Making new housing arrangements is one of the biggest tasks facing many couples who break up. When a couple has children, they would usually prefer that their kids not have to change schools or move away from their friends and neighbors.
Some couples choose a custody arrangement called “bird nesting.” In what is usually a temporary arrangement, the children remain in the family home while their parents take turns living there with them. This arrangement has even become the premise of a television situation comedy called “Splitting Up Together.”
This living situation isn’t for everyone, of course. The couple has to be able to get along well enough to coordinate when they will trade off living in the home and to maintain and pay for the residence. They also both need to have somewhere else to live when they aren’t with their kids. Further, it’s best when the home is large enough so that the exes can use different bedrooms when they’re “nesting.”
As noted, this is usually a temporary arrangement. Couples may choose it until they’re able to sell their home or get out of a lease. They may be waiting for their children to finish grade school or high school. Sometimes parents who have kids with special needs or young children who might be traumatized by a move elect to try bird nesting.
While bird nesting can help couples transition to a life apart, it can also prevent them from healing and from moving on with their lives. If they’re battling over one person leaving the house a mess or failing to keep up his or her share of the expenses, they’re not helping their children, who are the ones that bird nesting is intended to benefit.
If you and your spouse are considering this arrangement during or after the divorce, it’s essential to let your Arizona family law attorney know. He or she can provide valuable guidance and determine what type of legal documentation you should have before embarking on this arrangement.
Source: CNBC, “This hot Hollywood divorce trend may not be for you,” Lorie Konish, April 16, 2018