Nesting Isn’t Just for Birds: Bird’s Nest Co-Parenting and How It Can Help You
Divorce sucks. Even if you have a stellar Pennsylvania divorce lawyer and a tremendous PA family law judge, the idea of losing the life you once had can seem unsettling. While divorce is taxing on you, it can be stressful for your kids, too. Looking for ways to ease your children into life after the divorce decree? Enter bird’s nest co-parenting (aka nesting).
Nesting is an interesting concept in which your child would have “custody” of the family home. So, instead of your child having to pack up all of his or her belongings and go to the other parent’s new home every week, your child is able to stay in the home in which they grew up, and you and your ex-spouse would take turns living in the family home and living in a new residence. Some families share the second living space, while others simply purchase or rent two separate living environments.
Ultimately, the benefit of nesting is that your children can keep the consistency of the family home – same bedroom, same game room, same kitchen, etc. – no matter which parent is spending time with them. A fringe benefit for the parents is that it eliminates the need to have kids schlep homework, books, sports equipment, and other heavy or important things from one house to the other.
Before deciding whether or not nesting is right for you, there are some important things to consider. One big consideration is finances. Some questions to ask yourself would be: Should my ex-spouse and I buy/rent one home and share? Or should we get two separate homes? How should we divide the costs of carrying the old family home? Should we split the mortgage? All these questions and more are important in trying to decipher if nesting is right for you.
Another thing to consider before deciding nesting is right for you is logistics. With nesting, instead of the children basically having two homes, you will. Having belongings in two places can be stressful/annoying, and it’s important to consider which items will stay in the family home versus which can leave. If you and your ex-spouse decide to share the new residence, it’s important that you set boundaries and expectations up front – expectations such as cooking and cleaning, upkeep of personal property, grocery shopping, etc. All of these expectations and boundaries should be explicitly spelled out in a written plan.
While nesting can create a more comfortable situation for your children, most people don’t use it is a long-term solution – mainly due to financial issues. Maintaining the family home and a separate residence can be taxing, and not just on the pocketbook! As children get older, they are better able to adjust to their new family situation and living arrangements. However, if even with the additional expenses of maintaining a separate rented/purchased space and the family home, you are able to financially and emotionally manage, nest for as long as you want!
We understand that divorce is difficult. Especially so on your kids. Nesting can help smooth the transition from two-parent household to one. Give us a call today and we can explain the process of keeping your baby birds in the nest.
… okay… we won’t be talking about baby birds…
*Our office accepts Pennsylvania family law cases including divorce, equitable distribution, spousal support, alimony pendente lite, alimony, paternity and child support matters, child custody cases, juvenile law cases, and related matters in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Beaver County, Berks County, Butler County, Clearfield County, Washington County, and Westmoreland County (Greensburg).
Our law firm accepts Pennsylvania family law cases from other Pennsylvania counties including Armstrong County (Kittanning), Clarion County, Fayette County, Greene County, Indiana County, Lawrence County, Mercer County, Somerset County, and Venango County.*