Could The Secret To A Successful Divorce Really Be Nest Parenting?

A new trend is seeing divorcing parents no longer doing the swap over ritual of children but rather swap themselves.  It may seem a rather strange concept to some, but it is certainly working for others. 

When couples divorce, it can often leave both parties feeling the pinch when it comes to setting up a new home, especially when the needs of children need to be accounted for.  An average family of parents with two children will mean each parent needing a home with at least 2 bedrooms, possibly 3 depending on the ages and genders of the children.  That is not the only extras parents will be paying for… two sets of clothes, toys, books, etc.  From personal experience, not only is it an expensive process when setting up a new home from scratch, the emotional toll is heavy on both the parents and the children.  On top of that, there is the swap over’, where bags are packed with what children may possibly need that is not at the other house and the upheaval of moving from one house to another, often on a weekly basis. 

Divorce is not easy in any respect, however, there are couples that are making it work with ‘bird’s nest parenting’.  The concept seems easy; the family home remains the family home and the children’s home.  It is the parents that move into the family home when it their time to parent.  It is a large commitment, and not one that can be taken lightly.   

Whilst the children remain in the family home, with either parent ‘flying in’ when it is their turn to parent, the other parent returns to their own separate home, often a smaller and less expense than another family home.  Results have shown that children grow up happier and with a stronger relationship with their parents.  The consistency and routine of having one home gives children stability at an especially turbulent time. 

Clients may be tempted by this option, especially when the welfare and mental state of their children is paramount, but the downfalls must also be explained to them should they come to a solicitor asking for advice.   

The first issue is that it is still not a cheaper option.  Instead of having a couple attempting to fund two family homes, there is one family home and two smaller properties, as well as all the associated housing costs.   

There is also future aspects to consider, for example relationships and children.  Can each parent imagine leaving a new partner or child for a week whilst they parent their first children at another house?  The disruption to routine of the parents is also hard, living out of a suitcase or changing working routines which can be especially difficult for a parent who has no set work routine or a larger commute from the family home. 

Although the option does not mean the parents have to see each other often, especially when the children are older, they will still in essence be sharing a home.  As a solicitor with clients considering this option, should Bird’s Nest Custody Arrangements be advised at a time when divorce applications and financial orders are being discussed? 

Arrangements would have to be realistic and consider many aspects, such as financing the family home, arrangement regarding relationships, ground rules regarding the maintenance and living arrangements at the family home and a set schedule.  The arrangement would only really be advisable to parents who split time more evenly, rather than those where one parent has the children once every other weekend. 

Have you had clients enquire about arrangements such as the Bird’s Nest Custody Arrangement?  If so, have you found it as process you would recommend? 

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