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Bird nesting: A novel approach to child custody arrangements

Deciding to start divorce proceedings is only the first decision to be made in an often emotional process. Among the more complicated decisions involved may revolve around child custody and living arrangements for the entire family. Pennsylvania parents considering divorce may be interested in a new trend called bird nesting when considering future living arrangements.

As depicted in a new television show "Splitting Up Together," bird nesting involves a married or separated couple maintaining the current family home for the children to live in, with the parents taking turns in the home versus children traveling between two different homes. A parent will live elsewhere until it is his or her time with the children. It is an attractive solution for many parents who want to avoid more change in their children's lives following the divorce. It is also attractive to a couple who needs to wait for their home value to increase in value or who may need to wait for a lease to end. 

Although it may provide laughs in a sitcom, bird nesting works only if a couple can maintain a certain level of communication between each other. Couples who wish to consider the living arrangement are advised to establish boundaries, behavior rules, expectations of the upkeep of the home and an agreement for splitting home expenses. For success, couples may also need to have work and life schedules that allow them to be present with the children during their scheduled time.

Many couples also choose to have separate family lawyers to represent them during the process. Lawyers can help communicate a spouse's wishes and assist with negotiating the terms of any divorce or child custody agreement. Pennsylvania couples who anticipate a divorce in their future will likely find some comfort after speaking with an experienced family law attorney to understand all options available.

Source: CNBC, "This hot Hollywood divorce trend may not be for you", Lorie Konish, April 16, 2018

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