Could a Bird’s Nest Custody Arrangement Work for You?

There’s no doubt that a child custody battle in New York can cause turmoil in a lot of adjustments in the lives of parents and children.  In some cases, parents living in separate homes may not be the best solution for the family.  One alternative to typical custody arrangements is known as a bird’s nest plan or simply “nesting”.

In this structure, children stay in the family home while both parents move in and out on a set schedule.  This can help to reduce some of the problems associated with lack of stability and consistency during a typical divorce, but it can be difficult to carry out in practice without special planning.  Nesting isn’t something a New York Court will order, but it may have appeal where both parents have alternate places to stay in addition to the family residence.  Where parents want to cause the least amount of disruption to the children’s lives and they are willing to assume a measure of inconvenience on themselves, nesting may make sense.  It also offers the parents an opportunity to remain involved parents and to begin a new life as a single person.  I’ve had firsthand experience with nesting and did it with my Ex-Wife for several years and would be happy to discuss the advantages and disadvantages.

There are unique challenges associated with this type of custody situation.  For example, parents will need to be clear about communication and expectations of privacy, in addition to clarifying rules such as whether others will be allowed to stay in the family home as well.  One or both parents may also need their own residence outside of the family home, so it’s important to understand the financial implications of setting up this kind of child custody arrangement in New York and elsewhere.

If both parties have sufficient financial resources to manage several residences, an agreeable relationship between former spouses that is focused on positive communication and respect, and if both parties have relatively even parenting time under this arrangement, a bird’s nest situation can work in New York.  Weigh all of the benefits and possible disadvantages before committing to a unique child custody solution.