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The downsides of bird nesting

If you’re considering bird nesting, you likely already know about the advantages. In this type of custody arrangement, your child will stay in the marital home while you and your ex cycle in and out. This gives your children more stability and focuses on their happiness.

There are downsides, though. For one thing, it can cost a lot. At best, you and your ex are now paying for two places to live. In most cases, you’re sharing the cost of the home and each paying for an apartment or second home, giving you both a total of three residences–and all of the costs that come with them.

Another downside is that you and your ex must agree on rules and stick to them. This can be very hard if you don’t do things the same way. You need to take care of the home and the kids in a similar fashion.

The same is true for decisions about the home itself. If your ex breaks a television, for instance, does he or she replace it, or do you share the cost? What about a toilet or sink that has to be fixed, a problem that could have happened while either parent was living in the home? These financial costs can lead to fights if you don’t feel like the arrangement is fair.

Finally, it can get really complicated if you start dating again, or if your ex does. If one of you remarries, it makes things even more complex. You’ll have to set out rules about who can live in the home, who can be around the kids, and what conduct is permitted.

If you’d like to use this arrangement, think about these downsides in advance and make sure you take the proper legal steps to account for them in Arizona.

Source: Good Therapy, “Bird Nesting: Advantages and Disadvantages of this Custody Option,” Shendl Tuchman, accessed May 05, 2016


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