For most people in Texas, the decision to end a marriage isn’t an easy one. It can be an even more difficult process if children are involved. Research shows that the most effective way to ease the trauma that often goes along with divorce for children is to minimize conflict and make the transition as non-disruptive as possible. One way some parents are doing this is with a type of arrangement known as “nesting” or “birdnesting.” It involves retaining the family home as parents alternate staying there with their children while still living separately.
Since money is sometimes tight following a divorce, some parents opting for nesting prefer to share a nearby studio or economy apartment as they split their time in the family home. It can be a beneficial arrangement since disruption is minimized for kids because they get to stay in a familiar and comfortable environment. However, it’s advised that parents don’t extend the nesting setup for too long. Doing so may create confusion that sometimes includes having false hopes of parents getting back together.
Short-term nesting may soften the pain that goes along with adjusting to a new family situation for children. Having the kids remain in the same home for a brief period of time can also allow them to still go to the same school and stick to their normal routine. When the time does come to adjust to a two household situation, it can be helpful if parents keep routines and structure similar in both homes. Keeping rules, expectations, and consequences the same may also reduce instances of emotional outbursts or pitting one parent against the other one.
A family law attorney may become involved with parenting arrangements if there are serious disputes over visitation schedules, adherence to custody agreements or court-awarded support payments. In some instances, a lawyer might suggest making post-divorce modifications specific to custody arrangements. It may also be helpful for a parent to work with an attorney if there is an unexpected need to relocate that requires adjustments with how parenting time is divided.