During your marriage, you were always quite content to be the breadwinner while your wife stayed home to take care of your home and your children. After all, you knew from your conversations with California business colleagues how expensive child care outside the home can be, so if there was a way to avoid that expense, you were all for it. When you decided to divorce, however, you immediately faced several decisions you knew you would have to make regarding your children - most urgently, where they would live.
You might be glad to hear about a rising trend that seems to be sweeping the nation. It's called bird nesting and is what some might call a radical form of co-parenting in divorce. If you think it might work in your particular situation, it could eliminate the question regarding where your children should live because in bird nesting situations, the children keep the house.
Never thought you'd share a home with your ex?
Since you have children together, you knew you would continue to interact with your spouse after your divorce. However, the thought of sharing a home may catch you a bit off guard. If you're wondering how it all works and whether it's a viable option for you, the following information may be helpful:
- The basic premise of bird nesting in divorce is that your children continue to live in the house you, they and your former spouse shared during your marriage. You and their mother would take turns living with them on a rotating basis.
- One of the downsides might be that you would take on the added expense of housing for the residence you would need to secure for the times it's not your turn to live with your kids. If your current home is paid off, that might not be such a big deal; if not, then you'll definitely want to consider your budget before entering this type of co-parenting agreement.
- A major benefit of such arrangements is that children are able to maintain a sense of normalcy, structure and routine as they adapt to new lifestyles. The fact that you wouldn't have to worry about transporting them from house to house or keep track of their school supplies, clothing and other belongings between homes may be enough to make you want to give bird nesting a try.
- Bird nesting is definitely not as private of a post divorce lifestyle as you might have imagined you'd have. You would be coming and going from the same home as your former spouse, which could be awkward on occasion and evoke emotions that may take you by surprise.
You would also need to work out a lot of logistics, such as whether you'd share household expenses and maintenance costs 50/50 as well as whether you'd each have a separate, private room to stay in when it's your turn to be with the children. This type of shared custody system is not for everyone, especially if amicable communication between former spouses is a problem.
Many parents have found bird nesting to their liking, however, and have been able to devise agreeable parenting plans with the help of experienced California family law attorneys.