After a divorce, it is important that parents focus on the best interests of the child. In California and throughout the country, a trend called birdnesting has attempted to ease the burden that children may feel after their parents get divorced. In such a scenario, the child will stay in the family home while the parents will rotate between that home and an apartment.
For a child, there are many benefits such as not having to go between two homes on a regular basis. This means not having to pack and ship belongings between two places regularly. It also means that a child can stay in the same school and continue to be close to their current friends. When done properly, it can serve as a way to ease the transition into life in which parents are no longer together.
However, parents are urged to end the birdnesting arrangement after about three to six months. If it goes any longer than that, a child may think that his or her parents are thinking about getting back together. Furthermore, children will need to adjust to living in two different homes at some point. Otherwise, it may cause them to develop anxiety or live in a state of confusion as to what is going on regarding their living situation.
The best interests of the child are paramount whenever parents develop a parenting plan. This means that both parents may be entitled to custody or visitation rights to their sons or daughters. If parents cannot work together to create a plan, a court may develop one for them based on state law and other guidelines. An attorney may help individuals work in a good faith manner either in private or in mediation to create one without court intervention.