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Child custody — sharing a house with an ex

On Behalf of | May 7, 2024 | Family Law

Many New Hampshire parents dread the idea of having to sell their house when they decide to divorce. Uprooting the kids and disrupting their lives is also a primary concern that parents typically want to avoid if possible. This may be why some parents are trying a unique child custody arrangement called “bird nesting.”

In a bird-nesting arrangement, the children live in the marital home full-time. The parents create a rotating schedule. They take turns living with the kids. This means, of course, that both parents must have a secondary residence where they stay when it is not their turn to live with the children.

Benefits and downsides of bird-nesting

As with most post-divorce agreements, there are potential pros and cons to a bird-nesting child custody plan. Some of the benefits include children not having to travel back and forth between two households and carting all their belongings and school supplies in tow. Bird nesting also helps kids maintain a sense of structure and routine during a time of upheaval in their lives. Not having to sell the family home is also an element that many parents consider a benefit.

Taking on the expense of a secondary residence is a possible downside of bird nesting. Some parents also find it emotionally awkward to continue to share their marital home with their former spouse. If parents want to try this type of child custody agreement but are not sure if it is a good fit for their family, they can agree to a trial run, after which they can decide whether to continue or convert to another custody plan.

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