When you told your children you were getting divorced, you likely encountered various reactions. Maybe one of your kids stomped off to his or her room, and then approached you in the middle of the night, wanting to know more about the situation. Another child may have wanted to hold a family meeting then and there to discuss upcoming changes and other divorce details. Like most good parents in Florida and beyond, you want what's best for your kids at all times, including (and especially) during divorce proceedings.
If you're concerned about the transition and want to minimize changes in your children's customs and routines as much as possible, you might want to try a bird nesting arrangement when you and your spouse separate. It's not a new idea although it has recently experienced a resurgence. As with most co-parenting plans, there are potential benefits and downsides to bird nesting. If you research it ahead of time, you can determine if it's a good fit for your family.
How to know if it's right for you
By speaking with other parents who have bird nested in divorce, you can get a feel for what it's like. This is also a good way to learn about possible legal problems that can arise when bird-nesting plans go wrong. If that happens, you'll be glad to know there are support networks in place to help you. For now, the following information may help you decide whether to give bird nesting a try:
- If your children are upset at the prospect of having to move to a new home, neighborhood or school district, a bird nesting arrangement might make them feel better. That's because the system involves children staying in the home the family shared during marriage while parents take turns living with them.
- Bird nesting eliminates the need to transport your children back and forth between two separate households. That, in turn, alleviates the stress involved in trying to keep track of school supplies and other personal belongings and kids haul them back and forth between homes.
- A potential downside to the equation is that you have to shell out money for another residence since you need somewhere to live when it's not your turn to stay with your kids. If you and your former spouse get along well and are willing to share a second home, you only need one other residence that you will rotate in and out off as well.
- Some say their bird nesting plans went along just fine until new romantic partners entered the scene. It's definitely something to think about and discuss ahead of time.
- If you still have a mortgage loan on the home your kids will live in, you must determine who will make payments. It's also good to get all household expenses in writing, such as who pays for repairs and maintenance.
- In addition to financial matters, issues regarding chores, such as mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage may arise. The more you plan ahead of time, the smoother things may go.
Your children may greatly benefit from the sense of normalcy and routine a bird-nesting plan can provide. However, if you try it for a while and determine it's not working, you can take steps to seek the court's approval for an alternate arrangement.