Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC

Pros and cons of latest child custody arrangement: Bird nesting

Bird nesting is a living arrangement that is gaining popularity among couples with children, and who have gotten divorced in Texas and elsewhere around the country. Simply put, the couple maintains a single home in which the children live, while the parents alternate who stays with them. A new sitcom called "Splitting Up Together," airing on national television, shines a comedic light on this unconventional child custody arrangement. However, before immediately agreeing to bird nesting, experts have highlighted some potential positive and negative aspects of the situation for couples to consider.

One potential benefit of the situation involves the value of the home. If a couple decides to keep the family home, it is likely to appreciate in value over time. However, proponents of the arrangement believe the children are the biggest beneficiaries. By being able to remain in their homes, they do not have to go through the potential trauma of moving. This allows something in the children's lives to stay the same while other things around them may be changing rapidly.

However, the arrangement is not likely to be successful if the couple cannot afford to keep a shared house and also have two separate locations to live when not with the children. It can also prove difficult if the ex-spouses don't both fully support the situation. It would be critical for them to work together to manage schedules and home maintenance.

Other suggestions include talking with the children to ensure that they understand the situation. Often, younger children may mistakenly assume that the parents are getting back together. A plan to share expenses should be developed as well. Also, it is a good idea to establish guidelines for behavior in the shared home.

Going through a divorce can seem overwhelming, with all the many issues to address. Certainly, child custody decisions are paramount to parents involved in a divorce. A Texas divorce attorney can ensure that all possible options, such as bird nesting, are discussed in the process. A trusted lawyer will help clients navigate through all the phases of divorce proceedings.

Source: cnbc.com, "This hot Hollywood divorce trend may not be for you", Lori Konish, April 16, 2018

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At Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC, we have received a variety of honors and awards for our family law services. Members of our team have been listed as Top Lawyers in San Antonio Scene magazine. We take pride in the number of positive reviews we have received from satisfied clients. On AVVO, a lawyer rating website, we have received an 8.9 rating overall and many positive ratings from clients and colleagues.

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Jamie Graham & Associates, PLLC
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