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Child Custody Alternative “Bird’s Nest Custody”

Morris County NJ Child Custody and Bird's Nest Custody AttorneysOne of the most difficult things for parents to do during any divorce or divorce mediation is to find a balance between sharing custody of their children, and helping their children to have a stable and manageable schedule when it comes to moving between the homes of their parents.

However, a new alternative method of child custody has been gaining in popularity with parents whose primary concern is that same stable and manageable life for their children. Known as “bird’s nest custody” or sometimes as a “nesting arrangement”, this alternative method of child custody allows for the children to live in a single home while the parents instead take turns living in their own private residences, and the home of the children or, “the nest”.

But how do nesting arrangements work, and when might such a child custody arrangement be successful for you and your co-parent? Let’s take a closer look.

How Does Bird’s Nest Child Custody Work in Morris County?

Mendham, NJ Child Custody Alternative Attorneys

As previously noted, bird’s nest custody involves divorced parents maintaining a single home for their children, and taking turns living in that home as the custodial parent. Bird’s nest custody has the obvious benefit of eliminating the “back and forth” shuffle of children from one home to another, but also presents some obvious complications for the parents involved.

In general, if you and your co-parent are interested in finding a child custody arrangement which protects the stability of your children’s lives, and feel that you are willing to make some of the sacrifices and concessions necessary to ensuring a successful nesting arrangement, than bird’s nest custody may be a great alternative type of child custody for you, your co-parent, and most importantly, your children.

What Does it Take for a Nesting Arrangement to Be Successful?

Chester, NJ Child Custody Lawyers

In order for a nesting arrangement to be successful for you and your family, it is generally accepted that several important requirements will need to be met by you and your co-parent. These requirements include:

  1. You and your co-parent must be able to coordinate and communicate even more so than in a typical child custody agreement. You will need to plan for exactly when each parent will reside in “the nest”, plan for the various expenses associated with sharing a home like maintenance and food, and work together on a variety of levels to ensure the entire process goes smoothly.
  2. You and your co-parent must respect eachother’s parental rights, and planned parental time. Each parent has the right to raise their children as they see fit, and you may not always agree with the choices your co-parent is making, but understanding and respecting that this is their right as a parent is critical. Additionally, each co-parent must make an effort to not interfere with the other parent’s parenting time. If one parent frequently calls the nest, or shows up unexpectedly, this can cause a great deal of tension and distrust between the co-parents.
  3. You and your co-parent must finally also be able to support the added financial expense of a third home. While there are examples of bird’s nest custody arrangements wherein the parents shared a single private residence for the times when they are not living in “the nest”, it is generally much healthier for a variety of reasons for each parent to have their own private residence in addition to the shared residence of the children.

If you are interested in pursuing  bird’s nest child custody, it is highly recommended that you first consult with your Chester, NJ child custody attorney regarding whether or not such an arrangement may be possible in your situation. Your attorney can work with you to better understand your family’s financial position, and also help you weigh the risks and possibilities for you to be able to work with your co-parent in such a close manner moving forward.

How Can I Secure a Bird’s Nest Child Custody Arrangement During my Morris County Divorce?

While a family court judge may sometimes order temporary bird’s nest custody during divorce, for example while the co-parents are awaiting the sale of the family home and the purchase of their own residences, family court judges will almost never order bird’s nest custody to take place without both parent’s express consent and approval. Family court judges understand the necessity of each parent’s cooperation towards the success of any nesting arrangement, and as such if you are interested in a bird’s nest child custody arrangement, you and your co-parent will both need to agree to such an arrangement in order for a court to approve this type of child custody.

So while your Morris County divorce attorney cannot negotiate your child custody agreement in such a way that causes an unwilling spouse to agree to a bird’s nest custody arrangement, they can certainly work with you towards assessing whether or not such an arrangement is feasible in your case, and helping you to convince your co-parent that bird’s nest custody is not only possible, but also favorable for your children when you and your attorney believe this to be true.

Contact Our Morris County Child Custody and Bird’s Nest Custody Attorneys Today

At Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark, our family law attorneys have extensive experience helping parents to create fair and realistic child custody agreements of all kinds in towns across Morris County, including Chester, Mendham, Chatham, Harding, Morris Township, and Morristown.

Whether you are in the process of negotiating a child custody agreement, or wish to/are facing a child custody modification, our firm is prepared to provide you with the knowledgeable, effective, and compassionate legal counsel that you need and deserve in matters so critical to your future as a parent, and the future of your family and children. By listening closely to each of our client’s unique needs and concerns in any family law matter, and keeping them highly informed and involved throughout the legal process, we believe we can better work to achieve the resolution that best meets those unique needs and concerns of our clients.

To speak with our family law team today in a free and confidential consultation regarding your divorce, your child custody agreement, or your options for creating a successful bird’s nest custody plan, please contact us online, or through our Morristown, NJ office at (973) 840-8970.