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What is bird’s nest custody?

Joint custody can often be one of the best arrangements for children of a divorce, as long as the parents are amicable with one another. It can be difficult, however, for children to bounce from house to house, even with the most civil and fair custody agreements. This is why bird’s nest custody is becoming a more popular option for parents that can get along well enough to make it work.

In a bird’s nest custody arrangement, the children remain in one home, typically the one they grew up in. Then, the parents rotate instead of the kids. That way, the children's schedules and routines are not heavily effected from the constant back and forth between two homes.

There are some factors to consider in this type of arrangement. First, parents must understand that this means at least two different homes to pay for, three if they do not want to share the off-site space. Second, both parents must remain in close proximity to the home in order for it to work, lest one parent slacks on their co-parenting schedule and allows the other to become the primary care-giver. Finally, parents moving on with other partners may be difficult, especially if it is agreed upon that outside relationships are not to be brought into the "nest."

Because of these factors, bird’s nest parenting is often a temporary arrangement to allow the children to transition into the divorce setting. While it may be difficult for divorced spouses to see each other so often, the best interests of the child should come first. Anyone in Massachusetts who is interested in this type of custody arrangement should speak with a lawyer in order to make any agreement modifications necessary.

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