As families evolve and adjust to changing times, the structure of shared child custody agreements has also adapted. Traditionally, one parent enjoys primary physical custody while a non-custodial parent enjoys weekend and occasional weeknight visits. According to Towson divorce lawyers, however, a new and novel approach is altering the way divorcing couples spend time with their children.
With a “bird’s nest” agreement, both parents continue to reside in the family home in alternating shifts. A separate dwelling is maintained and shared. Parents can also find separate living arrangements for those times when they will not be serving as custodian. Such arrangements offer children improved stability and reassurance during an otherwise emotionally tumultuous time. For parents, a bird’s nest approach can help ease the transition into post-divorce life.
The financial benefits of the bird’s nest approach are also worth noting. Because children will not be required to spend time at a new location – remaining instead in their family home full-time – it eliminates the need to outfit a second residence with all the comforts of home, such as toys, clothing, and furniture. Additionally parents are unlikely to require as much space in their own secondary residences, as the children would be in one space. The rental or purchase of a smaller second residence or apartment will likely save parents considerably in the short-term.
A bird’s nest approach may be unrealistic for some couples, however, especially over the long-term. Eventually, many spouses will inevitably choose to remarry and establish a new permanent residence. As children grow older and acclimate to the divorce of their parents, they may become more amenable to spending time with their non-custodial parent away from the family home.
When contemplating a bird’s nest agreement, it is imperative that both parents remain open and honest about their expectations, and that the terms of the agreement are memorialized in writing before a divorce becomes final. Questions surrounding holidays and vacations must still be answered. Moreover, if contemplating such an arrangement, parents should state at the onset how long they intend to share the primary residence.
Towson Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Draft Bird’s Nest Co-Parenting Agreements
Towson divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles LLC understand that no two divorces are the same, and that a one-size-fits-all approach to deciding child custody is not always in the best interest of our clients or their children. We provide legal representation throughout Baltimore County, Harford County, Carroll County and Howard County, including Towson, Essex, Columbia and Bel Air. Call us today to schedule your free confidential consultation. We can be reached at 443-589-0150, or complete our online questionnaire.