When it comes to sharing custody of their children, some divorced parents opt for bird's nest custody. In this arrangement, the children remain in one home and the parents take turns spending time there. The goal of bird's nest custody is to create stability for your children by not moving them from one environment to another every week. This is a custody arrangement that can work well, but only if a number of elements are present. Talk to your ex-spouse about the following topics before you decide if bird's nest custody will be the right choice for your family.
Respect between you and your ex will be critical should you choose to adopt bird's nest custody. Sharing the same space, even if you're not there at the same time, can pose challenges. For example, one of you could move the other person's possessions to make room for your own or even snoop around things that your ex has in the house. Talk about whether you'll both be able to act in a respectful manner with this type of custody arrangement. One person being petty or vindictive can be enough to cause this arrangement to not work well.
You also need to assess how well you can communicate. Divorced couples communicate to different degrees. Some communicate well, and others try to avoid having to talk to each other at all. When you're using the bird's nest philosophy to raise your children, you need to be able to communicate. For example, if one of you has a work trip planned and will need to leave the house sooner than expected, thus requiring the other to substitute for you, you need to convey this information in a timely manner. If you communicated well during your marriage, you should be able to succeed in this regard.
Mixed rules can be a challenge when you're sharing custody of your children. For example, if the children are moving between homes each week, one house might have one set of rules, while the other has another set. When you're using the bird's nest method, establishing a consistent set of rules will be important. You can't have your children behaving in one way when you're living in the house and then changing how they act the minute your ex arrives. Make sure that you can sit down together and establish the rules that will be part of your children's upbringing.
For more information, work with a child custody attorney in your area.