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Should You “Nest” With Your Ex?

The Micklin Law Group- Should You "Nest" With Your Ex?

Have you heard of the current “nesting” arrangement that some divorcing parents are choosing when determining custody? This arrangement dictates that the couple will keep the family home but will split their time living in it after the divorce. The child will continue to live in the single home, but each parent must find a place to live for the 50% of their time that they are not in their old home. It may sound like a stretch, but many parents are making “bird’s nesting” after divorce work for them. Our child custody and visitation lawyers for men have seen firsthand how this unique custody solution may be best for some fathers.

Benefits and Drawbacks of “Bird’s Nesting”

Many parents like this “bird nesting” child custody in New Jersey because they feel it provides exceptional stability to their child. One of the hardest parts of divorce for children is the sheer number of life changes they will experience. Being able to keep your child in the home they are used to and allowing them to spend time with both parents in that home can be a great way to cut down on those scary changes and allow them to thrive after the divorce. Your child will not need to switch schools, and he won’t have to give up time with his friends in the neighborhood or leave his favorite sports team. 

However, a bird nesting custody schedule does have some drawbacks. The biggest issue with this type of arrangement is that both parents must find somewhere else to live when they are not in the home with their child. This can be expensive and cause logistical issues. Theoretically, the spouses could use marital assets to purchase a second home or condo and share that space when they’re not with their child. This is next-level cooperation that many co-parents simply cannot achieve after a stressful and emotional divorce! However, if finances aren’t a major concern, it is possible to have your shared house in addition to one house for each parent during their off time. 

This unique type of custody arrangement may also be disruptive to each parent’s life. It can be difficult to date when you spend half your time in one place and half in another. Your commute times may change based on which home you’re at each day, and it can be difficult to get to social events if they’re way across town from your current location.

Is Nesting Right for You?

So, bottom line: is a bird’s nest custody arrangement right for you and your child? Only you can really answer that question. The most important thing to consider is whether you are prepared to cooperate with your co-parent. If you’re going through a high-conflict divorce and are fighting over custody of your child, a bird’s nest custody arrangement is not going to solve your problems. The fact that you are essentially sharing a home with your ex even though you’re not there at the same time can just lead to even more conflict. But if you and your spouse are divorcing on good terms and want to provide maximum stability for your child, this type of custody arrangement may be best for your family.

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