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Is a bird nest child custody a viable option for you?

On Behalf of | Jan 28, 2024 | Family Law

As a South Dakota parent who has decided to file for divorce, you must resolve many issues regarding your children. Numerous options exist to help minimize stress and disruption in your children’s lives as your family moves on in life after divorce. In fact, if you and your ex can work well together as a team, you might want to try a unique child custody style known as “bird nesting,” which enables your kids to keep living in the home you all shared during your marriage. 

A bird nest child custody plan works best in cases where parents get along well and want to lay aside the issues that caused their divorce to help their children cope with the changes it has triggered in their lives. If you and your ex can barely stand the sight of each other without arguing, then other custody options might be better for you. However, if you can work as a team, you might want to give bird nesting a try because it can be beneficial for kids in several ways. 

Here’s how a bird nest child custody plan works 

The basic premise of a bird nest child custody arrangement is that children remain living in their family home, while each parent takes turns living there with them. This type of arrangement is often less stressful for children rather than shuttling back and forth between two households. All their personal belongings, including clothing, school supplies, toys, etc., can stay right where they’ve always been. A bird nest plan is also beneficial because it provides a sense of normalcy and routine during an otherwise disruptive time in a child’s life. 

Setting boundaries and laying ground rules helps avoid disputes 

It’s understandable that you’d want to maintain privacy and have your own space that is separate from your ex following your divorce. Achieving these goals while implementing a bird nest custody plan will be easier if you incorporate specific terms of agreement into your custody plan. For example, perhaps you and your ex will each have private bedrooms in the family home. Maybe you’ll agree to never show up without texting or calling ahead.  

You can create a unique set of terms that enables your family to make the most of a bird nesting arrangement. It’s also wise to write out terms regarding finances, home maintenance and other issues, as well.  

Where will you live when it’s not your turn to stay with the kids? 

Not having to sell the family home is another benefit of bird nest child custody after a divorce. However, you will need somewhere to stay when it’s not your turn to live with the kids. You and your ex might agree to share the cost of a studio apartment, or you might rent space in a relative’s or friend’s home. There are several cost-effective options available.  

Avoid child custody disputes 

Peaceful negotiation and a detailed, written child custody agreement filed in a South Dakota family court can help avoid disputes as you carry out a bird nesting plan after divorce. Tapping into local legal resources can help resolve any problems that arise.