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The pros and cons of “birdnesting” after a divorce

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2018 | Divorce

There’s no getting around the fact that divorce can be a challenging time for anyone in Arizona going through the process of ending a marriage. This is especially true if children are involved. Research suggests that kids may be less traumatized during the divorce process if efforts are made by former spouses to minimize conflict. For some couples, one way to do this is with “birdnesting.” This essentially means that the family home itself remains intact while parents take turns living there with their children although they’ll still live in separate residences when not in the home.

For times when maintaining three homes after a divorce isn’t affordable, practical or feasible, parents sometimes opt to use a nearby apartment in rotation while spiting their time in the family home. The biggest pro associated with such an arrangement is the ability to maintain consistency for children. Kids also won’t have to deal with changing schools or dragging belongings from one home to the other.

Possible downsides associated with birdnesting include the possibility that a child may assume their parents are going to get back together because they’re still sharing a home, and children might feel increased anxiety if the nesting arrangement lasts indefinitely from not knowing when the transition to two homes will take place. This is why the general consensus is that nesting should be a short-term arrangement. For instance, parents may agree to split time in the marital home only until a child finishes their current year of school.

Even when divorce involves a nesting arrangement, there’s still the potential for conflicts to arise. For instance, one former spouse may violate terms of a child custody agreement or fail to pay support to the lower earning parent. With situations like this, an attorney may attempt to seek a mutually acceptable resolution. If this isn’t possible, a lawyer might suggest altering custody arrangements because of a lack of compliance or filing a complaint with state or local child support agencies.