Is there a bird’s nest in your post divorce future?

Are you soon to become one of many divorced parents in Pennsylvania? Since it’s currently the start of a new school year in most states, you’re likely already facing several challenges regarding the logistics of working out child custody arrangements and helping your children develop stable (albeit very new) routines regarding going to school and having time with both parents who no longer live under the same roof. Technically, you can still live under the same roof if you want to, but perhaps not all at the same time.

A relatively new post-divorce trend has helped many parents resolve their child custody problems. It’s typically referred to as bird nesting and is a co-parenting arrangement that keeps children from having to relocate after divorce. Since your situation isn’t exactly the same as any other parent’s, bird nesting may or may not be the answer to your problems.

Here’s how it works

Studies show that children often have trouble adapting to new lifestyles after divorce if they have to leave behind their home, school, friends and other familiar things. Nesting may help alleviate some of this stress. The following list provides basic facts on how this process works:

  • If you choose this type of co-parenting arrangement after divorce, your children will continue to live in the house they lived in while you were married.
  • You and your former spouse will have to find other separate living arrangements.
  • You will also take turns living with your children in “their” house.

You know what’s best for your children. You also know whether you think you can amicably relate to your former spouse in a situation that would require constant communication and closely knit interaction on a regular basis.

Possible pros and cons

Since no two divorce situations are the same, you and your children’s other parent would need to discuss the possible ramifications of the nesting process to determine whether it’s a good fit for your family. Here are some of the potential benefits, as well as negative issues that may arise in a nesting situation:

  • There may be tax implications and other legal consequences associated with a nesting agreement since you’d technically still be sharing a residence with your former spouse, just not living in it at the same time.
  • Unless your house is already paid off, you would likely bear an added expense by having to rent or purchase other living arrangements for the times you do not reside with your children.
  • There’d be no more shuffling your kids back and forth to separate homes. They stay put and can enjoy the stability and routine of living in the same house they lived in prior to your marital split.
  • Nesting can make it a lot easier to keep track of school supplies, sporting equipment and other supplies your kids use in their busy, daily lives. This may alleviate a tremendous amount of stress that often occurs in post-divorce families when things get misplaced between homes.

It may be possible to work a bird nesting arrangement into your formal court order. If you try it and determine it’s not for you, you’d have to request a modification before aborting the plan. Many Pennsylvania parents choose to seek third party guidance before deciding whether to try nesting or another alternate child custody living arrangement. If you know where to turn for help ahead of time, you may be able to quickly resolve any problem that arises in the process.


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