Parents undergoing a divorce are often conflicted about what the lives of their children should look like post-divorce. Most people understand that the other parent will have a say in the children’s upbringing and have a right to visitation or parenting time with them. Many custodial parents become upset if the non-custodial parent does not exercise agreed upon visitation or parenting time.
Keeping the children in the marital home is often an issue that parents agree on, despite their differences. Other parents are concerned that the children have to travel back and forth between the parents’ homes and find the traveling disruptive to the children’s routine, especially when they are young or in their teen years.
Creative trends are emerging in child custody arrangements today that keep the children in the marital home and have the parents traveling back and forth to their own homes. These agreements are commonly called bird nesting custody arrangements. Custody arrangements with the best interests of the children in mind are the starting point for such agreements.
Birds are a species that co-parent equally. Each parent contributes to the feeding and guarding of the chicks until the chicks leave the nest and can survive on their own. Human nesting agreements are modeled after this avian practice. The children remain in the family home and the parents take turns moving in and out.
Do Bird Nesting Agreements Work?
A bird’s nest arrangement will only work if parents live in close proximity, or are able to be in the family home when it is their turn for parenting the kids.
These plans work even better when the parents can work together will and focus on getting along for the benefit of the children.
There is no law that obligates parents to enter nesting arrangements when timesharing with the minor children and parenting plans are being developed. Thus, consensus is key. Florida courts oftentimes award equal timesharing to both parents, however the children get to go back and forth from one parent’s home to the other. Nesting does away with the switching back and forth and awards it equally to both parents, however the child stays in the home.
Steps to Implementing a Nesting Custody Arrangement
Timesharing arrangements work best when the parents get along, maintain open communication, have consistent parenting beliefs and methods, and share child-raising and discipline responsibilities. In successful bird nesting plans, the parents agree:
- To remain living in the same area post-divorce.
- To focus on the well-being of the children with minimal changes to their lives. Any changes should be considered from the child’s perspective, not the parents.
- The parents must be able to afford the maintenance of three homes.
- The arrangement must be in writing, incorporated in the judgment of divorce, so that the parties can enforce the agreement if a dispute arises in the future.
Weston, FL Family Law Lawyer
When you need a family law lawyer in Broward County and the surrounding areas, you can be certain that the Law Office of Dana Pechersky can offer the experience to help you resolve child custody and support matters. We work tirelessly to preserve your family relationships.
Our practice areas include divorce, paternity, child support, alimony, child custody, modification and enforcement of orders, relocation, domestic violence, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, high asset divorce, and division of marital property. Schedule your consultation with us today.