The way you and your former spouse handle your custody agreement is entirely up to you. Depending on the type of custody, you and your former spouse are likely dividing your time with the child. Most commonly, each parent will have their separate home and the child will shuffle back and forth between the two. But one method of sharing custody, is by way of birds nest custody. Chances are, you’ve probably not heard of this method— or at least the name. So we’re gonna break it down for you, and explain the potentially great things— and the not so great.
Birds Nest Custody: A Different Approach to Shared Custody
What is it?
Birds nest custody refers to separated or divorced parents who have their own respective homes, but also share a separate home that the child lives in at all points in time. Whoever has custody on their specific time, lives in the house with the child for that period of time.
For one, the child has a stable home and is not shuffling between you and their other parents home. They have a set address, a set place to go to, and are never left wondering where they go tonight. Many parents prefer this method because of that specifically. Also, communication is much easier when there is a shared dwelling. Need to tell the other parent something? Leave a note on the fridge. Can’t find the child’s ballet shoes? They are most definitely only in this house. Having a shared place that the child lives permanently is more stable and consistent.
For one, this can be very expensive. Think about it— each parent is maintaining a separate home as well as this one. That is added utility bills, housekeeping, and quite unstable for the parent as well when trying to engage in a life of their own. Aside from being expensive for two people to pay for and maintain three homes, this custody agreement can make it extremely difficult when trying to move on. If you find yourself in a serious relationship where you decide to live together— this custody agreement could become quite problematic.
Not to mention, if you and your former spouse and co-parent do not get along that well— this type of agreement will not work out that well. We discussed how birds nest custody makes it much easier to communicate. Because, well, you have to when sharing a home to any degree. But increased communication and maintaining a home together when there is ill-will can be quite a task.
Ultimately, custody agreements depend on what works for the both of you…
While this option is quite plausible when you are flexible and in a good pace with your co-parent— there are a few downfalls worst considering. Custody will work differently for most, and many choose to go the traditional route. But this is always an option worth checking in to!