Families faced an uncertain future when the housing market collapsed. People no longer had a chance for equity in their homes, and if they decided to divorce, figuring out what to do with the marital home and an underwater mortgage loan presented challenges. If couples had children, they needed to find inventive ways to share custody in a market where they could not feasibly support two disparate households. Considering the current financial struggles and unknowns many here in Kentucky face, one inventive form of child custody may see a resurgence.
“Birds nesting” is a parenting plan in which the children remain in the family home and the parents rotate in and out. This arrangement allows the children to maintain the life they had prior to the divorce. They remain with their friends, in their schools and in their bedrooms with their things. Their lives are still disrupted by the end of their parents’ marriage, but it may be minimized by providing them the consistency that remaining in the family home can provide.
In some cases, the parents both remain in the home because they cannot afford to sustain another place to live. In other cases, the parents share another domicile that the one not with the children can use. Depending on the means of the parents, they could each have their own space outside the family home. However, in most cases, the parents spend the minimum amount of money necessary to make the arrangement work because they are unable or unwilling to sell their largest asset for a myriad of reasons.
A birds nesting custody agreement requires quite a commitment on the part of the parents since challenges will arise. After all, regardless of how amicable a divorce may be, there are still reasons why the marriage is ending. Those issues will not simply go away, so it is imperative that parents plan for how to deal with them when they arise. This could be a primary reason why many parents use birds nesting as a temporary measure. In any case, the agreement between Kentucky parents who decide to use this form of parenting plan needs to include enough detail to help preempt any potential conflicts that could arise.