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Is 'birdnesting' the right approach to parenting for your family?

Last week, we discussed the challenges of co-parenting with someone you don't like. In that post, we examined parallel parenting as a way for two people to raise a child together without having to get too involved with each other.

In this post, we will look at an option for parents considering the polar opposite of parallel parenting. If you are prepared to parent very closely with your ex, you might consider a trend referred to as "birdnesting."

Birdnesting, as noted inĀ media reports, aims to minimize the changes and adjustments kids experience in co-parenting arrangements by keeping them in one place. With this method, kids live in one place and parents move back and forth between that home and their own living space.

There are many variations of birdnesting. Some parents continue to live together in a home but in different rooms and areas. Others live in the same building but in different apartments. Some parents have completely separate homes but move in and out of the child's home in accordance with parenting time.

This may certainly sound like an attractive situation to people who still get along with their ex and are prepared to occupy the same living space with each other. It can also be a means of saving money.

However, it is an incredibly complicated situation in which problems can often and easily arise. Even if you and your ex remained very friendly after a divorce, this type of situation could strain that amicability. What happens when you disagree about housekeeping? What happens if one of your gets a new job further away and birdnesting is no longer convenient? What happens when one of you gets into a serious relationship?

These are all questions and concerns that must be addressed before committing to an arrangement as intensive as birdnesting. In fact, they should be addressed before you commit to any type of custody plan.

Before you make any decision related to living arrangements and parenting plans, it can be crucial that you first discuss the matter with your attorney. A legal representative can help you appreciate the legal and long-term perspectives so you can make an informed decision that works best for you and your family.

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