Some Tennessee parents who are going through a divorce may be considering the pros and cons of the birdnesting arrangement for child custody. Also known as nesting, this approach involves parents taking turns living in the family home while the children continue to live there full time. Most people cannot afford three homes, so they usually take turns living in one apartment nearby.
This technique can allow children to ease into the divorce with the least amount of upheaval. However, experts caution that birdnesting needs to be a temporary arrangement of no more than three to six months. Longer periods of time may encourage children to think their parents may reconcile. The arrangement may also put a strain on the divorcing spouses even if the split is amicable.
In addition to or instead of birdnesting, there are other ways parents can help their children adjust to the divorce. Even if there is conflict, they should avoid showing this in front of the children. People should try to avoid changing their children’s school and overall routine as well as make an effort to keep the rules consistent in both their homes. Parents should help their children keep up relationships with family members on both sides and talk honestly to their kids about the divorce. Studies show that a low-conflict divorce makes the process less difficult for children.
Unfortunately, this type of divorce is not always possible. One parent may be uncooperative, and this could result in a child custody battle. However, parents can still try to focus on their children in a situation like this and avoid saying negative things about one another. If a person is genuinely concerned about his or her child’s safety because the other parent is abusive or neglectful, that individual might want to discuss the situation with an attorney and present documentation in court, such as police reports.