Divorce is difficult. If children are involved it can make things more complicated. And, like an onion, the layers of complexity can lead to a lot of tears. To minimize the upset, experienced Peoria family law attorneys know the value of keeping the focus on what’s most important — for the children and for parents who want what’s best for all concerned.
It is a given that a child can’t be with both parents at the same time when those parents divorce. But it’s generally accepted that it is in the best interests of the child to have a plan that provides the child with as much quality time as possible with each parent. And presuming there’s no reason to limit contact that means a certain level of equal time for both. How do you achieve that with as little disruption for the child?
Some might call what follows strictly for the birds. Admittedly it’s not for every family, but if all the conditions are right a plan called bird nest co-parenting might work. It quite literally turns a typical co-parenting model on its head.
Instead of the disruption of children being shuttled between two homes for set custody or visitation periods, the parents do the shuttling. The children stay in the family home and the parents take turns coming and going on set schedules.
Here are some challenges of the model.
- Housing: Rather than the cost of two separate homes there may be a need to pay for three — the family home, a pad for mom and another for dad.
- Selfless commitment to the concept: Amicable divorces are not unheard of, but to maintain a nest-like situation requires a measure of cooperation that may be unachievable for ex-spouses. If parents allow animosity to flare in the presence of the children, it sort of defeats the purpose.
- Significant others: One of the objectives of divorce is to allow the parties to move on with the next chapter of their lives. Bird nest parenting isn’t all that conducive to supporting the exes in forming new relationships. Great care may be required.
Understanding all the possibilities and developing a parenting plan that works for the children and you and that will be accepted by the court takes work; work best done with an skilled attorney’s help.