Bird Nesting Agreement: Does it Work?

When two parents are going through a divorce one of the most complicated and daunting matters that need to be addressed, in the beginning of the case, is the child custody arrangement. There are a multitude of questions that pose parents at the outset, such as who will get custody of the kids? When will the non-custodial parent be allowed to have visitation? Where will the children live? Who is moving out and who is staying in the family home?

The answers can widely vary depending on the relationship of the parents and the dynamic of the family. Therefore, over the years, the Courts have had become creative with custody schedules, and this is particularly true because no two families are the same. When making custody orders, the Court must consider what is in the best interest of the children. Especially taking into consideration that child’s life can be turned upside down when their parents decide to split up.

For example, one very unique custody arrangement is the Nesting Agreement. This setup is intended to disrupt the children’s lives as little as possible, and keeping the children in the family home is top priority. Sometimes, the family home is the only home the children have been raised in.

Nesting plans, are a type of co-parenting arrangement that keeps the children in the one home, usually the family home, and the parents are the ones who leave to go to the second residence when they are alternating time with the children. Some couples do this during the separation period, with the “off-duty” parent living in a separate apartment or staying with friends or family. This arrangement prevents the children from feeling, “bounced around” between the homes. This might sound ideal for the children, however, there are some challenges to consider, such as: the costs of maintaining two or maybe three households, parents may feel unable to move onto other relationships, and parents may feel as if they have no privacy. Many believe that if the parents are amicable, short term nesting can be the healthiest way to do it.

If you think a nesting agreement can be for you, or if you have any questions regarding which custody plan will be best for your family, call Mello & Pickering at (408) 288-7800 for an initial consultation.

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