Would the best way to share custody be to leave the kids at home?

As you face the end of your marriage, you may also face the prospect of determining the best form of co-parenting for your family. This may involve exploring numerous options.

One that you may wonder about is bird nesting. This form of shared custody allows the children to remain in the family home while you and the other parent move in and out on a schedule you decide works best for everyone involved. If you own multiple properties here in New York City, or can afford to, this may be a viable option for you.

How does this arrangement benefit the children?

Kids need structure. They need to know that some things will remain the same regardless of what happens to your marriage. After all, they aren't the ones getting divorced, yet the children often end up paying the price in moving back and forth between the parents' homes.

In this scenario, the children get to stay put while still seeing each parent as much as possible. They receive some continuity in a challenging situation, and you can avoid the guilt many parents feel due to the children having to move between homes.

Some prerequisites regarding your relationship

In order for this arrangement to work, you and the other parent need to get along. Without the ability to amicably work together, the situation could quickly devolve. You and the other parent will need to work out some ground rules with which you both can live. Even small issues such as groceries and unloading the dishwasher need discussing.

The more potential conflicts you can account for upfront, the better off you may be when the arrangement begins. You will need a conflict resolution method that each of you agrees to abide by as well. You may also want to address issues such as paying the household bills. Some people only use bird nesting for a short period due to the cost, but if you have the means and the desire to do so, you could make it permanent.

Your lives tend to remain more intertwined than they would be otherwise as well. You need to consider this before agreeing to this arrangement. You may also want to include a provision in your parenting plan that allows you to revisit the arrangement periodically in order to make sure that it still works, whether any adjustments need to be made or if you need to find another co-parenting arrangement.

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