Bird's Nest Custody Arrangements: What Are They?

February 28, 2018 Posted in Child Custody

When parents separate or divorce, a decision on custody must be made. A Dallas child custody attorney can help parents to understand different options for custody so they can try to come to an agreement that works best for their children and family situation.

Many parents believe it is best for children to continue spending time with both parents, and courts also tend to take that view. In fact, some type of joint or shared custody is the standard when a couple divorces, unless there is abuse or neglect or one parent does not wish to remain involved in caring for children.

There are lots of different ways that parents could share custody of their kids, and one of the options available is a unique arrangement called a bird's nest custody arrangement.

What is a Bird's Nest Custody Arrangement?

A bird's nest custody arrangement is a specific type of shared custody arrangement. With a bird's nest custody plan, children stay put in a family home while parents share time in that home with their kids. For example, the children will stay in the home all the time and the mother could live in the home one week and the father could live in the home with them the next week.

This type of custody arrangement provides the maximum stability for children and the least interruption to the children's routine. The kids stay in the house they have always lived in and have both of their parents in the house with them on a regular basis, albeit at separate times.

However, bird's nest custody arrangements can be difficult for parents to maintain. One issue is where the parents will go when they are not living in the family home. Parents either need to have their own separate spaces, which would mean maintaining three separate households including the family home, or they would need to share the space they go to when not in the family home. If parents share this space, then neither parent really has any private space of his or her own, which can become stressful.

Parents also need to have a clear plan for how their bird's nest custody arrangement will work. This would include addressing many issues, including how costs of the family home are shared, how decisions are made on home repairs and improvements, and what guests parents can bring into the family home when it is their time in the house with the kids.

Birds nest custody arrangements also typically no longer work if either parent finds a new partner, as it becomes impractical.

However, some parents do try out birds nest custody plans, at least on a temporary basis after a marriage ends to try to ease the child into the divorce and make the process easier.

If you are considering a bird's nest custody arrangement as an option for your situation, a Dallas child custody attorney can help you to work up a plan to make this arrangement work for you. You should contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible when you decide to separate or divorce to discuss all your options for custody so you can find the right plan for your family.