going. There should be other rules in place regarding discipline and schedules. Everything should be clear so there is no miscommunication.
Making bird’s nest parenting work is not easy. Communication is key, and many divorced couples simply are not on good enough terms to implement this type of custody arrangement with ease.
Seek Legal Help
If you and your ex-spouse share custody of the children and can communicate well, bird’s nest parenting may be a viable solution. It may require more money than the typical arrangement, though, which can be a burden after a divorce when money is often tight.
Discuss the pros and cons with the other parent. Then talk it over with Palm Beach divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler. He can advise you of your child custody options. Schedule a consultation today by calling (954) 346-6464.