You live in New York, and you’ve secured the services of a child support lawyer in Long Island to help you and your ex-spouse sort out the details of your custody arrangements. What now? Should you seek to have one parent take primary custody while the other arranges visits? Or should you both arrange for joint custody, with a 50/50 division of physical child care? A good child support lawyer in Long Island can probably provide plenty of advice and examples of families that have tried many different custody scenarios. If you and your spouse have an agreeable relationship, though, and you have decided to try a joint custody arrangement, perhaps you should ask your lawyer about the possibility of a “bird’s nest” solution.
A bird’s nest custody arrangement is a variation on joint custody in which the children stay in one place while the parents come to “visit.” In this scenario, the children have one home – oftentimes the family home prior to the divorce – and each parent maintains a separate residence and alternates between staying at the family home and living in the other residence. This concept may seem a bit strange, but there are some potential advantages to this type of living arrangement.
First of all, children may have an easier time adjusting to a divorce in a bird’s nest custody solution. Divorce can be very distressing to children; not only are children faced with a division between their parents, but they are also often uprooted from their homes and passed between two foreign places. The trauma for the children can be greatly alleviated by some form of security or familiarity, such as their own room in their own home. Secondly, a bird’s nest custody can be convenient. Juggling children back and forth can involve a great deal of travel and scheduling that can be a bit clunky to manage. Maintaining the family home involves back-and-forth travel for adults only, which can be much easier than transporting children and their belongings.
Before deciding on a bird’s nest custody arrangement, there are certainly a few matters to consider. For one thing, you and your ex-spouse should have an amicable relationship. It is difficult to continue running a household together if you and your spouse constantly bicker about family management. On top of being on the same page, you and your spouse need to have enough funding to manage the multiple residences. It can be difficult for families to manage a single residence, so a bird’s nest solution with multiple residences may require some careful and creative planning with your ex-spouse and your child support lawyer in Long Island.