Is sharing a house with your ex a wise child custody move?

You filed for divorce because you believe it’s better to move on in life without your partner than to stay in an unhappy relationship. You’re hoping to resolve most, if not all, of the important issues, especially those involving your children, in the swiftest, most amicable way possible. What if there were an option that enables your children to stay in the home they’re already accustomed to during the holidays and beyond? It’s a child custody option called “bird nesting.”

While this type of custody may be unique because it involves sharing your marital home with your spouse after you finalize your divorce, it is a trend that many people, including several notable celebrities, have been implementing in their families. Besides not having to sell a house or make the kids move, there are several significant benefits to a bird nest custody arrangement.

Divorce is easier on kids when they have structure, routine and normalcy

It’s impossible to divorce without having it disrupt your children’s lives. However, it doesn’t have to ruin them, especially during the holidays. Most family court judges agree that children are resilient and adaptable and can often cope with a divorce in a healthy manner if their parents work together to maintain a sense of normalcy, routine and structure in their daily lives.

This is, perhaps, one of the greatest benefits of bird nesting as a child custody plan. Much of your children’s lives can stay the same after your divorce. They don’t have to cart their belongings back and forth between two households or go to a new school or move to a new neighborhood.

Sharing a house with your ex is part of a bird nesting child custody plan

Bird nesting works like this: Your children live in the family home full-time, and you and your ex take turns living there with them. You can create whatever schedule you prefer for custody transfers. You can also lay some ground rules, such as having private quarters that are off limits to each other. You might also want to write out terms of agreement regarding new romantic partners or guests that either of you might want to invite to the family home.

You can keep interaction with your ex to a minimum

Bird nesting doesn’t mean you have to be in constant contact with your ex. It’s quite the opposite, really. Because you will both be coming and going in and out of the same house, you can use a whiteboard, or something similar, to leave notes or messages. You can also use text messaging or email to correspond.

If you want to try sharing holidays so that your kids can celebrate with both parents at the same time, it’s your choice. If you’d rather not see or interact with your ex, then you don’t have to. In fact, there are ways to transfer custody without having to interact in person, as well. If a bird nesting agreement doesn’t work out, you can always convert to another child custody option later.