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Parenting together: Sharing one home

After a divorce, many people live apart. Their children go back and forth between houses, never really settling into one place. This means that the kids have to have two of almost everything or else take their toys, clothing and other belongings back and forth between houses.

To avoid this, some families have started sharing the marital home and keeping their kids in the same place. How does it work? It's a simple idea for a unique type of custody, and it's one that might work in your case.

Understanding bird nesting and its benefits

Known as bird nesting, keeping your marital home for your children's sake while having your own separate apartments as a divorced couple is a new and unique solution to the struggle of custody. With this arrangement, parents both have their own apartments, but the children stay in the same place (the home where they've always lived).

It's a tricky technique at first, but it's very interesting once you understand it. For some people, it works by alternating weeks where they live in the marital home. For example, mom might live in the home from the 1st through the 7th, then dad comes from the 8th to the 14th. Alternating in this way keeps their children in the same place and with a same routine in that location. With this technique, the burden of change is on the parents.

The main benefits of this technique are that children stay put and maintain the same life as before the divorce. They keep everything they own in the same place those items have always been. They don't have to rush from one parent's home to another. The parents don't have to wonder where the children are. The school system, friends and interactions typically stay the same. The only difference is that mom or dad is away for a period of time and that they alternate who is at home to care for the child.

To decide if this arrangement is right for you, you need to think about a few things. Finances is a major concern for some, who would have to support an apartment alongside the shared property. Another concern is that parents have to keep track of their own items between homes. You'll also have to be civil and even friendly to the other parent, because you're likely to see one another regularly. However, if you can agree, this is a great solution that helps your child slowly adjust to changes in your marriage and family relationships.

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