Are you ready to build your “Bird Nest?”
Have you all seen the new show “Splitting Up Together”?
It is a new series that airs Tuesday nights at 9:30 PM on ABC.
It is about a couple that falls out of love, (as many do these days), and
although they are getting divorced, they want to keep their family feeling
secure and need to keep their finances intact (neither of them have discernible
jobs), so they decide to try “nesting”.
“Nesting” is a co-parenting method that allows the children
to stay in the home while each parent rotates being in the home (visiting
the “nest”). One week, Parent A will live in the house with
the children, while the other Parent resides in the newly renovated garage;
the following week, Parent B resides in the house with the children, while
Parent A takes their turn residing in the garage.
The upshot is that you and your ex can cycle in and out of the home around
your children (with the kids staying put), instead of the kids packing
bags and feeling out of place. In some cases, this type of process provides
well needed stability for the children.
It also has financial benefits since, in the case of this sitcom, money
can be tight during a divorce and supporting two households could be financially
This concept is not new. Although it is hilariously depicted in this new
show, with all its ups and downs, it is a very practical and possible
co-parenting technique. But, it is not for everyone and it is not so funny
in real life.
During some of my mediation sessions, when we discuss custody arrangements
we do discuss this concept, and I help divorcing couples review the possibilities
and work out the kinks.
Financially supporting two households is not always possible. So if living
in and supporting two separate households is not possible, couples can
- and do - get creative.
However, you do need the right living arrangements. Perhaps a home with
a garage that can be converted (as in the show), an attached apartment,
or a two-family dwelling or even roommates; all are possible scenarios
that may just provide comfort for you and your family.
I tell couples it’s important to remember, even if you and your spouse
are rotating in and out of your home, you still need a parenting agreement.
A Bird nesting plan is not a substitute for sharing time with your children.
A parenting agreement will need to be developed to coordinate who will
be in the house and on what days, and how weekends and holidays will work.
I also make it clear that this type of arrangement, in some situations,
can get messy.
For example, it can be confusing for Children to watch their Parents come
and go, and things can get really complicated when one or both Parties
start dating again.
All of these issues are important to address when considering bird nesting.
It is certainly not a one size fits all plan, but together we can develop
a living situation for you and your family where everyone is comfortable!!
If you are interested in learning more about this topic, or if I can help
you build your nest, give me a call. I have some interesting ideas on
how this can work. 212.734.1551.
I look forward to helping you. :)