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Is Birdnesting a Good Option for Me?

 Posted on February 22, 2024 in Child Custody

IL family lawyerOne of the most contentious topics when parents get a divorce relates to their children: Who will they live with? Where will they live? If parents have joint custody and one of them keeps the family home, what happens if the other parent cannot find a home in the same school zone? Birdnesting can be a good option for parents trying to think outside the box to help their children keep feeling stable and settled despite the divorce. While this article will provide basic information about the concept, you can speak with a Wheaton, IL divorce lawyer to find out more and see whether this kind of arrangement might suit you and your ex-spouse.

What Is Birdnesting?

Most divorced parents live in two separate homes, and their children alternate between them depending on their prearranged custody schedule. While many people find that living completely separate from their ex is the best way to move on, some choose a different living arrangement. Birdnesting is when the family home is retained, and the children live there permanently. The parents alternate staying in the home with them based on the custody and visitation agreement. On days when the other parent is with the children, they stay somewhere else.

Much like anything in life, there are advantages and disadvantages to this arrangement. One main advantage is that this can help maintain stability for the children. When a child lives in two separate homes and needs to pack their things every week, it can be easy to forget a soccer uniform, ballet costume, instrument, or anything else they might need several days later. When they live in one home, the logistics about where they will be and when are no longer something to worry about.

There are two main disadvantages. First, it can be costly. If the family home is either a rental or the mortgage has not yet been paid off, the parents will need to keep paying their rent or mortgage payments along with home maintenance and repair costs in addition to the costs of maintaining a second household. Some parents might address this by sharing the alternate household as well. When they split the costs of two homes and thus share the cost of their second home, which is likely much smaller and less expensive as it does not need to accommodate the children; it is much more affordable. However, it can lead to issues of privacy, which brings us to the second disadvantage.

Some parents feel they want to cut their ex out of their lives after a divorce and simply focus on their children. Some still maintain a nice relationship but do not wish to share everything with their ex or have their ex share everything with them. When sharing a home, even if you never occupy it at the same time, you will still have an insight into how your ex has been spending their time there. You might see evidence of a romantic meal cooked for dinner with someone special or clothing in the laundry from a night out on the town. If you share the alternative home too, you do not really have anywhere that is “just” yours, and it may feel overwhelming.

Schedule a Free Consultation with a DuPage County, IL Divorce Lawyer

If you and your spouse are headed down the path to divorce, speak with an experienced Wheaton, IL divorce attorney to find out whether birdnesting might be a good way for the two of you to approach your shared custody. Call Davi Law Group at 630-657-5052 to schedule a free consultation.

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