It is typical these days that parents getting divorced share custody of the children. It is also common for the parents to split up the time kids spend with each parent. Traditional plans can be weekdays at one parent who lives by the schools and weekends with the other. Some parents favor an equation alternating blocks of days that can mean parents will not have the same blocks two weeks in a row.
One parenting plan alternative that has recently gotten a lot of attention is the birdnesting or nesting approach. Instead of shuttling the children back and forth, this plan has the parents taking turns in the family home while also sharing an apartment or finding separate living spaces. This premise has even been used in a recent television show called "Splitting Up Together."
Why do it?
Experts believe there are many positives to nesting. These include:
- Consistency: The children do not have their lives thrown into the chaos of having to live in two separate homes, one of which may not have access to friends and a majority of their possessions.
- It is easier: Any parent that has to get young kids out the door knows that it can be trying on one's patience. The math is generally in favor of moving two parents instead of two, three or four kids.
- It eases the transition: Having both parents in the house (albeit separately) sends a message that the family unit is still intact and functioning.
The downside of such a plan
Some parents simply no longer want to have their lives so intertwined with their ex-spouse, which could make sharing the outside apartment an issue. Child psychologists also suggest this as more of a transitional arrangement - kids may get the wrong message of a potential reconciliation if the parents are still both nesting in the same home much more than six months after the divorce.
Attorneys work with clients to determine workable plans
Whether it is nesting or another option, an experienced Board-Certified Family Law expert attorney who works in Collin County, Dallas County, Denton County or elsewhere throughout Texas can help determine a plan to serve the children's best interests while still being workable for the parents.