Every set of divorced parents—and their children—have different custody needs and desired arrangements. “Bird’s nest” custody is an arrangement gaining popularity lately. This child-centric approach allows the children to stay in one home, rather than switching back and forth between separate homes. Instead, the parents alternate residences.
Not every family wants or can handle bird’s nest custody. Parents who share custody and have a good coparenting relationship tend to be the most successful. It’s also helpful if both parents already have another home to live in during noncustodial times, like an apartment or second family home. For that reason, it’s usually only available to families with considerable financial resources. It’s also important that both parents are able to set aside their emotions for the sake of the children.
Because this arrangement is relatively unusual, most courts will require that the parents agree to the new approach. The first step is to talk to your ex-spouse and your respective attorneys about the arrangement. Your lawyers can guide you through the process, if it seems like a good option.
Next, work on a budget. Are the two of you able to financially support multiple residences and your children?
Finally, draft a sample plan with a schedule and boundaries. Which parent stays with the kids, and when? Is the other parent allowed to come over during your custody time? Which spaces in the house are “off limits” to the other parent, when it’s their custody time? Who pays for what?
Bird’s nest custody should not be entered into lightly. However, if you split amicably and have the resources, it can be comforting for your children to stay in one home.
For assistance with your child custody issues, contact the seasoned child custody lawyers at Appelhof, Pfeifer & Hart, P.A. in St. Paul, MN today.
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