No matter how amicable the separation, transitioning into co-parenting after a divorce comes with financial expense and emotional toll. One way parents are coping with these issues is by way of a new custody plan in which parents swap in and out of their family home, "the nest," while their children stay.
The idea may sound a little ludicrous at first. But, here's when it's most sensible to use.
You're not ready to sell the house
To do the "bird's nest" co-parenting custody plan, each parent will need an alternative place to live while they're not living at their once-shared home. The expense of an apartment and a home is far from cost-saving for most.
However, if neither parent is financially prepared to take the steps to move out after the divorce, this parenting plan can be a cost-efficient short-term solution. Rather than going through the process of selling the house, moving and buying new furniture, each parent can stay with a loved one or rent a room until they've saved up. This is especially advantageous for couples who do not have loan payments to make on their house.
Your divorce judgment will require a plan for eventually splitting the property the shared property.
A transition solution
It's important to view and introduce bird-nesting as a temporary solution. Your children are not likely to take well to the idea of carting between two separate homes. However, giving them this period to transition into the separation can be good for the whole family.
Learning to spend time with each parent separately will help your kids accept this big life change before facing the rest of them. The slow-building method dampens the shock they'll feel when they must eventually adapt to a new school, schedule and living environment.
An amicable split
It's also important to recognize that bird's nest parenting makes the most sense for divorced couples who had an amicable split but will also stay decidedly apart. This is because the process runs the risk of communicating with your ex more often and literally living in the conditions they leave behind. If your ex leaving behind messes will cause confrontation, it's probably not a good idea.
On the flip side, spending time in the home you've raised your children together in and seeing remnants of your ex may make it difficult for you to move on emotionally. Rekindling a broken marriage will confuse your children and is probably not in either of your best interests after deciding to go through a divorce.
If you're feeling unsure, talking to a legal professional about your financial state and options can help you determine what is the most sensible move for your individual circumstance.