Some child custody plans include exes sharing a home

On Behalf of | Aug 15, 2023 | Child Custody

If someone were to ask you if you’d like to keep living in the same house with your former spouse after finalizing a divorce, what would you say? There are many parents in New York and elsewhere throughout the country who are doing just that. In some cases, exes are taking turns living in the home they shared during marriage. Others live in the same house at the same time, but in separate wings. This type of child custody is known as “bird nesting.”  

Before you write off bird nesting as a bad idea, you might want to consider some of its potential benefits to help your kids cope with your divorce. Especially if you and your ex can communicate in a peaceful and friendly manner, this might be a viable option for your family. At any rate, learning more about it can also help you determine if bird nesting is not a good fit for your family. 

A child custody plan that helps minimize the stress kids experience in a divorce 

When you and your spouse decide to file for divorce, you understand that your decision will have a significant impact on your children’s daily life. Many kids suffer emotional turmoil in such situations, particularly from the disruption of their usual daily routines, as well as from confusion regarding where their loyalties should lie between parents. The following list shows many benefits that other parents have cited after agreeing to use a bird nesting child custody plan after divorce. 

  • Kids do not have to move to a new home or go to a new school. 
  • They can remain living in the home where they made memories with both parents.  
  • Children do not have to transport belongings or travel back and forth between two households. 
  • You won’t have to move all your things to a new location. 

While some people say that bird nesting is expensive because parents must have a secondary residence to live in when they are not with the kids, it doesn’t have to be that way. You and your ex can agree to share the cost of one secondary residence and take turns living there, as well, just as you rotate your time in the marital home with your children; that is, if you don’t want to both live full-time with the kids. 

Bird nesting child custody plans can affect future relationships 

If you and your ex remain unattached from romantic relationships, it may be possible to keep bird nesting indefinitely. However, one of the downsides of this type of child custody arrangement is that it’s not conducive to new romantic partners or remarriages. It’s highly unlikely that your new spouse would want to share a home with your ex. It’s not impossible, but it’s also not probable.  

For this reason, you might agree to adapt to a new child custody plan if either parent remarries. On the other hand, if your new partner agrees to the arrangement, there would be no need to request modification of your court order. Bird nesting is a custody option that might help your kids retain a sense of normalcy and stability following your divorce.