Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC
Photo of Professionals at McCoy Fatula, APC

Simplify child custody and help your kids cope

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2023 | Child Custody

The holidays can be a stressful time. If you happen to be one of many California parents who are navigating a divorce as the 2023 holiday season gets underway, you might be worried about how your kids will cope and whether they will still be able to enjoy family traditions this year, and in the years to come. Considering a bird nest child custody arrangement might be helpful.  

Children are typically adaptable and resilient, which means they can cope with life changes, even when such changes include a divorce. Certain issues, such as frequent exposure to parental conflict, can make coping with a divorce more difficult for kids. However, there are several reasons why choosing a bird nest child custody plan can help kids come to terms with divorce and minimize stress as they move on in life.  

Here’s how a bird nest child custody plan works 

To implement a bird nest custody plan, you and your ex would agree to keep your marital home. Your children will live there full-time following your divorce. You and your ex will take turns living there with them. You can devise your own rotation schedule, whether you transfer custody every week, every two or three weeks, every six months or whatever system you prefer.  

The greatest benefit of a bird nest child custody plan is that it enables children to maintain a sense of routine, structure and normalcy while they adapt to a new lifestyle after their parents’ divorce. They don’t have to cart their belongings back and forth between two households. Not having to move to a new town or go to a new school and make new friends minimizes the disruption and stress that divorce often causes for children.  

Where do you live when you’re not living with your kids? 

Since you’ll only live with your children part-time following your divorce, you will need a secondary residence. Some parents simply stay in a spare room at a friend or relative’s home, while others rent a studio apartment nearby. If you want to conserve funds, you and your ex can share the rent on the same residence and take turns living in it as you rotate through your bird nesting schedule.  

You can buy another home that is just for you if you want, but most parents like the idea of saving money by sharing expenses for a small dwelling near the family home. It is best to discuss such issues ahead of time and to put the terms of the agreement in writing.  

How to know if bird nesting is a good choice for your family 

If you and your ex can communicate without conflict (for the most part), you might be good candidates for a bird nest child custody plan. On the other hand, if you can barely be present in the same room without fighting, then you might want to consider other custody options instead. Cooperation and compromise are the keys to success for bird nesting.  

Your arrangement does not need to be permanent. In fact, you can incorporate a deadline into your agreement, which states that you both agree to convert to another custody option if the bird nest plan is not working out. 

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