Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
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'Birdnesting': A new trend in sharing custody

Trends come and go. This is true in fashion, technology, terminology and even in divorce. However, when we talk about trends in divorce and other family law matters, the ramifications of following a certain trend can be far more serious than simply being out of style.

Recently, for example, a co-parenting trend called "birdnesting" has been cropping up in divorces across the country. Essentially, birdnesting consists of children living in one place while divorced parents rotate in and out of that home. But there are some serious considerations you need to make before you jump head-first into this particular trend.

There are benefits to this type of arrangements. As advocates note, it allows children to stay in one place and avoid the difficult transitions that can come with going from Mom's house to Dad's house. They can keep all their things at one place and they won't have to readjust to new surroundings, communities and people.

However, there are certainly drawbacks to birdnesting. While it may help the kids, the arrangement can be enormously difficult for parents. Not only do they have to move back and forth themselves, they have to be prepared to share a physical space with an ex. For birdnesting to work, both parents need to be prepared to occupy the same bedrooms, closets, kitchens and bathrooms, just at different times. This means they can still end up fighting over house duties and obligations.

This trend might be worth exploring if you and your ex have remained very friendly and committed to raising your children together. You might even want to consider this arrangement with some adjustments, like living on different floors of one apartment building or living in two separate homes on the same property.

However, before you make any decisions about moving and parenting schedules after divorce, it can be crucial that you first discuss your options with an attorney. With a legal perspective, you may spot potential problems or solutions you hadn't considered before, which can help protect you, your kids and your whole family in the long run.

Source: New York Post, "Is 'birdnesting' the stupidest -- or smartest -- divorce trend yet?" Anna Davies, April 28, 2016

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Margaret Gettle Washburn, P.C.
4799 Sugarloaf Pkwy
Building J
Lawrenceville, GA 30044

Phone: 770-676-1191
Fax: 770-963-2828
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