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This new child custody arrangement is raising eyebrows

Monday, July 16, 2018

These days, more couples here in Texas and elsewhere are experimenting with different ways of raising their children after a divorce. Joint custody and co-parenting are more acceptable now than ever before. However, there is a relatively unique child custody arrangement that some divorced parents are trying, and some of them are succeeding with it.

This new arrangement is called "nesting" or "bird nesting" by those who use it. Simply put, each parent has their own place to live while the children remain living in the home the parents shared with them prior to the divorce. Each week or on some other schedule, one parent lives in the home with the children.

Instead of the children going from one parent's home to the other, the parents come to the children who live in the home full time. The children's routine and environment stay consistent. They can remain in the same school, play with their friends and still have access to each parent.

This arrangement obviously requires cooperation and compromise on the part of the parents. Furthermore, this idea is definitely outside of the box. Any agreement to undertake this type of arrangement would have to be done outside of the court.

Texas couples who believe this might be an option may want to work with attorneys and other parties to determine whether it is feasible. Of course, nothing has to be permanent. If a couple wants to try this or any other arrangement, they could agree to revisit it at a later date to make sure that it still serves the children and the parents. As for the courts, as long as the child custody agreement meets "the best interests of the children" test, it may be approved.

Source: The New York Times, "After Divorce, Giving Our Kids Custody of the Home", Beth Behrendt, May 30, 2017

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