With 1.4 million divorces in the United States annually, there are many families facing an uncertain future. One question that every divorcing family that has children may be asking is how to make provision for spending quality time with their children. Divorce with children can be especially challenging as parents are attempting to make decisions which will affect everyday life, dividing their marital assets and liabilities which usually affects the family’s income and now how to divide precious time with the children.
A fairly new creative concept of custody is that of bird nesting. What does bird nesting mean? Bird nesting can be defined as the children reside in the marital home at all times and mom and dad spend their usual custody visitation with the children in the marital home. The concept of bird nesting is to reduce the impact of divorce on the children by allowing the familiarity of home to remain present, therefore, reducing the number of changes during divorce.
There are many questions that parents should address if bird nesting is chosen as a viable custody option for their divorce agreement. If this will be the agreed upon custodial arrangement forever, the expense of three residences would be required unless one parent would reside in the marital home with the children and leave when it is visitation time for the other parent to visit. Anyway that you view it, both parents would need a place to live during the times that they are not utilizing custodial visitation time. This form of custody agreement can be expensive but may reduce the number of changes children will experience due to divorce.
Another factor to consider in bird nesting is the relationship between the spouses. If there is too much animosity, this form of custody may not be a good choice. In most cases, spouses will have more contact with the each other by using this custody arrangement. If parenting styles are vastly different such as that of chores and cleanliness of the home, these extreme differences in expectations may create additional problems, therefore this would need to be taken into consideration. There is much to consider when choosing this method of custody but it can be accomplished if both parents are willing to make it successful while using creativity and flexibility.
Through my years of work, I have observed positive bird nesting custody when the marital home is placed on the market to be sold. In most scenarios, the marital home must be sold in order to have financial means to purchase another residence. Bird nesting may be considered if both spouses have family members that they can live with when not spending time in the marital home while it is their custody time allowing expenses to remain minimal rather than living together in the same home until it sells because there is no available money to live in a home of your own. When viewing the custody aspect in this arrangement, it can be healthy in the aspect that the children have an opportunity to psychologically adjust to the idea that parents are divorcing but allowing for further changes by having the commonality of their home. This custodial arrangement minimizes the number of changes that the divorcing family has to face at one time. This may reduce the psychological adjustment needed for all family members.
If choosing bird nesting as a custody option, keep an open mind of what is required among parents. Should this be a temporary arrangement until the marital home sells or would each parent desire this option be utilized until the children reach a certain age? Custody decisions are often difficult, take time to review all aspects no matter what custody option that you may choose.
Divorce Tool Box understands the difficulty of custody decisions and our program will assist you through the divorce process. Visit our website at www.divorcetoolbox.comtoday to view how we can help you today.