More Divorced Parents Opting for ‘Bird-Nesting’ Arrangements
Many divorces stall over the question of which spouse should get the marital home. If parties with minor children cannot reach a settlement, a judge is often more likely to award the marital home to the spouse who receives primary physical custody. This allows young people to stay in the same school and maintain a consistent daily routine during a difficult time. Traditionally, the noncustodial parent in these situations would find a new residence where the children would spend time on weekends and other scheduled visitation periods.
Now, a trend is emerging where divorced parents, not their children, shuttle between homes. This practice, known by some as bird-nesting, calls for noncustodial parents to spend their visitation periods within the existing family home, even if they live somewhere else most of the time. There are several potential benefits associated with this approach, such as:
- Stability — Everyone understands the toll divorce takes on children. Many have difficulty regaining their sense of safety and stability. At a time like this, packing up every other weekend to stay at an unfamiliar apartment or house might not be the best thing. Bird-nesting is designed to keep sons and daughters in the place they know best, secure that both parents are focused on their well-being.
- Communication — No matter what happens, divorced parents will have to communicate regarding important matters concerning their children. When this occurs, it can be very helpful to have an ongoing line of communication about various issues rather than occasional messages lobbied between separate camps. Sharing a residence demands that ex-spouses discuss all types of mundane and serious subjects on a regular basis.
- Flexibility — Should you wish to attempt bird-nesting, you can shape the details based on your family’s situation and needs. Some former spouses use the same residence for the times when they are not in the “nest.” In other cases, each parent might have their own place or choose to spend the time with friends or family members.
You might not have originally considered bird-nesting as an option when considering child custody arrangements, but an experienced New York divorce lawyer can help you understand the potential advantages and drawbacks of this type of parenting plan.
Bryan L. Salamone & Associates, P.C. has represented thousands of divorcing parents throughout Nassau and Suffolk counties. Our firm is the Long Island divorce leader because we make the effort to secure terms on child custody and other matters that are tailored to each client’s circumstances and goals. If you want to discuss bird-nesting or any other aspect of your divorce with a knowledgeable, creative attorney, please call 1.631.479.3839 or contact us online.