Hoover Krepelka, LLP - Lawyer

Board Certified Family Law Specialists Serving Northern California

What's bird's nest custody and will it work for me?

Contested divorces involve many aspects, not the least of which might be the custody and living arrangements of any minor children. These issues can become a logistical nightmare to sort everything out, which can make some co-parents think outside the box for solutions that best fit their unique family situations.

One of those outside-the-box solutions might be bird's nest parenting where the children remain living in the family home, and the co-parents take turns moving in and out.

This type of arrangement will certainly not be for everyone. For one, it tends to be more expensive, as it typically means that the spouses have to support three households. That means a separate home for each spouse and the communal home where the kids remain.

In some instances, it can also be a way to preserve the biggest asset of the marriage, which is the family home. Divorce can occur when the real estate market has bottomed out or is otherwise shaky. Deciding on this course of action delays the sale of the home and gives the co-parents time to refurbish it and wait for a stronger market for a later sale.

Bird's nest custody can also be a prudent choice when there is a special needs child involved. The home may have been specially modified for handicap access that would be cost-prohibitive to duplicate in two additional living environments.

Children who are on the autism spectrum typically struggle with change, as do many younger children without special needs. Keeping their environment the same while parents transition in and out of the home may be the best solution, at least initially.

Should you attempt this type of custody? At a minimum, you will have to be able to maintain a civil relationship with your co-parent. In cases where there have been instances of domestic violence, it's not likely that this option will work out.

However, even contentious divorces fraught with conflict might still be able to support bird's nest parenting if both parents can agree to put the needs of their children before their own. Your San Jose family law attorney can offer advice and guidance for your custody decisions.

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Hoover Krepelka, LLP - Lawyer

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