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Nesting / Birdnesting – Easing the Impact of Divorce on Children?

Most people recognize that divorce isn’t easy on children, no matter what the circumstances surrounding the divorce are. However,  for may reasons, it is helpful to try to keep the divorce process as low-conflict and as amicable as possible.

Some couples are implementing “nesting”, also known as “birdnesting”, as a way to ease the impact of divorce on their children. So what is nesting? Generally, nesting occurs where parents keep the main house and then share a separate house or apartment where they will stay when they are not at the main home with the children.

The idea behind nesting is that it is less disruptive for the children to remain in the family home, and have the parents rotate to the separate location, as opposed to shuffling children back and forth between two different households. This type of nesting is beneficial to children because not only do they get to stay in a home that is familiar to them (and thus relieving the need to take belongings to different homes), but it often allows them to remain at the same school and keep in touch with friends.

Nesting isn’t without its downsides, though. Nesting can be confusing to children who may have difficulty understanding why one parent stays while the other leaves. Nesting may also give children the false sense of reality and lead children to believe their parents may get back together.

Further, nesting seems to work out best when done for short periods of time – a few months, for example. Longer blocks of time can create uncertainty and stymies progress for children and parents learning to live separately.

Regardless of whether divorcing parents choose to try nesting or not, it is important to keep children’s well-being and best interests at the forefront of consideration. Having realistic conversations about divorce with children may be difficult but being honest with them (at an age appropriate level) tends to work out better. Children tend to be perceptive and being open and allowing them to ask questions helps to guide them through new and tricky territory.

Custody and the family residence can be complicated areas of California law.  At Argyris Mah, LLP, we can advise you on your rights and assist you through the process of divorce to reach the best solution for you and your family.

 

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