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Bird’s Nest Parenting — the New Divorce Standard?

When parents divorce they usually establish two homes — one for each parent — and the children move between them. This is the best arrangement for parents, but it may not be the best thing for children. A new trend toward bird’s nest parentingin which children stay put and the parents take turns — is on the rise in America, and may become a new standard for divorcing families.

Keeping the baby birds in the nest

The concept of bird’s nest parenting is to put the needs of the children before the adults. The successful execution of this arrangement requires a periodic reminder that this is the goal, as some parents may feel inconvenienced by the setup. In essence the bird’s nest plan is based on maintaining the children in their home, where they remain in their familiar environment with their belongings and friends and community. The parents maintain a separate, much more modest home which they either share or own separately. There is no issue of custody or even time-sharing. A parent is either in residence or not in residence, ideally each 50 percent of the time.

Advantages to nesting

The nesting arrangement is clearly good for children. While they still have a new reality to integrate regarding the dissolution of their parents’ marriage, they do not have to adjust to a new home, school, community or travel between parents. Adults benefit by being relieved of any discussion regarding time-sharing. Even child support becomes practically irrelevant as the household expenses remain stable and continue to be the responsibility of both parents. Nesting also forces the parents to work together to resolve parenting issues, which provides continuity in parenting values and style.

Are there any disadvantages?

Some divorced parents might object to the lack of privacy they have and how that hampers any effort to establish a new intimate relationship. They might feel uncomfortable having to see, speak to and negotiate with their former partner on a regular basis. However, these are inconveniences to the parents — not to the children. Bird’s nest parenting is based on the concept of putting the best interest of the children first, just as the courts stipulate.

Since the parents are the ones divorcing — not the children — it seems logical that the children should not have to be uprooted as a result of the parents’ failed relationship. For advice on what parenting arrangement might be right for you, speak to a divorce attorney in Boca Raton who cares about your specific family’s needs.

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